Our first home was this second-floor apartment in Maryland
Originally published October 13, 2008
As I have friends who are soon to be married and others who are still considered newly weds, I often take time to look back on my newly-wed years. Most of my memories are sweet and happy, while some I'd rather forget. Mainly, because of my immaturity at 21 years of age. Fortunately, some of those rather-I'd-forget moments have at least become memories at which I can laugh - and so can my husband.
Such as the night I locked myself out of our apartment.
We were married only a few months. All during my growing up years I heard how a good and loving husband showed his love - remained faithful, brought home a paycheck, and, most importantly, showered his bride with love notes and flowers. Any man who did not do those things was taking his wife completely for granted.
I must say, I'm not sure if there really was a class on all of this, but the ideas were formed over many years of listening to various marriage seminars, reading "Christian romance" novels, and, of course, from the opinion of a bunch of fairy-tale minded teenagers.
Anyway, the fact that Eric only bought me flowers once or twice during the 4 years we dated never seemed to bother me. However, when we were married for a few months and nary a blossom appeared, I just knew he didn't love me!
So, one night, I was going to let him know just how hurt I was. This, of course, would make him realize how he was taking me for granted and he would run to the closest flower shop and bring home a dozen of the prettiest roses ever grown.
Unfortunately, I never had the knack for bringing up these discussions at just the right time. See, he always was so kind to me that I never had the nerve to tell him where he was completely taking me for granted. So, I'd keep my mouth shut until we went to bed. Then, I couldn't sleep as I just had to let him know how I felt. Don't let the sun go down upon your wrath, right?
So, this particular night, we went to bed and I began my routine.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes," I'd say a bit pitifully.
"Something's wrong. What is it?" asks the exhausted man.
Now is where I would make my ingenious move. He was bound to ask me one more time what was wrong and then I'd tell him.
More silence. This wasn't going according to plan.
So, I wait. I begin to toss and turn. Then, I lay still waiting for some sort of response.
Great. More tossing and turning along with strategically placed sighs.
Eventually, this does rouse him. Just enough for him to leave to go lay down on the couch.
"WHAT?!!! There. That proves it. He just doesn't care about me. Not only does he neglect to spend $80 a week on flowers that will die, he doesn't care that I can't sleep because he's breaking my heart!"
Mature, I know. The things they don't cover in pre-marital counselling.
So, after some louder tossing and turning to see if he'll crawl back to me (which - surprise - he didn't ), I go out to the living room.
Sound asleep and snoring. Mr. Romantic.
Then, a brilliant plan began to form in my vengeful brain. I would leave the apartment. He was bound to hear the door close and come running after me to see where he had so carelessly let me down.Brilliant! (Please, does anyone else have a story remotely like this?)
So, I get dressed and open the door. I shut it behind me - I didn't slam it, but I wasn't extremely quiet about it, either.
As soon as I heard the click of the latch I realized my terrible mistake. Our door was one of those where you could turn the knob even when it was locked (on the inside). I had forgotten to unlock the door.
As I said, brilliant.
So, now I'm outside without any keys. Not to panic - he's awake waiting to see if I'll come back in. When I don't, he'll come find me.
So, I sit outside of our door on the only place possible - the ground. Did I mention that our door was directly at the top of the stairs? Yeah, the couple who walked up the stairs a half hour later are probably still talking about the crazy lady sitting on the ground near their apartment.
It soon became obvious that my sleeping husband never heard the door close. But, that's ok. He was bound to wake up and return to our bed only to find me missing and he'd immediately come looking for me to make sure I was safe and ok.
Did I ever tell you that my husband is one of the soundest sleepers ever to live?
After a while, the hard ground got a bit uncomfortable. As it was past mid-night, going for a walk didn't seem like the safest idea. Notice, none of my plans thus far turned out well. With the way things were going, I'd end up dead and no one would ever find my body.
Of course, then my husband would feel bad. But, I wasn't willing to make that kind of sacrifice for a little pity.
So, I'm tired and the evening is getting cooler (good thing it was already springtime in the South). So, my last resort is our 1976 Oldsmobile Delta '88. Roomy is an understatement - the car is monstrous. More importantly, it's unlocked.
So, I climb into the back seat. No blanket. No key to listen to the radio. Just me - awake, locked out of my house, and feeling really stupid.
At last, my husband came bounding down the stairs with a look of panic, found me and apologized all over the place for his indescribable inconsideration.
Wait. No. I'm mistaking. That wasn't quite the way it happened.
A little while after the sun rose - I think it was around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., my husband came outside with a bit of a puzzled look on his face. He opened the car door and asks, "Have you been out here all night?"
"Didn't you hear me leave?"
"No. I slept really well. I just woke up."
Again - brilliant.
Shamefully, I finally explained how I had been feeling and, as the words were spoken aloud, I realized how idiotic my self-pity really was. He was very kind, but not in the least apologetic. I didn't marry a wimpy guy. I married a compassionate man who stands by me as I learn my lessons. We took a walk and I walked back into our home with much more humility than when I left.
It took me a while to realize that my husband isn't the kind to buy me roses or write me love notes. He's the kind that will wash the dishes after supper so that I can take care of other things. He's the kind that will find a wildflower in the woods and bring it back to me because he knows I'll like it. He's the kind that will bring home a "Dove" chocolate bar after picking up some things I need from the store. He's the kind that will go out into the freezing snowstorm and bring in a stack of wood so our family can be warm and comfortable. He's the kind that will sit with our children in the E.R. for hours on end without complaint. He's the kind that showers me with gifts from his heart - not from a box the rest of the world wants to put him in.
He's also the kind of husband who doesn't tell the embarrassing tales of the immature young bride he married and I love him for it!