A Not-So-Short Post on My First Marriage Part Deux

WordPress ate my original post. I hope I can reconstruct it. I will give it the old college try.

When I left you at the altar in my last post, I neglected to mention a few key items. There was some dust and dirt in the brief time between October and February.

Before you think it was pregnancy, think again. Becoming pregnant (for me anyway) would prove to be a daunting task. It wasn’t that I dropped out of school. That wasn’t even an option.

No, it was something more serious than that.

I found that I wasn’t in the least bit attracted to my ex.

There was no sizzle, no spark, no hots, nothing. Sure he was nice to look at, but eye candy isn’t going to satisfy you in bed. If you had to grade our chemistry, I’m afraid we would score a D-. It wasn’t for lack of trying on my part. I was 17, started late, and had an overabundance of hormones and a fair amount of curiosity. It was HIM. I could parade around in front of him completely in the buff, and not get an eyebrow lift. There were other parts of his anatomy that wasn’t getting a lift too, if you catch my drift.

My ex was a weight lifter, and I think that addled his organ. He would have rather hung out with his weight lifting buddies than play around with me, which was rather a change. My previous boyfriends, of which there were many, were all about sex. But like most stupid 17 year olds, I thought I could change him, just by the force of sheer will, charm and talent. I found out later that there wasn’t enough will, charm or talent on the planet to change that guy.

The other thing that began to gnaw at the back of my mind was his over-active imagination, code word: LYING. I found out during our Christmas visit to Connecticut that many of the things he told me in the six weeks before were either gross exaggerations or outright lies. For one thing, he told me he won several weight lifting competitions. LIE. He also told me that 1. he attended UConn, 2. he had three fast cars (thus converting my dad to his side), and 3. I was his first girlfriend. LIE, LIE and BIG FAT LIE. In fact, Number 3 lived right across the street from him. We shared more than a boyfriend. She also had my first name. Later on in this tale of woe, she befriends me, rats me out to the ex, and ends up marrying him. So his second wife had the same name as the first. Talk about creepy.

Of course, there were other hurdles that seemed endearing at first, but were hard to overcome. One was the huge Italian family. My ex alluded to Mafia ties (another LIE) and made it sound like I would be sleeping with the fishes if I didn’t toe the line. They were cool in a way, loud and boisterous, and not as dysfunctional as my own family. It was the first time I ate meals with a real cloth napkin, and also the first time I ate dinner in courses, with soup, salad and entree. At my house, dinner was a scramble to get the best piece of chicken before the younger sib did.

Ex’s Mama ruled the roost, but not her husband. He was one guy with roving eyes and hands. In fact, the neighbor girl with my first name told me that during the time the family was out in my state watching me get married to their son, Ex’s Dad, who decided to stay in Connecticut, was over at her house feeling her up. Eww… That tantalizing tidbit came out much later.

It wasn’t just this. I got the distinct impression that I was being used. It was already clear that he thought only of himself. He thought (very wrongly) that because I was of a certain ethnic persuasion, I should be subservient, like being a doormat is a genetic quirk. (HAH! As you know, I’m the farthest thing from it.) Later on, I thought maybe he picked me to marry was because he might be gay.

During our “engagement,” I turned 18 and so thought I was now an adult. In retrospect, I inherited the adult mess.

So, there was a bit of reluctance and some cold feet when going into this marriage. Our nuptials were scheduled for the chapel on base, by a Catholic priest (obviously, we were both Catholic). Since we were technically still in wartime, the priest waived the usually mandated premarital classes. Had we gone to the classes, I might have avoided a marriage of inconvenience and a first husband. (That’s how I dumped one of my fiances of the future.) My ex was soon scheduled to be transferred to Germany. Okay, it wasn’t Viet Nam, but they made an exception in our case.

Walking down the aisle, my father leaned over and whispered, “If you want to back out, now would be a good time to run.” Being a know-it-all teenager, I didn’t listen to him.

Damn stupid of me.

More later. This is a long and exhausting story!

Secrets and Lies and Promises

I’m thinking of this today because my daughter, Ms. Mini-D, is in big trouble. She, with her best friend, managed to pull the wool over the eyes of both sets of parents. The friend’s mother is completely livid with me and my husband for believing her daughter. I would like to believe my daughter, but she’s been known to have secrets and tell lies. Let’s just say that the entire thing is based on some pretty well-known character traits of teenagers. Amazingly, they are much the same as when I was an adolescent. These items of contention include sex, drugs and rock and roll.

The friend’s mother has some written documentation as to the bad behavior of Ms. Mini-D. These are in the form of notes passed back and forth during school, and written in my daughter’s hand. The mother has informed me that she will give me the notes today. I told my daughter, whose reaction pretty much told me that the mom was right and not some kind of alcoholic-induced wacko like the two girls led us to believe last week. It ranged from “if I tell you what’s in the notes, will you shred them?” to “Mommy, you’re looking wonderful today, how’s your day going?” (A tip: the former revelation of honesty will work far better on me than the flattery of the latter.)

I’ve had the “secrets and lies” talk with her before. I would rather know the truth than have her tell me a lie. After all, I’ll find out about it eventually. In addition, I pride myself as being fairly liberal minded. I’ve invited her to share the minor details of her life, but have never forced the issue. She’s almost an adult, so I give her the benefit of the doubt. I know she thinks I’m stupid and/or judgmental. This is a phase that may pass as soon as she gives birth to a nine pound baby. Giving birth to a nine pound baby changed my outlook on my mother for the positive.

This morning before leaving for school, she reminded me that I promised I would shred the notes. (I did promise to shred them, but I didn’t say when.) I was fairly vague about my promise yesterday. Being a mother provides one with a lot of poetic license as to what the job entails, and that includes maternal promises. Besides that, I could always plead menopausal symptoms and temporary insanity. I know I didn’t promise not to give them to her father. He tends to look at his little girl like a “little girl” and not like some gangsta’s ho, which is how she sometimes dresses, or like a conniving female, which she sometimes is.

I personally don’t get the entire thing about lying and cheating. I’m not speaking as some holier-than-thou Bible thumper, although I do have a few years of Catholic school under my belt. Lying and cheating are not only bad ethically, they’re also empty actions that do not gain the liar or cheat anything. I’m pretty old, but I’ve found that it’s far easier to be forthright. Lying and cheating involve a network of support that’s flimsy at best. It’s exhausting to uphold.

Let’s just say that no good can come from it.

As for promises, I tend to keep mine. However, I reserve the right to change my mind. That’s what being a woman is all about.