Fred has a friend from high school, named Shelly, that had offered to help answer any questions that I might have on putting one of these deals together. So after a couple of trips to the stores to collect a preliminary batch of supplies, I began to feel the need to make sure I do it right the first time, and decided to take her up on her offer. She kindly said that we could drop by that afternoon, at our leisure.
NOW, according to Fred, he and Shelly dated in high school but it was never a big deal, they were always more friends than anything else. He maintains that it was never really a serious relationship. They reconnected through FB about a year ago, and we've even gone to dinner with she and her current boyfriend. They're really nice couple and it's been a pretty positive experience as of yet.
So I told him that I was going to go have her look at my preliminary collection of SHIT and let me know if there was anything else that we needed to get. He just laughed and said, "She made mums all through high school, so she'll be a good person to ask. I'll bet you $20 she even still has her memory book!" HAHAHAHA....whatever. Scarlett (our daughter) decided that she wanted to go along with me, so we loaded up the goods and drove over to Shelly's house.
Shelly was VERY helpful! She gave me tips on the assembly, ideas for little things to add, and let me look at some of other mums as a reference. Then, as we were talking I mentioned, "Hey, Fred was laughing when I told him that I was going to come over, and said to ask you if you still had your memory book!" LOL ....Of course she did!! Her daughter found the box and brought it right down for us to see.
As she was flipping through the book she showed Scarlett and I several pictures of her Senior mum. THEN she flipped to the pages (yes, not one but TWO full pages) that were solely devoted to her and Fred. She had drawn hearts. His full name written in her very best handwriting. Pictures of them together, hugging at various events. Yeah, they weren't just friends...they were HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS!!! Looking at the book made me feel like someone had just punched me in the stomach. She cheerfully said that, at some point after high school, someone had told her that she should try to get back together with Fred. She also told me that when we were on our way over to her house, her son had asked her who Fred was, and her current boyfriend said "Your mother's high school sweetheart". ....Nice.
Scarlett and I didn't stay very much longer after that whole revelation. I don't know that there's a Hallmark thank you card that would quite capture how I felt. Maybe....
"Thanks for the help! Now it's time to get a grip and move the fuck on!?"
"Thanks for the help! I liked you BEFORE, but now you seem less interesting and more ignorant."
I think that there are appropriate ways to discuss prior relationships with someone's wife. Mentioning that there were considerations about trying to rekindle the old flame?....not so much! Needless to say, if I have any questions about mum assembly from this point on, I will be looking for answers elsewhere.