If I wasn’t so lazy or had to get up and go to work at the ass crack of dawn-I really should get up and just put everything down so I don’t have to try to remember what I think about at 3 am.
I had all intentions when I started writing to tell stories of my childhood/adolescence/teen-young adult years , and as everyone knows, that usually throws me into a blue funk. I will be the first to tell people, “That was your childhood and it is OVER-get on with your life and stop letting it control you.” Great advice, huh? However, I was filling out my “Gift of Body” form and I thought that whoever ended up with the brilliant specimen that I will give them when I am done with it, needed to know all of the abuse that I heaped upon it in another lifetime. Or the parts that I can remember, anyway.
So, it just so happened that it was exactly 3:15 when I woke up last night and couldn’t go back to sleep and I was rehashing a conversation that I had with one of the Vendors who was in last Saturday. She had asked how long I had been married (now I know that she was merely making conversation but she did ask….) and I told her that Michael and I had been married almost 23 years. Then she asked, “23 years? You waited until you were in your 30’s to get married? very smart.” I laughed and told her that it would have been smart if that is what had actually happened, but I actually got married the first time when I was 18. To a guy I knew for 2 days.
Now let me just say that this is not the first time I have told anyone this. Nor is it the first time I have thought about what an incredibly “bad judgement call” this was. But out of the blue an epiphany hit me. I have a daughter who is getting ready to turn 35 in a little over a week and you can bet your sweet ass that if she had come to me with the story of, “I’m getting married, I’m in love, I’m 18 and you can’t stop me” I would have grabbed her and locked her butt in a closet so fast that she wouldn’t have know what had hit her. What kind of parent goes along with this horseshit?
I had gone out with the same guy for close to two years in high school and when we broke up it broke my heart. I was struggling to try to find someone who would find me irresistible and couldn’t live without me. Looking back 38 years later, I totally get the whole trying to find love and acceptance. But as an 18 year old, I was naive and very impulsive and looking for a way out of my parents home and out of Rolla.
Sept. 1977 -I had gone to Sioux City, Iowa with John Ledgerwood to visit my brother and his wife Pam (who by the way was a junior in high school-how fucking dysfunctional ARE we anyway?) and when we went out to the local Disco “Grandpa’s Passion Pit” I met a friend of my brothers and his name was Hurley Duncan. He was with a girl named Lori and Holy SHIT could they dance. He was really hot and very arrogant and I couldn’t stand him. I made a total point of ignoring him the rest of the evening. Had a great weekend and went home and back to my job in the purchasing department at Phelps County Hospital. A couple of weeks later I get a call from Hurley telling me that he is coming to Rolla with another friend who is from Rolla (Rad Smith) and would I go out with him on Saturday night? I thought, “Huh. I’ll show him!” And I did, and the instant Aries/Scorpio fireworks (both power signs, by the way. Aries female and Scorpio guys are pretty much doomed, although Scorpio females are usually my best friends(like Leisa!) So we went out and then immediately went to a motel for one of the most intense nights of my 18 year old life! Now at this point in time it had not occurred to me to even question why a 26 year old guy would want to have anything to do with an 18 year old girl. It wasn’t until much, much later that I discovered that because my parents owned and operated a service station and had rental property (which he had found out from Rad) that he thought I came from money. Stop laughing. Little did he know that even if there actually was any money, I would never have seen any of it. I drove a late model yellow Mercury Bobcat that I told people my parents bought for me for graduation. They did-kind of. My dad co-signed for me and I was making payments. I had my hair cut in a wedge (all the rage then) because my Aunt Sandi and Uncle Bob (Leisa’s parents) were good friends with a kick ass hairdresser named Jim Stevenson and he got a kick out of doing my hair to piss my dad off because there was history between my folks and Jim. I wore really cute clothes because I got first pick at whatever Leisa was getting rid of and I was working at the hospital and bought my own. In any case. I did not come from money. But he didn’t know that and I was young and stupid and the sex was great and I wanted out of Rolla. He swept me off my feet and whispered sweet nothings in my ear and after that weekend, he went back to Sioux City. And called me constantly and we planned a wedding. Yes. A Wedding. We were getting married Thanksgiving, and we did. Leisa came out to my Mom and Dads house and tried to talk me out of getting married all the way into the church. It was a very small wedding and if I still had any of the pics you could see that no one was smiling. Most somber group of wedding party goers ever! I wanted to put in two weeks notice to the hospital and Leisa’s boss and one of her best friends (besides me, of course) let us live in a house he owned while I was working out my two weeks at the hospital. Then we packed everything I owned in a 1975 Mercury Bobcat and drove off into the unknown.