My Last Post (Meaning “The End”) About My First Marriage

There are many things regarding marriage that can be seen as Big Red Flags. The Biggest Red Flag would be to spend your honeymoon night with your brand new mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and two brothers-in-law.

Yes, all six of us spent the night in a one bedroom apartment.

After that, things went down hill from there.

We argued a lot. I don’t remember what about, but I’m pretty sure it was everything. I might have been immature, but I have always been opinionated and I can sometimes be confrontational. That’s what happens when you grow up in a family of six kids. I can remember storming out of our apartment and walking for hours. I’m pretty sure the only reason why I came back was because I was too full of pride to go back to my parents and admit I had made a mistake.

The Ex took what little wedding money we had and bought a used 1973 Chevy Vega station wagon, even though he had a Fiat Spider and I had a perfectly good VW wagon, which he had me sell. This, even though he claimed previously to own three other cars in Connecticut. (I did sell my VW, to an ex-boyfriend.) The Vega was a serious bone of contention between us. I hated the car, my father (who was a really good mechanic) thought it was a hunk of junk, but the Ex bought it almost in spite. I and my new sister-in-law somehow drove it Connecticut, where we left it while I joined the Ex in Germany.

In Germany, things got way worse. The Ex decided to volunteer for extra duty and field assignments, leaving me alone most of the nine months I was there. I fell in with a bunch of his friends and we started doing crazy stuff. I would sneak into the barracks and we’d party on hash. If any officers came, they would stash me on the window ledge. (These were really old brick buildings, with window ledges you could almost park a Weber grill on.) Then we would get so high and hungry, we’d go to the commissary and steal food. One time we walked out with about $50 worth of steaks under our coats. This was too much for three or four people to eat, and the refrigerators in Europe are too small to handle the leftovers. I ended up wasting most of it.

Then, there was a really handsome Greek kid, friend of the Ex, with whom I had a short fling with. He was supposed to be teaching me Greek, but ended up doing a lot more.

When my Ex and I did get together, he did strange things with me, like take me on field trips to Auschwitz. We also toured the Czech border, then still Communist, and told me to be very still because the guards could probably shoot me if I wasn’t. We went to Berchesgarden and stayed where Hitler was holed up. (The only redeeming thing about that trip was getting to see Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg.)

It was during my European tour where food was involved in our fighting. I was tired of him comparing my cooking to his mother’s. The fastest way to beat a path out of a woman’s heart is to say that his MOM makes it better. I don’t care if it’s just Jello or Campbell’s soup, if it’s true or just a pipe dream, a man should never say those dreaded words to the woman he loves. I threw pancakes at him, a pot roast, and don’t even get me started on the time I tried (and failed) to make spaghetti. I’m NOT Italian, damn it!

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, and decided to come home. First, I went to Connecticut, where the Girl Across the Street befriended me. Looking back, I can see where she was fishing me for information and I was willingly giving it. We were best pals, if only because she listened to me. Of course, I didn’t know she was going to stab me in the back later. I stayed at the Ex’s parents’ house for a few weeks, where I proceeded to make the Mama mad at me because I refused to eat (I’d gained 15 pounds in Germany), took the 1973 Vega and headed west.

Two weeks and three cases of motor oil later (the car had a cracked engine head, and I went to my mountain state via Kentucky, southern Texas and New Mexico), the Vega and I finally limped into my town. I found my best friend and slept on her couch, probably for about three days straight. I don’t think I saw my parents for another couple of weeks.

A few months later, I moved to a Tundra state to get away from my parents. My mother was on my case about leaving my Ex behind in Germany. I had to get away from her.

I filed for divorce in the new state, but couldn’t get him to sign the paperwork. He thought (wrongly) that I would be able to get alimony and half of his check. It had been many months since I got any money out of him, and that was the least of my concerns. I lived there for a few years, still technically married. The Girl Across the Street kept sending me letters. She was even going to visit me at one point. She had a plane ticket and the whole works.

Then one day, she wrote me a letter saying she wasn’t coming. She had shared all of my letters to her to the Ex, who was now back and out of the Army. At the end of the letter, she told me they were getting married, as soon as they could get an annulment, and would I sign the papers? They wanted to get married in the Catholic church.

As you might imagine, I was pretty pissed off. I never did sign the annulment papers, and let the Ex take care of the divorce proceedings.

I’m still friends with the Ex’s sister. She was sort of the black sheep of the family. She lives in Tucson. One day, just a few years ago, my Ex’s mother called to tell me they were selling the house and did I want my artwork back. I hadn’t spoken to her since 1975, and was totally surprised. So she FedExed my stuff back to me, and I sent her a thank you card.

As for the Ex and my Ex-friend, they are still married.

It was a mess, and I’m glad to say, that was the end of that marriage. I’m also just as happy to announce that this is the end of this story.

10 Responses

  1. Argued a lot…I can sometimes be confrontational…grow up in a family of six kids…

    How do you account for Random Granddaughter? She argues consantly and is very confrontational, though she is growing up in a family of one kid. Is it the nine grandparents? Oh, dear.

    I worry about her marrying the wrong guy because he has a dog, as her mommies don’t like dogs.

  2. I think RG is affected by the many adults in her direct line of fire. I wouldn’t worry about her. She doesn’t sound like the type of girl who would marry easily. I imagine she would twist the guy’s arm and make him do all kinds of things (in just her way) before she’d even say “I will.”

    Either that, or pout prettily.

  3. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  4. pandemonic,

    I think your comments hit the mark pretty well.

    One of my theories of what I called “mad scientist parenting,” what that parents should encourage their children to argue and fight with their parents (in an age-appropriate and safety-appropriate manner). One of our basic rules with our daughter was: “You have to do what we tell you, but you may always tell us what you think about it, without fear of punishment.”

    Furthermore, when she did tell us we should change the behavior rules, we considered her arguments seriously, when we were calm, and on occasion did change the rules.

    The mommies have their own system of mad scientist parenting, which sometimes makes us mutter like ducks when we get home from a visit, but I think it’s compatible with this general policy.

    One of my justifications for teaching a child to argue from an early age is so the child learns that one can fight with someone you love and the world doesn’t end.

  5. Very interesting. It makes me glad I didn’t have anyone to run off and marry at 18. I’m sure it would have been a disaster, although waiting til I was 22 didn’t end up much better!

  6. Wow. All I can say is … with friends like that, who needs enemas?

  7. Pandemonic – well, at least you got to see some of Europe and get good and stoned 🙂 Plus, you got your artwork back and you got out of your paren’t’s house 🙂

    Mr Random – I think RG will be fine. After all, girls don’t need to marry to get away from home so much anymore, if she decides she can’t take it anymore she can head off to college and get a dog there!

  8. Actually, Truce and Corina, I’m afraid my own 18 year old is feeling this way. I want to jump in front of the runaway train that is now her emotions and say STOP, YOU’LL REGRET THIS! but alas, I can’t.

    David, you are truly hilarious…

  9. So? Is he gay or isn’t he?

  10. I think so!

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