20 Years Ago I Thought I Knew About Love - The First Five

20 years ago, I married the man whom I was absolutely crazy in love with. I ate, breathed, lived and loved him. We were inseparable and loved being that way. It was pure bliss.

Our first 6 months of our marriage were heavenly. The next 6 months were hard. By the time we were ready to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, things were even harder. I remember my mother-in-law had invited us over for dinner and wanted to make a special meal to celebrate our anniversary. I was so angry with my husband that the idea of me sitting next to him with a fork and knife was very appealing...as assault weapons.

The reason for our discontent...he was working 2 full time jobs to pay off our credit card debt (a large portion of it was mine) that we had accumulated when we said "I do." I was often alone. Although I worked full time and had the rest of my family to occupy my time, what I felt that I needed was my husband at night and by my side. He was too tired on his 1 day off to want to do anything but rest.

After 15 months of him working 2 jobs and about two months after a sour anniversary, he quit the 2nd job and things got much better.

For the next few years we struggled with infertility and went through the tumultuous and often bitter nasty days of feeling barren and worthless.

He was my bedrock. When I would cry because my period would come, he would tell me that my period was not a defeat, but an opportunity for a new beginning and a fresh start to try again this month. I thought that was he was the kindest, sincerest most sensitive man, and that I was lucky enough to call him mine. Until, after many months of 'fresh starts to try again this month' I began to suspect that he was looking forward to and enjoying unlimited 'get me pregnant' sex: anywhere, everywhere and all the time!

We spent our 5th wedding anniversary at a cozy hotel in a small quaint historic village. It was a most lovely weekend, but only after we got there.

It was a hellish 8 hour ordeal of car ride getting there. It started when my husband decided that we would embark on our adventure at around 9 pm to avoid any traffic. The plan was to do the equivalent of a red-eye, but by car.

So after a long day of work, packing, tuning up the car and dinner with the in laws, we hit the road. He also decided that he would quit smoking. That very weekend.

So we stopped at our local gas station to gas up and found Martin working the pumps that night. Martin is an acquaintance of ours that we typically ran into at either church or whenever he was working the pumps. So he was used to seeing us dressed in our Sunday best and around town usually when we stopped for gas on our way to or from work.

Martin greeted us and made idle chit chat while he filled the tank and cleaned the windows. My husband followed him into the mini-mart to pay for the gas and get some water and chips for the road. Hubby came out of the mini-mart pissed!

Apparently, he had asked Martin if he could have just 3 cigarettes instead of buying a whole pack. Martin hesitated, looked my husband over and handed him a whole pack. My husband said "No, no, no, I just need 3 cigs." Martin replied, "Here buddy, this pack is on me." Hubby again insisted that he only needed a couple of cigs. Martin again tried to hand the whole pack to hubby and said "Here buddy, take is as a gift from me. And I will pray for you on Sunday, may the good Lord help you back on your feet."

Hubby was annoyed and offended, but then took stock of what he looked like. He was unshaven, sporting a stained t-shirt from working on the car (thankfully it was not a wife beater) and here he was bumming a few cigs. Martin mistook him for being down on his luck.

He tried to explain to Martin that he was trying to quit smoking and thought it would help him if he would only have a few cigarettes with him instead of the whole pack; and that he was working on the car all day so that we could go away so that was why he was looking so disheveled and midway through his diatribe he knew he sounded defensive with all his blathering. Then he noticed that a line was forming behind him with customers. All the while, Martin just nodded at him but clearly having pity in his eyes. Hubby gave up, paid for the gas, water and chips and returned to the car infuriated.

I laughed until I nearly cried.

About 5 hours into the drive. Yes, around 2ish in the morning, my bladder was screaming and I asked him to pull into the upcoming rest stop so I could pee because my eye balls were floating. The sign under the huge billboard said "Next rest stop 17 miles."

     I pleaded. "Honey please, I really gotta go. Let's stop, stretch, and empty our   bladders. It will only take a few minutes."

     He wasn't having it, "Come on, you are a big girl, you can hold it. If it wasn't for that state trooper holding us up, we wouldn't be behind schedule."

Ms. Big Mouth replies,"well, maybe if you would have changed your shirt after the Martin ordeal and looked less like an escape convict, they wouldn't have suspected that you were hiding something."

Defensively he snaps "It wasn't the shirt that made them suspicious, it because my eyes are red from being up since 5:30 this morning."

Me: "Well you know...doing 89 in a 65mps zone is good enough reason to get anyone pulled over. But I am telling you now, if you don't pull into this rest stop you are going to suffer a worse fate than the pat down that cop gave you."

Him: "Well, at anytime you could have helped me explain to the cop that we are just trying to get away for the freaking weekend to celebrate our freaking anniversary, But nooooo you just sat there, all quiet and innocent looking. He probably thought you were my hostage."

Me, now beyond furious: "Well I am your hostage because you just PASSED THE DAMNED REST STOP!!!!"

Silence for the next 2 miles.

I closed my eyes and tried to lull myself to sleep with an aching bladder.

Less than 10 minutes later I feel the car slowing down and the sound of gravel hitting the undercarriage of the car. Keeping my eyes closed, I mutter, "Let me guess, getting pulled over again? Maybe this time I will pretend to be a corpse."

Nothing. Not a single word from him, just the sound of the car door opening a cool summer's night breeze swirled the car. He jumps out of the car, walking away, disappearing into the darkness "Nope, just gotta pee smart ass."

I never suffered from penis envy until that night.

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