In September, 1970, I left my parents, friends and a good job to begin anew. My childhood girlfriend wasn’t happy with her job either so we were going to meet in a town half-way between. She reneged. I was on my own.
It wasn’t until January 1971 that I finally got a job. One of the girls I met there kept trying to get me to go out but I kept finding excuses not to. I relented when St. Paddy’s Day came along. That was the day I met my future husband for all the wrong reasons. I was 24 years old. And dumb. We finally married when I was 31. In the meantime, I should have taken notes, paid closer attention, caulked up the experience and moved forward. But I wasn’t with it. My head was in the clouds.
In 1977, I bought a house and we got married the following year. Notice, it was I. We had already lived together five years and at every opportunity, he found ways not to share expenses. He was a party boy, just the way I liked them: outgoing, good-looking, fabulously dressed. Big mistake. Dumb as well as blind, was I. Otherwise, I was brilliant but emotionally, not so much.
In 1978, we had a daughter. Fatherhood didn’t change him. Six St. Patrick Day celebrations later, I worried my daughter wasn’t living or experiencing a good family environment. Breaking up the family brought on large dollar-size bald spots all over my head. What woman wants to deal with that? Got a wig it was so bad. After being diagnosed, I decided I had to change my life before I lost all my hair. I called a lawyer and then told him to do the same.
He went an almost St. Patrick’s green. I couldn’t turn back although I felt guilt. This was about saving my daughter and me. Long story short, because he didn’t have a clue how to stand on his own two feet, he gained rights to stay in the my house in the Rec Room until the final decree. Another stressful arrangement.
My daughter will be 34 next month. I have been divorced 28 years. My daughter doesn’t expect much. He shows up for grandkids’ birthdays IF something better isn’t going on. He told me about a year ago he’d made a big mistake concerning us. I am living in my third house. Through MY hard work. He’s been in an apartment since he finally had to leave.
Someone said he was crying ‘in his beer and how he’d screwed up royally’; wouldn’t I take him back; he’s so good looking too? This was from a woman who’d buried two husbands and was almost 80-year-old. What? Hand ANYone something I’ve worked for, for so long? Please. Especially him?
Every St. Patrick’s Day, I like to lay low. I still like the celebration, but not for me.