Monday, July 19, 2010

On being 24 and in love...continued and into 25 and beyond

As I said, I got the message that she was dropping. I bought a ring (expensive) and prepared to propose (elaborate). Long and short, she said yes.
So then began the arduous process of planning a classic weddding. Big, lots of people, lots of folks in the wedding party.
To be fair, it was a very nice wedding, quite fun. Good food, good people, good music (even had Flogging Molly played at my wedding. A coup akin, with my ex-wife, to having Slayer played).
We went totally classic. She wore a white gown (HA!) and I wore a tux I didn't even get to pick.
So Sadie and I were married. We went on a very nice honeymood to Jamaica. Beautiful place. If you have the means, I would suggest going.
When we got back, we stayed a few days at her folk's house until my grandparents, who had kindly consented to let us stay there while they summered in Wisconsin, got ready and left. It was a nice time. Uncomplicated for the most part. We went to work, we came home, we had dinner, we made love, we went to sleep. Did the whole thing all over again the next day.
We also started looking at houses. I was originally opposed to the idea. I thought an apartment would be fine to start. We were, after all, newlyweds, did we really want to make life more complicated with a house. She prevailed on me that we could be making payments on a house rather than an apartment which we will never own.
I tried to say that there was more to home ownership than mortgage payments and electric bills. Maintenance, carpentry, yard work, painting, etc. All of that would fall to us. Mostly me. I did a lot in that house, but that house has become, for me at least, embilmatic of the differences between us. For her, money was all consuming. Now, look, I get the importance of money, truly I do. I just understand that there are more important things. Between us, we were doing pretty well. We were comfortable. And, while I wasn't out to shoot away all our cash, thought we had enough to do things we wanted and/or needed to do. Let me give you an example.
I did all the cooking at our house. She was not a master chef by any stretch. To quote Adam Sandler from "I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry," "I was Wolfgang Puck to his Wolfgang Suck."
Our stove was a piece of crap. It was probably 20 years old, one of those electric bastards with the metal coils that cook uneven. I wanted a new stove. Not an extravagant one. Just a glass top. You could get glass tops for around $450 then. Nope, Sadie said there was no money for it.
One day, she came to me saying she wanted the garage drywalled. THE GARAGE!! I said no. I am not a fan of doing drywall. I can do it, and I can do it well, but I am not big on it. Besides, I didn't see a reason for it. It's a garage. It's where we kept our cars. We were the only ones who saw it, except for her father or brother who came by every now and again to borrow a tool (her father, in fact, still has my very nice ratchet set).
I had said no. Drywalling that garage would be a hassle, and it would cost much more than she thought. One day I come home, and there in the garage, is a stack of drywall. A large stack. Almost as tall as me. Not, however, nearly enough to do a two-car garage. But there it was. I was furious. Her father was there. He had a nice, new Silverado that was used to transport the materials. I went to her and said, "I told you, I didn't want to do this." Then her father said, "You told me he was fine with it." She said, "It will be fine. He'll do it." I said, "Look, dammit, when I said no, I meant it." Her father looked at me, and said, "Sorry Jason." I just shook my head and went inside. Later, I found that her father had called her and reamed her. Pretty cool.
But you see, there was money to do things like drywall a garage, because it was what SHE wanted, and not money for a new stove, which I felt was NEEDED.
At this time, I was working for an NPO that helped folks with disabilities. At first, I truly enjoyed myself and my work. But the organization I worked for was less than forthcoming about how things worked when I went through one of my 4 interviews with them. That's right. 4.
I was told I would be able to reject clients I felt were unplacable (lie), and that my caseload would never become unmanagable (lie). I also ended up working with a site director who had never done placement, but felt she was more than qualified to yell at myself and our other developer, when placements were down.
The job began to become a chore, and I began to dread it. It started making me physically ill. One day, I had enough. And I gave notice. Without another job in the works. Stupid. Very stupid. I know that now. But the stupident part is yet to come. I didn't come outright with it with Sadie. I scrambled to try and find something new. It didn't work. I had given 1 month's notice. The month was up, I still hadn't told Sadie. I lied to her. Told her they fired me. She found out. She left me.
Now, I am more than willing to accept my share of the blame on this one. More than willing. I, in crude parlance, fucked up royally. However, had she loved me, I feel certain that she would have stayed. She would have forgiven me, and we would've gone on, soldiered through, as it were.
I went into a talespin. I fell apart. I was devastated. But in all that misery, a kernel of hate was germinating. Within six months, that hatred had bloomed into a fullblown loathing. Everything she did or said, because we still had to have SOME contact, what with a divorce in the offing, and other things as well, sent me over the edge. When we talked, invariably, I would end up yelling. I think she was shocked at first. She had never really seen me that angry before. And for good reason. I have been told by people who should know that my temper is, when full blown, frightening. I worked very hard to get it under control. But now, it was out and released and unleashed. I began to look forward to calls she would make, about her lawyer sending papers, or something to do with the house. She had the nerve, more than once, to call and ask for help on things that went wrong with said domicile. I would look forward to it so I could blow a gasket.
And I held onto that hate, that anger, because it kept me from falling into a depression I feared I would never escape. It took willpower, and hate to keep me from going insane.
Well, time moves, as it will, and I began to let go of that hate. I backed away from the idea that Sadie was the only woman I would ever love, and began to think about dating again. Since then, I have dated, off and on. Some lasting longer than others. My search continues to this day. But I finally got to the point where I felt I could be the one to extend the olive branch. I sent her an email via, what else, facebook. In it I said I know we will never be the friends we once were. But odds are good that we will meet again, with mutual friends still in play. And if we do, I would like it if it could at least be pleasant. I never heard back. I didn't really expect to. But I felt it was important, an important move on my part, because I realized I could forgive her if I wanted to. And I did, because I didn't want to carry that hate.
So that is the short version of me and my ex-wife.
Next topic, my father. Holy crap, is this just a psychobabble rant? Meh, probably.

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