Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


My marriage was not my finest hour. My husband was basically a nice, kind guy, who sucked at picking wives. I was two of three or four. He was married to wife 1 for 18 years and had been divorced for 10 when I met him. (Wife number 3 was card carrying crazy. He told me that every time he tried to divorce her, she checked herself into the psych ward. In North Carolina, at that time (still?), it was not legally possible to obtain a divorce when one of the parties was hospitalized for psych issues. So at least I wasn't the worst wife he had.)

That's him on the far left. (Next to him is me then my sister and my Mom and then Daddy, my brother's first wife, my brother's first son and my brother.)

We simply had nothing in common and no shared interests. Oh and we both wanted a partner who would cook all the meals, clean the house and do the laundry. We both failed at that one.

Plus his kids. His two oldest were female and bitter. They were both hoping their father would come to his senses and go back to their mother. His oldest son was not around much so I never really got to know him. His second to youngest son stayed in trouble mainly born out of not being too bright. He finally joined the army (lordhelpus). Last I heard he had taken to cheffing and was, apparently, pretty good at it.

The youngest spent the most time with us. He was a bright, funny, smart and sly kid. He was always asking the pertinent questions.

One night we were talking about war protests for some reason and I was talking about sneaking out from college and driving with a car full of college kids to Washington, D.C. with zero money for a protest march. I explained that we were terrified of being arrested and enjoying meals of ketchup and saltines that were free at restaurants and sleeping in Central Park.

His question? "So, why were you afraid of being arrested? You'd have had a place to stay and free food."

"Well, I was supposed to be in school and my parents would have found out for one thing."

"Do they know now? Did you ever tell them?"

"Er, no."

So, of course, it was the first thing he shared, the next time he saw my parents.

Then, there was the time we were watching the movie, Hair, one afternoon and he just could not understand what the big deal with long hair was. And, I was at a loss how to explain it.

And, finally, I will never forget how shocked he was when, during another conversation, he learned that the President of the United States was not the richest man in the United States. "Why in the world would anyone even be President, then???!!"

He was interesting to have around. After we divorced, I never heard from any of the kids again, except once. More than a decade later, the youngest sent me a letter asking if he could ask my parents for money to go to photography school. He said he had defaulted on previous student loans and so couldn't get another and since my parents were rich, they might like to fund his education. I am not kidding. Really. I called Daddy and told him and he laughed hard. "Tell him sure! I'll be happy to explain why not." So I did. I wrote him back and told him to ask away and expect nothing. He didn't.

Two more illustration of the sad state of my marriage. My husband was from Binghamton, New York. He was unimpressed with snow. But he knew of my fascination with it. One Saturday, I slept in and when I woke up and looked out the window there was snow everywhere!! I got up mad as a wet hen and went to find him "Why didn't you wake me up for the snow??!!!" To add insult to injury, he had ruined the beautiful snow by shoveling it all away from the walk. I was even more pissed when he tried to explain that he had shoveled the walk for me.

The opposite of win win...

But, an even worse example of my horrible wife-ness was when opening day of baseball season conflicted with the dinner to present him with a Pulitzer Prize. I was a season ticket holder. It was the first game of the season. I went to the celebratory announcement party - he didn't need me to hold his medal. I went to the game.

He died in January, 2015. I found out when one of my Live Journal friends found his obit 3 or 4 months later.

Here's the obit from his home town paper.

And here's the one written by his friend in the Charlotte paper.

I'll save you a click. He was a really nice, guy who was a good newspaper reporter. I was (is?) built to live alone for the good of all mankind. So, yeah, not my finest hour at all.

To be Continued
Tags: tbc
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