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Jerry and Rhoda

January 6, 2009
Eventually, I will enlighten you with my genius opinions of today’s world but before I start doing that I am going to tell some stories from before I was Smartestmark. Back then I was just Regularmark, maybe even Notsosmartmark.

Many years ago, what seems like an eternity now, I worked for a major retail chain in one of their stores. Back then this chain was big, now it is a laughingstock. I had a friend I worked with, we will call him Jerry. Jerry loved this retail chain. He left it on five separate occasions to take other jobs but he always came back. Unfortunately, Jerry died a few years ago, under suspicious circumstances. In his last few months he was trying to go back to this retail chain for the sixth time.

Jerry was well liked. He had a lot of charisma and people just seemed to flock to him. He had a lot of friends and the young girls who worked at the store all seemed to like him. He was a very happy person and never let his problems bring him down. He did have some problems in high school, but by the time he worked at the store, he seemed to have gotten over them.

During one of his early runs with this company, Jerry was dating this girl, we will call her Rhoda. Rhoda was just out of high school and also working at the same store. Jerry was about six or seven years older than her. Rhoda had a high school sweetheart, Timmy. Timmy also worked at the store during this period, but left to take a real job soon after. Rhoda and Timmy had kind of just broken up, but were still occasionally seeing each other. Jerry was very much in love with Rhoda. Rhoda liked Jerry, maybe even loved him, but was still hung up on Timmy. This was a real soap opera. Jerry even came home early from his brother’s wedding celebration in a far away state just to be alone with Rhoda in his house.

Sadly, earlier Jerry had bought that house with his mother, who for the rest of his life would not let him out of that shared mortgage. No matter how much Jerry wanted to move out he was forced to live with his mother. It was a very sad state of being. It was like he was still a child. I can still hear her saying “Jerry put on a jacket”, “What time will you be home, Jerry”, “Bring me home a burger, Jerry”. Jerry was at least 25 years old at this point.

Returning to our story of Jerry and Rhoda, eventually Rhoda went back to Timmy and they got married. I believe Jerry even went to the wedding. However, within a year, even though she was still married, Rhoda started seeing Jerry again. Jerry was very happy, as he finally thought he was going to get his dream girl. He believed she would leave Timmy and they would be together forever. Unfortunately, for Jerry, his life never worked out, as he wanted. One day while I was working at that store, I went to throw out some garbage in the compactor room and when I walked in I could not believe what I saw. There was Rhoda, French kissing and being felt up by an assistant manager named Gerard. Gerard was married, had a couple of kids, and his wife was 7 months pregnant.

Being a young Notsosmartmark, I told what I saw to a female receiving clerk who I was kind of friends with. What a mistake that was! Within minutes, she was telling everyone in the store my story. Rhoda came up to me crying, telling me that I was mistaken in what I saw and that her and Gerard were just joking around. This girl had no morals and no problem lying to get what she wanted. Jerry found out about this incident within a few hours. I am not sure if he believed her story or not but he didn’t get mad at Rhoda and continued to see her. He remained my friend, so it is obvious he knew in his heart that I was not lying. So now what we have is Rhoda married to Timmy, cheating on Timmy with Jerry and cheating on Jerry with Gerard. This would be a great made for TV movie.

Next thing I know, Gerard leaves his pregnant wife and child to be with Rhoda and they move in together. Rhoda stays with him for about a month and leaves him to be with Jerry again basically ruining Gerard’s life. All this time she is still married to to Timmy. Another month later Rhoda goes back to Timmy but still sneaks off to see Jerry. Poor Jerry worshipped this girl and no matter what she did, he was there for her.

Around this time Jerry got really sick and was diagnosed with Leukemia. The doctors only gave him a 30 percent chance of living. During this time Rhoda came to the hospital once or twice, nowhere near how much she should have. Jerry made a miraculous recovery and within a few months he was back at work

Around the time Jerry came back to work, Rhoda announced she was getting divorced. Of course, Jerry finally thought his dream was going to come true. He had conquered his illness and was going to get his dream girl. Unfortunately, as soon as the divorce was final Rhoda met Ronald and they moved in together. They actually moved into someone’s guesthouse. It was the size of a small shed. It was actually quite funny. Ronald only knew that Jerry and Rhoda were friends, he never knew about the true relationship and probably still doesn’t.

Did this stop Jerry from seeing her? You guessed it, absolutely not. Over the next few years Jerry remained friends with Rhoda, just no longer friends with benefits. It was obvious he was still in love with her, but by now he had gained a 100 pounds, probably due to his illness, and she was no longer attracted to him.

Jerry and Rhoda were huge Chicago Cub fans. For the record I hate the Cubs and am a huge Chicago White Sox fan. During this period they would go to a lot of cubs games, sometimes with Ronald and sometimes just alone. Well one day Jerry invited me to go a game with them. Even though he knew my feelings for that tramp, he still invited me. He knew I would be nice to her for his sake. Well to my surprise when we got to the shack that Rhoda and Ronald were living in, she sent Ronald out to go to the game with us. I couldn’t believe it. That whole evening I was tempted to tell Ronald the whole story but was ordered not to by Jerry. When he was not around Jerry would make fun of Ronald, but when he was there with us he treated Ronald like a friend.

About a year after this incident, Jerry’s mom came home one day and found Jerry dead in the bathroom. What really happened is still a mystery to this day. Jerry’s mom profited by a nice insurance policy and is set for life, but whatever happened will remain unknown to but a very few people forever. At least a hundred people including myself went to the funeral. Before the funeral started the funeral director took the immediate family in to see the body. Rhoda pushed her way through crying and went in with them. I still have a picture of it in my mind. At least she did not bring Ronald to the funeral. That was the last time I ever saw Rhoda. I still miss Jerry to this day.

So you might ask, what does this story have to do with anything? Well hopefully it will teach you not to let others walk all over you and ruin your life. Jerry could have had other girls and he could have somehow forced his mother to buy him out or sell that house so that he could start his adult life, but he did neither. He was a great guy who let his life be taken by selfish people and all he got was pain. Don’t let this happen to you.
Well that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed my first column and will check out the other columnists on my site.