Sleuthing at the Stove and The three D’s of love – disappointment, discontentment, deceit

July 31, 2012 at 9:23 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Just before I left work the last Friday I received a call from a woman who wanted to prove that her husband was cheating.  I was canning my cherries and thinking about this woman.

Canning cherries requires a lot of preparation – from washing them, to picking  the rotten ones out, and then my least favorite job in the world – pitting the cherries.  I was working with fifty pounds – no easy task.   The procrastinator in me kept finding reason to put off starting.  Finally, here I was sitting at my kitchen table – pitting away!

Pitting cherries is a rather robotic mundane task allowing for all kinds of thoughts to creep into view.  Thus I was thinking about the call I received on Friday.  Lets call her Ella. Ella’s story was that she had married her high school sweetheart and that she knew he was cheating on her.  They were now in their late twenty’s and had a six year old daughter.  how did she know?  Well, the classic story of undeleted messages on his smartphone.  So she saw the various girls texting him; she saw the wonderful naked pictures the girls had sent; she saw the pictures he had sent of himself.

During the entire conversation she was crying.  I listened.  At the end of the story I asked her why she would want to hire a private investigator when she already knew everything.  Can you hear me sighing????

She answered that it was to prove to his parents that he was cheating and she wanted to catch him in the act.  Sort of like that show on TV – Cheaters.  You know – where they bring the spouse to where the misbehaving partner and mistress are and they all have a Jerry Springer moment.  I told her – we don’t do that.

By now I had pitted one bowl of cherries so off to the counter I went.   The first batch of cherries are for fruit canning so I have tried to ensure they are the prettiest cherries.  I  use the pint Mason jars as that is a good size for two people to eat from!  I always find the larger jars get opened and then inevitably put back into the fridge – to be forgotten.  After all this hard work there is no way they are going directly into the compost!  As a child eating canned cherries and strawberries (these were my absolute favorite) from the pantry in winter was a memorable treat.  Canning  is an old-fashioned kind of skill but one I am glad was passed on to me.

Here is a simple but effective recipe.  Now you must remember that i do not use anything other than organic products and will not use pectin! Sometimes, I admit, this results in runny jam – but it does taste good. Also you can use it as pancake syrup – cheesecake syrup ; add it to your plain yogurt.  mmmm.

This is from Mom’s Kitchen.  Take your 8 ounce pre-washed jars (I just throw them into the dishwasher prior to the canning starting)and put in your pretty cherries!  Try to avoid cherries that have bruises, hard skin, are discoloured.  They don’t improve in the jars and over time.  Once the jars are more or less filled pour in your syrup.  Some people really enjoy the thick heavy syrup but i prefer the lighter syrup.  Again my syrup recipe is simple – i use 2 cups sugar to one quart water.  That’s it.  Some people use variations with honey and so on – but I confess to being traditional in this arena.  I like my canned cherries the way my mom made them!

So that being done I went back to Ella’s problem.  After she told me the story of how they had been together since they were 14 yrs. old – so that made it a total of 14 years her partner had completely changed.  He was discontented with the marriage and went on to live his own second life.  She was disappointed and felt deceived.  To make matters more complicted  her cultural background punished women for simple transgression – but men had different rules.  Needless to say she lived with his parents.  During the conversation she indicated that her mother-in-law was prepared to pay for the investigation  to prove her son was cheating.  This young woman cried and cried during the conversation; then she was angry; then she was hurt; then she wanted revenge and so it went.    This is an unhappy story – no doubt about it.  It is one of the stages that I encounter often in the field of marital investigations – it is the stage I call Disappointment, Discontentment and Deceit.

What to do?  Ella needed a counsellor more than an investigator.  As a self-employed person it is at this stage that I often wonder if running a business is my forte.  After all my concern is more to do with her mental health rather than fortifying the obvious cheating of her husband.  This is the vulnerable stage where a good salesperson can hook the potential client – make the sale – do the investigation.  I confess – I do not want to hook this fish.  What more can I prove to her – she has seen the pictures, she has read endless texts, she knows what kind of work he does and the number of women he can meet???  Oh right – she wants to prove this to his family – a family that supports male infidelity and disregard for women.  What a tough battle she has chosen.  I had agreed to talk to her again on Monday and this is why I am cooking and thinking about her situation.

My jars are now cooking slowly in the canner and soon I will be able to take them out.  So exciting — about fifteen awesome canned cherries for the winter!  Fantastic!  Check out the completed product!

So what do you think – should I take this case?  Can I help her out?  Lets see your thoughts and I can tell you about another case while I make cherry jam.

PS Many thanks to my friend Deb Dryborough for the great new name for the blog!  From the great minds of friends come great thoughts!


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  1. Take the case! Leave your emotions out of it. It is not for you to judge why she wants to do it but to do a job that she is paying you for. She is the one that has to sort things out not you!


    • Do you feel there is ever a time you should have emotions when handling a case?


      • I think if it goes against you morally then it is something different to make a choice. But this isn’t a moral issue..though it is a no brainer to you, and you may possibly think it is such a waste of time…she still wants that conformation because of her situation and if that is the only way to get her justified, will it stop him from cheating…most likely not…but it may help her to get out of a messy situation


      • U r right in terms of what client wants. But emotions end up always involved – yours and theirs. That does not mean you don’t do a professional job – of course you do. Sometimes tho the job leaves you walking away sad! Sad for your client.


      • Yes you may walk away sad for the client. But you must always remember this is free will and free choice whatever the outcome is. She made a choice and she must accept the consequence. You may know what it is going to be before you even do the job because you have done many before…but it is still her choice. If you don’t help she will go to someone who will and the results would be the same. Would it make you feel better? Probably not, because you already know the ending. So go do your job…give her what she needs and walk away, it has nothing to do with you after that.


      • While your comments may be true it is rare that it it has nothing to do with the pi afterwards. for ex. if there is court you will ahve to attend; sometimes people call you for months afterwards; sometimes there is rage on the other parties side….. there are many times these kind of cases go on for a long time. Sometimes even with evidence people do not believe you. It can be quite tiring. But on the happier side it is always great to conclude a file!!!


      • hmmm…good points…I didn’t think about the PI side. If you don’t already have a disclaimer in your original paperwork when they sign you on perhaps get one and then email them a copy and if they get snarky…just keep emailing them their disclaimer :D…LOL. I can see it getting tiring though. What did you decide…did you take the case?


      • Yes i did. u were right in that these are standard type cases. I work on them because i know that i will do the best and most decent job for the person! Glad you are reading my blog!


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