Easy as 123.... Just like the Jacksons sang in that song many years ago. Only, while it was 123, it was nowhere as easy as abc. Wait.....that was backwards... Oh well. I decided to go ahead and write first about my marriages, yes, I said marriageS, because there may be times I am writing, and will reference a time or incident in my life that happened during my Liz Taylor years....
Married and divorced all before the age of 30. Now that is something I am sure a lot people can't say. I am by no means bragging or boasting. Actually, this is a part of the bad and ugly I discussed in my into. I was Daddy's little girl, as most little girls are. I was the pride and joy of my Daddy. He played with me, doted on me, protected me, and I'm sure had big dreams for me. However, like most little girls I had dreams of growing up, finding my Prince Charming, but not right after high school. I remember playing house with my cousin, Vicki. I would get dressed up, clunking around in high heels, and dropping my baby dolls off with her to babysit so I could go to my job. Usually at a law firm or big corporate office. I'll go more into that later. Overall, my thoughts growing up were, go to college, have a career, then settle down into marriage and maybe a child.
I remember watching my cousins around me. They were all graduating from high school and getting married. My perception was that this is what you do when you were from a large, close knit southern family; get married and have babies. I had my childhood sweetheart that I had loved since I was 8 years old, and was absolutely sure that when I gave myself to him during spring break of my sophmore year that we would be together "forever". Boy, was I in for a rude awakening. When I would not marry him during mid-senior year (he graduated the year before me, and had a good job by small town standards) he moved on. Wearing my broken heart on my sleeve like a badge of honor, only it wasn't honor, it was failure in my mind. I had given the one thing away that was all mine, to a person that I thought would cherish and respect it. I moved on and graduated from high school. By summer's end, I had moved to Georgia. I had always been close to my older sister, and it just made sense to move and be close to her and her family. It was while I was working in the happening drug store in the tiny little mall, that I was reacquainted with a boy that I had known as a child. As fate (if you can call it that) would have it, I was working the cash register at the mall entrance because the person who normally worked that cash register called in sick. So this boy and his older sister were walking through, and his sister recognized me. We started talking and he asked me out. I accepted his invitation. To say my family was excited that I was going out with him would be stretching it a little bit far. Given his family's screwed up history, my family was not amused. In the beginning he was charming and won my family over. Within 6 months, I thought I was in love and ready at the ripe ole age of 18 for marriage. He proposed, I accepted, and we set a date out which would have been almost a year after we met. Well.... Thinking I couldn't live without him, we decided to move that date up by 3 months. My parents warned me, and after seeing that I had dug my heels in, asked me to wait at least 6 months. Of course I wouldn't. They told me they would not help me with my wedding or even attend the wedding. That hurt... This was not how I pictured my wedding being. There was nothing fairytale about it. I wanted my Mama to help in the planning, and most of all I wanted my Daddy to walk me down the ailse and give me away. Thank God! for my Aunt Dottie! One of my Mama's younger sisters. She could reason with my Mama in any situation, and I found over the next decade of my life that she had to talk to Mama about many "situations". So the wedding took place in a small country church, at the end of a dirt road. My brother who was an ordained minister married us. My cousin Vicki was my maid of honor. My most vivid memory of my very first wedding day was standing at the back of that little country church, 18 years old (looking more like 16) in a white lacey wedding gown and train, flowers in my hair, holding on to my Daddy's arm for dear life. I remember the music playing, and my feet wouldn't move. My Daddy put his other hand over mine, and tugged a little bit. When I wouldn't move, he asked me if I was okay. Looking at everyone standing there, staring at me, it just seemed like the right thing to do. Slowly, almost like a zombie, I moved forward. When looking at pictures later, there was one where my Daddy had his hankerchief to his eyes, dabbing away tears....... I was divorced about a year and a half later. I will elaborate on this marriage later.
My divorce from husband number 1 had just become final, and a friend at work insisted that I meet her older brother, who like me, had just got divorced. He was older than me by 10 years. He was someone to fill a void, not someone I loved, or wanted to spend the rest of my life with. After 6 months of dating, I knew it was time to end things with him. This was something he was not happy about. He couldn't accept it, and bad things happened. This relationship produced my amazing son. This I will write about later as well.
Enter....husband number 2. I met my second husband toward the ending of my rebound relationship. I was working as a sales person/secretary at a carpet/tile company during the day and Wendy's at night. We hired a carpet/tile installer who turned out to be a 3rd cousin I think. He and his wife encouraged me to get out with them. They were like, you're 19 years old, and you still have a lot of living to do. One of the friends I made was this amazing young man, who was mature and wise way beyond his 20 years. He became one of my best friends. We hung out, went to dinner, movies, all the things friends do. Then when you least expect it, life throws you a curve. I found out I was pregnant. Yes.... this was from the rebound relationship. This friend was there with me from the beginning. He took care of me, went to doctor's appointments with me. He was there when I first saw my Ryan on a sonogram, and holding was holding my hand when the Radiologist and Tech blurted out, you're having a boy! When he proposed to me after that, it just seemed appropriate for me to accept. I didn't love him like a woman should love a man she is going to marry. But, then again, I didn't have that love for husband number one either. My reasoning was.... He is a good guy. He loves me (and he did). He was from a big close knit family, so it made sense. I married a second time at age 21, with a newborn son present. That one lasted around a year and a half as well. What I didn't realize is that husband number 2, would have been there for my baby and I even if we hadn't gotten married. He was that kind of guy. He was my best friend, and still is one of my best friends. I am proud to say my son calls him Dad, and he is still very much a part of our lives to this day. Actually, I woke up on Mother's Day and had a text from him wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. You know you're doing something right when 20+ years after the divorce, you still receive that acknowlegement from your child's father on a day designated just for you.
Charming and good looking........ Yes, that was husband number 3. He could smile and charm the, I would say panties (yes there is a story there, but not what you probably think), but it might sound perverted, so I will stick to charm the socks of the female population infant to a 100 years old. He was in the process of a divorce, I was in the middle of deciding if I was going to end a basically loveless, sexless marriage when I met him. We worked together, and I'm sure you can read between the lines on this one. There is a lot that happened on our road to marriage. A lot of things, that if I had not been so smitten with his charm and good looks, I would have noticed. I didn't, and in a small Courthouse is southern Alabama on a Friday afternoon, I married husband number three. It ended exactly a decade after my first marriage started.
Yes, I married the first time on January 15, 1983, and divorced the third time on January 15, 1993. I will devote a blog to each one of them, plus the ill fated rebound relationship. Because each one taught me a lesson...... There was experiences that I lived through, that I am hoping by sharing will help other girls and women. Maybe even some men.
I suffered a lot of embarrassment and regrets over the choices I made up until about 4 or 5 years ago. That is when something snapped. I stopped beating myself up, and got reacquainted with God. I had to realize if I had not gone through those things, I would not be who I am today, and I would not have the amazing son I have, and would not have met some of the friends I have today..... Things happen for a reason.