Monday, November 16, 2009

1970

I did it! I graduated high school! I know that others think this is just a ho-hum accomplishment, but this may have been the hugest thing I ever accomplished in my life. Ever. It was 1970, so when the young man held out his hand to help me down the stairs from the stage at the graduation ceremony, I turned my nose up at him and walked down the stairs on my own capable womanly feet, ensconced in great huge platform shoes. My hair by this time was down far past my waist, and I was feeling quite free!

I had a scary experience with an illegal substance that summer and decided that I didn't care to use drugs anymore. So I stopped. And that truly is the end of that story.

I had a job in town that I could walk to. I enjoyed it and the people I worked with. I don't remember there being any real problems on the horizon. Until....

Boyfriend started applying pressure for us to get married. You may have noticed that in my descriptions of him, I have not once said how I felt about him. I certainly didn't love him. I wasn't physically attracted to him. After he decided not to go to a real university and instead to work for the post office and go to community college at nights, and devote most of his energy to selling pot, I didn't really respect him. So, one might ask - why the hell did I marry him? I have certainly asked myself that question, and I have had to write about this for the Catholic church in an effort to have this abomination annulled, and I just have to say that I was full of fear and was incredibly self-centered and dishonest.

In September we were married. We had a beautiful little church wedding, with a little reception to follow at the country club. I had a beautiful little wedding gown - it was a real gown, with beads and veil and all, just a mini-mini... it was hot! We moved to a little one-bedroom apartment in a northern suburb. I left the job I liked and got a job I was fired from in a short time.

After a while, I fell in love for real. With a lasting love. Beer. Oh, I never fell out of love with Beer. I stayed at home in the day time and drank beer. The mister worked in the daytime and went to school and then had a very busy schedule selling pot. I would want to go out with him, and ended up spending a lot of time sitting in parked cars outside of places he didn't want me to go into. Oh yeah, those were the days.

In November of 1970, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She had a kidney removed and for a minute we thought that was going to stop the cancer. I think by Christmas we knew it was going to be her last. She was 56 years old and had just gotten her youngest child (of five) out of the house... after over 30 years of raising children. To say that she was angry would be an understatement. My father was sober, so was she. They had a beautiful home, she had a job she loved, everything was good for almost the first time in her life - and she was dying of cancer. I dealt with my mother's emotions the best way I knew at the time - I stayed as far away from her as I could. I can never make direct amends for the harm I caused her by my selfishness, but I got to make a kind-of, sort-of indirect amends when I could be with my dad when he was dying because I was sober.... but I digress.

I was 19 but felt like I was about 89. I think I am younger now than I was then. Thank God.




11 comments:

Pam said...

Oh girl, I think one of the reasons I got married at 18 is because all my friends did and he looked so amazing in a cowboy hat.
I can imagine your mothers anger at the twist of fate and a young womans need to run from that.
You in a mini dress - hee hee

dAAve said...

Those were the days.

Anonymous said...

wow, so much so soon

Scott W said...

That alcoholic math is scary.

♥Shann♥ said...

I can relate with feeling younger now then, then!

Lou said...

I'm guessing even Dr Phil couldn't save this marriage...

sad about your Mom. I never got to square it away with my real father or my step father.

Ed G. said...

My 1st failed marriage started about the same time in about the same way. Except that I was dealing in religion instead of pot - pretty much the same idea, though.

Blessings and aloha...

Syd said...

Your last line reminds me of Bob Dylans song--I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
A great line and a great post.

Patty said...

I thought "The Byrds" did that song. Maybe they both did. I can relate to going along with whatever the man wanted to do, after all he was my higher power.

Anonymous said...

we party sober!!!! http://www.soberliving.com

Just Another Sober Guy said...

Sounds like me in my first marriage. It wasn't love, it wasn't respect... far from either. But there I was... "I do."