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.