When I was twenty-six years old, I decided to go to college. I had an eight year old son and was tired of being a secretary. I spent a rainy afternoon in a counselor’s office at the University of Minnesota filling out endless applications for grants and loans and of course, applying for acceptance to the liberal arts program.
At one point, the counselor excused himself from the office and was gone several minutes. I was very nervous about taking this step. That school is so big and this was such a new experience I didn’t even know what questions to ask, let alone know any answers. This was before I was in any kind of church. I had always been a prayer. So, I stood staring out the windows of the counselor’s office. It was a “garden level” office, meaning that the bottoms of the windows were chest high, making my view of the street, eye level.
As I stood there scared and praying and wondering if I was making the right decision, a uniformless U of M marching band went marching by, playing a rousing march. I was dumbfounded for a couple of seconds and then laughed quietly to myself. I took that as a sign from the University itself, welcoming me. When the counselor returned, he found a much more confident and calm applicant.
A few weeks later, a letter of acceptance arrived. I’m quite sure I still have it.
I did not get married until I was nearly 32 years old. Two days or so after I got engaged, my two best girlfriends insisted I go shopping for a wedding dress.
I’m so glad they came. One of them was especially tasteful, tactful and tightfisted. I chose for myself a meringuey swiss dot number. She shook her head no. She mentioned something about that dress being for a younger bride and found a really beautiful dress that was also very economical. Budget was a concern. I still think about that swiss dot, though. :-)
My ex was a high school teacher and wore a dress shirt every damn day to work and of course, to church on Sunday. Somehow it was MY job to iron all those shirts, even though I always worked, too plus I was a very active “soccer mom”. I always say that was the last straw when I finally put my foot down and said, I’m not doing these shirts anymore. It’s a buck twenty-five a piece at the laundry and they do a better job. I even offered to pay for them myself. He refused. We split up for good about a week after that.
No, this isn’t a tragic story, it IS funny, to me anyway. When I was mad at him, I put lots of starch in his collars and it was a sneaky way of getting him, because he was a great big football guy with a thick neck and really couldn’t tell they were starched until he put them on. He’d object, but there wasn’t much he could do about it except iron his own shirts, which I’m sure he got plenty of practice at.
He married a couple of years later to wifey number three. From what I’ve heard about her, she had more confidence than me and I’d be surprised if she ever did his shirts.
Not my best story, but I always said those shirts finally ended a marriage that never should have been. I’m going to post this, but I need to funny this up a little. Enjoy.
There’s four of us kids in my family but only one true middle, my sister Dawn. She’s fifteen months younger than I am. Next comes Jay five years my junior, the oldest boy, which in my family pretty much made him an oldest as well. Then comes Guy, five years younger than Jay, which makes him a youngest and then for a long time, he was also like an only child.
My sister Dawn is a true middle child and the only one we have. You gotta watch out for them. You NEVER know when they’ll strike. Heh heh. That’s me laughing nervously while I live this imaginary great life I’ve always lived.