Saturday, August 28, 2004

A Bit O' Me

Poor Jethro. Because of the holy, sacred, eternal bonds of matrimony, he has to live with me.

When I was 15 and 16, my uncle, my grandfather, and my father in that order, all died within 6 months of each other. My uncle died of alcoholism, my grandfather died of liver/pancreatic cancer, and my father died of a bone marrow transplant he had received for leukemia. It was, understandably, the worst period of my life. I wish I could say now that I was strong and brave, but I wasn't. I handled it as badly as anyone could have. I was a horror to my mom, and about the only good thing I did was get 2 jobs and take care of my youngest sisters. I had been homeschooled so that I could stay with my youngest sisters while my mom stayed with my dad. I continued to be homeschooled after he died because my mom still needed the help, and I was pretty far behind in school. I resented my mother for every second of it. I would have resented my father too, but he was dead. I used to walk down the street from one of my jobs which was answering phones at our Church, praying that someone would drive down the road and randomly shoot me in the head.

Fast forward 6 years. I had gone to college both in Houston and New Hampshire, I had gone to Italy for a semester, and I had started dating Jethro, whom I'd met when I was 17 while he was dating my best friend Micky (of previous posts). I had adored him in a friendly way since I had first met him. I thought Micky was the luckiest girl in the entire world, and it confused me that she took him so very much for granted.

After I'd gotten back from Italy, Jethro and Micky had gone through an ugly break-up, and were both dating other people. I started having a few flings here and there and these included Jethro, even though he was dating someone else. I think Jethro'd had a humongous crush on me for a long time. Each time I'd hook-up with him, I would tell him that we could never EVER do that again. I just couldn't get past the thought that he was my best friend's ex. But I couldn't keep away from him. Finally though, I decided that I liked him enough to pursue a relationship and the hell with what anyone thought. I was going through hell with my family because they are all bitches, so I moved in with Jethro. I flashed him right before I asked if I could, and he said yes instantly.

This led to the most debauched period of my life. My childhood morals were cast thoroughly aside and my life was consumed with nothing but sex, martinis, sex, new restaurants, sex, margaritas, and more sex.

It was about 6 months into our relationship when I realized that I was in love with him. I will never forget the moment. Up until then, I had been content with a pretty casual relationship. I know now that it wasn't casual at all - we were totally wrapped up in each other, but I struggled to maintain some kind of independence, as in - I don't have to answer to you and vice versa. It was bogus, because we rarely left each others' side, but there you have it.

I had taken a babysitting job for my boss and was away from Jethro for two nights. I had just gotten the kids to bed and was sitting in the living room, when I realized how much I was missing him, which quickly turned into the realization that I was in love with him. I actually cried. I had no idea what to do with the emotion. I had always thought that love was supposed to come first, dating second, marriage third, sex fourth, babies fifth. I was all mixed up. He had told me that he loved me sometime before that and I had said that I did too, but I was fighting it. Now, I could say it and mean it, and we haven't stopped saying it since.

Since we were having sex three times a day, it probably wouldn't surprise anyone to know that I got pregnant shortly thereafter. We weren't ready - still aren't - but what could we do? We had no reason not to get married. We loved each other. Even if we couldn't afford a baby (which we couldn't) all they really need is two parents who love them, right?

So we got married, which was a total fiasco. I'll write about it another time. The wedding reception was about the only good part.

So we settled down and had our Gwennie. It was really hard. I can see how people end up divorced. Resentment starts right after you have a kid, and if you don't diffuse it, you will end up divorced. Just before we got married, Jeth and I had a talk about it. I didn't want to be a nagging wife and I didn't want him to be a silent, morose husband. We made an agreement that we wouldn't nit-pick, or sweat the small stuff, or power play. Marriage was tough enough without those pressures. It was the best thing I have ever done. I don't know about Jethro, but for my part, it was a relief to know that we wouldn't be having power struggles or mind games.

After the baby came, there was the temptation to debate who had the hardest job. As far as I'm concerned, this stems directly from lack of sleep. Whoever wins this power play gets uninterrupted, blissful slumber. It is a high-stakes game that
NO ONE CAN WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I won't lie and say that we didn't go there a few times. You can't help it. Lack of sleep makes you cunning and desperate. But we made it through. And (to quote every R&B artist who ever graced this earth) I thank God in Heaven. The glory goes to Him.

I like to think that God gave me Jethro. He wasn't of my race or religion, but he was what saved me. Maybe God felt that I had suffered enough for things that I'd had no control over, and that there was no need for me to suffer more through my own bad decisions. So when I thought I was rejecting Him to live a life of sin with Jethro, it was really His hand guiding Jethro to me.


Angi said...

Finally, I havent' been able to post a comment for days.

Sounds like you met your lobster.

(quote from Friends episode.)

Zelda said...

Not that you can be sure of anything in this crazy mixed-up world, but I think you're right.

Inanna said...

All I can say is "Wow" and you made me cry. Long live Zelda and her Strawberry King ;-)

Zelda said...

Thanks Inanna. I cried (to quote Jay) "like a little bitch" when I was writing it.