32 years ago, I married the guy who turned out to be the love of my life. Funny story, that. I thought he was the love of my life when we were dating. But, not so much. He drank alot. I smoked alot. He played in a band. I was his groupie. Actually, I picked him up in Tom Thumb, the grocery store he stopped in to buy “two packets of Mahlboros.” He is Scottish. Back then, he had a brogue I couldn’t really understand. I was so excited when he said he had come from England because I, too, had just come over from England- the only difference was – I was born, raised and lived here. I was only visiting England. So, I asked him if he would stay for my break and talk to me about the places I’d been to in England – you know- since he knew where they were and all and no one here in the states knew where I was talking about. Well, someone might have, but I had no idea who they might have been. So, he stayed for my break, we drank coffee, smoked cigarettes and he laughed that I had visited Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire. But, the guy I’d gone to visit lived there. That was my “youth hostile” – the place I told my mom I was staying. I couldn’t very well tell her I was spending that time with a guy, now, could I? We talked about Buckingham Palace and Purley, in Surrey where he lived (nudge, nudge,wink, wink say no more) and suddenly , my break was over. We exchanged numbers and I thought about him all night. He had brown, curly, shoulder length or thereabouts hair, big brown eyes that I have never been able to say no to- until later, and, of course, that brogue.
Before he left, he told me he was going to have a root canal in the next couple of days. I felt so bad for him- it was Christmas , for heaven’s sake – the time when everyone eats until they drop and this poor guy was going to be drinking his turkey dinner.
I never made any secret of the fact I had a daughter from a previous marriage, and he never seemed daunted by it. We were a package deal and he was cool with that. And he wasn’t all over me like some guys were. We had a fairly long courtship- about three years- off again, on again. Any day it was snowy-that was a good day to visit him. I usually spent snowy lunch breaks at his house. I met his dad , who had the most sparkly blue eyes and wicked sense of humor I’d ever seen in an older man. He was fun loving and enjoyed looking after Stephen. There are several fun stories I could relay to you, lovely reader, but it’s best left for another time.
Sadly, one year, Dad passed away and Stephen asked me to marry him. He was quite inebriated at the time and I was none too happy about it. I told him he didn’t love me and he replied, “I could learn to love you.” I laughed and declined his invitation to marry. Later, I recanted my decline and a couple of days later, accepted. I loved him and thought I could make it all better. We married October 29, 1982- my best friend Betty, by my side and his best friend and band mate, Greg at his. We hopped the DART bus headed for downtown Dallas – he at one stop and me at
the other. A bride and groom are not supposed to see each other -you know before the wedding. But, since we had no car, I stayed at Betty’s and he at the apartment and we didn’t see each other before the getting on the bus. We rode to the Dallas County Courthouse where the Justice of the Peace performed the ceremony and then declared, “I now pronounce you man and wife -that’ll be $10- you may kiss the bride.” Good job we had ten dollars. We had no idea it was going to cost more than what the marriage license cost. Just like that, we were married. Amanda and I had a husband and father.Pretty dadgum cool!
Well, the part about him “turning out to be the man of my dreams… ” well, that’s kind of a longer story. We have had many adventures, have divorced and remarried and this is the best marriage I’ve ever had! So what if i’ve been married twice to the same guy… we made it and he did turn out to be the love of my life. Fancy that- all from a chance encounter or was it chance after all?