After waking with a head as big as Texas and a backache from sleeping on the cold, hard floor, I managed to stumble out of the bathroom. He was waiting for me and immediately began apologizing for his lapse in good judgement. Not wanting the trip to be a total bust, I accepted his profuse apologies with his promise it would never happen again. My mother had passed on much of her wisdom through her "pearls" of advice and I remembered her telling me I would have to learn to pick my battles otherwise marriage was just one big fight. I decided this was not the time for a war since I couldn't have won a battle of the wits with my hangover. In the interest of brevity, I caved and forgave him!
When we returned to Dallas, we moved into the strangest little house. It was a rental and not much to look at, but at the time, I thought it had charm. Who cared if a quarter, dropped on the floor, would roll all the way to the back of the house in a minute flat or that all the closets were in the laundry room? That just made it easier to put away clean clothes! It was our first home and I was happy as a pig in sunshine!
I didn't return to school, but got a job instead. Between the two of us, we were bringing home $160 a week and thought we were stepping in high cotton. Neither one of us realized we were just a step above poverty level! I had failed to mention, and he hadn't asked, one little thing...I couldn't cook. Rather than starve, I quickly mastered five meals to get us through the week. I figured on the weekends, we could just eat out. I could make spaghetti, tuna casserole, scrambled eggs, tuna salad and of course, that culinary masterpiece...Wolf Brand Chili! Every week it was the same thing with just a little variance on the chili and every week he ate it without complaining. It was a good thing that I was proficient in other ways to use a dinner table or he might not have been so easy to please!
We quickly learned that in every successful marriage there is a period of adjustment. We're all unique in our daily habits and compromises must be made to get along. He had a hard time understanding my shoe fetish...I didn't understand his need to watch TV while in a prone position. Before marriage, we were out dancing every weekend...after the "I Dos" he didn't...dance that is. Suddenly he was too tired or some other lame excuse not to go. I liked "order" in the house...he thrived on "disorder". I was a night owl and couldn't go to sleep before 11:00 at night. He had to be at work at 6:00 a.m and went to bed no later than nine. I was a chatterbox...he, a man of few words. I loved fishing and being at the lake...he was afraid of the water. He loved dirt track racing...I couldn't wear Candies in the dirt! My daddy had always taken care of things like the garbage, car repairs, mowing, etc....his mother had taken care of everything! That was the biggest adjustment for me. I had to break a lot of bad habits instilled by a mother who thought a man only had to go to work and the woman should do everything else!
Imagine a world where all that was expected of you was to get up in the morning, go to work and on Fridays pick up your check. Your clothes were magically cleaned, pressed and waiting in the closet for you. Your underwear neatly folded in a drawer ready to grace your royal butt. Meals on the table at five o'clock awaiting your return from a hard day of slaving. A refrigerator never empty...seeming to replenish itself on demand. Grass needs mowing? Not to worry...elves would take care of that while you are at work. What garbage...there was never any garbage to be disposed of when you were the king! What? Your mother called and she had made your favorite meal with chocolate pie for dessert. Why by all means, stop by and don't bother to call. As long as it makes you happy...the chili will wait. That's what I'm here for...to make the king of the castle happy!
And so began the first "picked" battle!
(to be continued)