Marriage

What a notion. Pick somebody and stay with them for the rest of your life. Go ahead. Choose.

I was married the first time in 1971. Two days later I graduated from college. Six months after that my father died. It was quite a year.

I met Jennifer when she was seven. I became a friend of the family and for years would stop by from time to time to see them. Jennifer’s sister and I for a while referred to ourselves as play-brother and -sister. We were good friends and she asked me to her senior prom, I guess because I was safe. We hung out a lot and with no funny business.

In nineteen sixty-eight, I stopped by after I hadn’t seen the family for a long time, and when I stepped through the door Jennifer flung herself at me and wrapped her legs around my waist, back when I had one. On a whim, or maybe an impulse, I asked her if she wanted to go with me to a friend’s engagement party that evening, a risky date. With Jennifer, it was time for some funny business.

She had bloomed under my nose, so to speak, and I hadn’t noticed. I’m not sure when we got engaged, nineteen sixty-nine or so. I wanted to finish school, and the possibility of my being drafted into the military at any moment—I was number 12 in the lottery—was good for a delay, but June 1971 was the end of college and bachelorhood.

What an idiot. I got married mostly because everybody else was married or looking to be soon. I loved Jennifer, and that’s not the same as being ready to agree that no matter how miserable we are together I’ll never fuck anybody else. Six months into our union I ran across Linda One, whom I hadn’t seen in a long time and who was incapable of keeping her panties on in my presence, and that was that. That was before Lindas Two and Three. Jennifer put up with me for four long years.

On the other, and still current, hand, Janice put me in mind of marriage. She says we’ve known each other before this time-space reality, and that makes sense, because I was sure of her as soon as I met her. She had wife written all over her, and I proposed two weeks after our first date, a rash move and my best so far.

Our twenty-one years haven’t been all skittles and beer and we’re still here anyway. I feel like I’ve just started Advanced Janice, the one with the lab and the dissertation, where it’s all homework.

Posted Thursday, June 7th, 2012 under Janice, Uncategorized.

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