Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It Seems a Shame You Waste Your Time on Me

Shannon’s Story – Part I

If you are reading this blog for the first time I would request you go to the beginning (here) and start reading or go to any entry that looks interesting but don’t start here as this entry is a bit of a diversion from my previous direction.  I will tell you ahead of time that I envisioned this blog entry a long time ago and have been writing and coming back to it for a while.  Since part of this blog is to reflect on my experiences and perhaps refine my perspective I had thought it would be interesting to write a blog entry that my wife might write if she was doing this.  For me this is an interesting exercise since I have always prided myself on being able to play Devil’s Advocate in all situations.  And not that Shannon is a villain in my story but I always enjoy a story more when all characters are developed even the antagonists.  I guess in my case I am shooting for something like Dangerous Liaisons where we’re all flawed in some way!  So here is my stab at Shannon’s story, it may take a few parts but it is my best effort and certainly allows me to be the ultimate Devil’s advocate.  I eagerly await and seek feedback!

Shannon speaking….
I got married way too early, two years after college.  Ryan was the first guy I ever dated who had a real job.  He was the first guy I wanted my parents to meet and that they liked.  In the past that might have been a turnoff but at that point in my life that was what I thought I wanted.

I had some interesting boy-friends in high school and college.  There was the college guy I dated in high school that wanted to drop out and marry me.  He was cute and a good musician but the thought of marriage at 18 was spooky.  Then there was Anders who I met in college.  He was a musician as well.  He is actually in a fairly successful band now.  But at the time he seemed like he was going nowhere.  I have “googled” Anders a few times recently and thought of what life would be like with him but his band mostly tours in Europe and as fascinating as that would be at first, I know that isn’t the life I would want right now.  Another guy I went out with (E) played baseball but was basically an alcoholic and I finally had enough.  I recently “googled” him as well and he is a journalist.

Just when I broke up with E, I met Ryan at work.  He was good looking although a bit geeky but confident and everyone at work thought he was the young guy going places.  And that is what I was looking for at the time.  It sounds funny now but an attraction at the time was that he could afford to take me to the beach and pay for a condo.

The first time we had sex was a little awkward.  I could tell he was nervous.  He almost sprinted to the bed from the bathroom after putting on his condom.  But that weekend was fun.  We walked along the beach; he took me to nice restaurants.  Soon after he took me to his hometown and I met his parents and a lot of his college friends.  His family is the exact opposite of mine.  My dad is very outgoing and is the life of the party.  Eating a meal with Ryan’s family is like having dinner in front of Face the Nation or Sports Center as he and his dad debate all the great topics of the ages!  One funny thing I remember is when one of his fraternity friends came up to me and said “we are glad to meet you, we always thought Ryan was secretly gay.” I told Ryan and he laughed and said his friend Tom was just joking.

Ryan got a promotion a few months after we started dating and was going to move to another state.  I remember the day he left I cried most of the day.  We didn’t break up, we just left things unresolved which would be a pattern we would repeat over and over again.  But we talked almost nightly and Ryan surprised me when he sent me a list of colleges near him with Master’s degree programs.  I had been accepted to graduate school a year earlier but didn’t have the money for school at the time.  I guess the thought was that I would go to school near him and we would stay together.

We started meeting about every other weekend in a town about half way.  However, one weekend I bought a plane ticket to fly to where Ryan lived.  The jerk was late picking me up from the airport by about 30 minutes.  I mean, this guy was going to have sex for the first time in 2 weeks and he looses track of time?  Give me a break, I should have flown back right then.  But I didn’t, I stayed and he was pretty nice.  He rented a car for me to use while he was at work and one night he got a room in a historic bed and breakfast nearby.

On one of our weekend middle of the way visits Ryan surprised me when he asked me to marry him.  Well he didn’t exactly ask me to marry him.  We had talked about where I might live if I went to school near him.  As we were discussing I mentioned that my parents would not like it if we lived together.  So that night as we sat on the bed in the hotel room Ryan said “I know a way we can live together” and was smiling.  I had to say “are you asking?”  He said “yes.”  And then I said yes.  In Ryan’s usual logical manner he had purchased a necklace and matching earrings.  I said they were beautiful but why did you get these (secretly wondering why he didn’t have a ring)?  Ryan said he was not sure if I would say yes but wanted to have something to give me and that he would purchase an engagement ring as soon as he could.  He did buy a ring for the next time we met but at the time I found it odd.

So about one year after we started dating, Ryan and I got married.  And we moved to the very small town in the Deep South where he now worked.

Life there was very difficult.  I was driving about 1 hour to school and knew nobody.  I was very young and this was supposed to be my time but now I was a wife.  One day I was alone in our apartment while Ryan was at work and I just started crying.  “Is this the only person I will have sex with for the rest of my life!”

After 2 very difficult years of life in that little Southern town Ryan started to look for jobs back in the Mid-Atlantic.  I was starting to break down and we both knew we had to leave or something bad would happen soon.  The only question left was, could we leave soon enough?

to be continued…..


Unknown said...

This is very interesting and almost painfully honest, but I hope you don't give her too much slack in your little story here.

Rosie said...

This is fascinating. And it is such a part of you apparently that you are thoughtful and capable of making such great plans like the B&B and the jewelry. Few men ever think ahead or really try to do something nice for the woman.

It seems though that the first year of marriage is crucial. If glitches develop then and are never dealt with they seem to fester and become a problem. I've got to remember that for next time.

Elle said...

Super interesting and cool concept. Wowzas...