Zsa Zsa Gabor, who ought to know, said, “Husbands are like fires; they go out if unattended.”
As I’ve said before, I’ve had three husbands (yes, yes, I did marry one of them twice, quit NAGGING me about that!), which is, perhaps more than my fair share. The three were very different, and perhaps each suited a particular life phase. As a comment on my earlier post about marriage pointed out, people grow and change throughout life, and expecting one person to be a perfect match all along is a real stretch.
Both husband #1 and I were starter spouses; neither of us was probably ready to get married, but we were ready to be done with college and be grown up. Or, in the vernacular, “seemed like the thing to do.” We dated while he finished his last college semester in Ohio, then he took a job in Montana. Zoom, there we went across the USA in our new used Ford Pinto station wagon.
We arrived in June, realized soon thereafter the job wasn’t going to work out, and bam, he joined the Air Force. He went off to basic training and I drove with our first child from Montana to Texas in December (who knows what I was thinking). We only slid off the road once because of black ice, and nearly got arrested in Colorado for driving the speed limit. By the time basic training was done, the Air Force decided to ship him to South Florida, because we had requested all the bases in Washington State, Idaho, Montana…you get the idea. Thank you, Uncle Sam.
Child #2 came along, much cheaper at the base hospital than the first had been, but by that time, the differences between us were becoming obvious. Within a year or so, we acknowledged it had been a mistake. I moved off base into an apartment, to continue my life as a newspaper reporter and single mom; he bought a motorcycle. Go figure.
Husband #2 was a police officer, more flash than dash. We met as the result of a news story I wrote where a fellow officer claimed my ex had framed him by putting drugs in his car. Well, we didn’t actually MEET then. First, the word was on the street he was out to get me because of the story. Then he demanded that I come talk to him about it, which I agreed to do, thinking he might incriminate himself further. :)
But what happened was quite the opposite. It appeared I’d been played by politics. So he and I started speaking when we’d meet on the street in his sleepy Southern town, then we had a few dates, including my kids and his. Turned out he liked kids and was pretty good with them. Big points in my book.
In the long run, though, it turned out he liked women too. Not just one at a time. In fact, there was one incident where I was at his apartment packing up the last camping supplies (he’d headed down to the campsite in the Florida Keys already, one of my daughters with him) when the phone rang. It turned out to be his fiancee. Which was somewhat amusing because he’d been seeing me for several months. Well, not so funny, really. She and I agreed to go down to camp and meet him together.
Now this is the funny part. My ex, who’s always been a big guy, close to 300 lbs., actually cleared a six-foot fence when he saw us pull up, according to the kids. Later he said he thought I had the gun and was planning to shoot him. As if. It’s still a family staple, that story. Needless to say, the other woman broke off the engagement and he and I eventually married. Lasted long enough to produce a host of interesting stories and a daughter. Ended because of a woman. Again.
Some time passed before I was brave enough, but then came the Cabana Boy, who you can read about here. He’s a water sign to my fire, he rolls with the figurative punches, he is loyal and tenacious as a bulldog. Thanks to his patience and insistence on discussion instead of slamming doors, we are still together, despite his addiction to World of Warcraft.
And he’s never suspected I had a gun and would shoot him. Not once. Though I bet he’s counting the days till the hot flashes stop. Yes, sirree.