As I sit working I am often pushed to thoughts of “what if”. Well, what if for me. What if I had stayed in previous relationships? This is how it could have turned out:
Married at not quite 21 to a moody boy suffering years of emotional abuse whilst being treated like a lady. Um….no thanks
Married at 22 to a NSW farm boy, bearing children, cooking, cleaning and milking dairy cattle in my spare time. OK – definitely not this one!
Oh, here’s one! Back to the moody boy, living in utter harmony – oh, I meant emotional abuse phase II, less of the ladylike treatment…working in an insurance company.
This one is better: Single, living in London having the occasional affair, travelling, drinking too much, eating too much (sounding vaguely reminiscent) and never going home.
….and they keep getting better!
How about this one, this is a beauty! Living together – probably not the legit wife, I would have been the third; and step-monster to 4 children! Living in near poverty whilst he gambled the money away, avoided paying child support and worked hard to not tell the truth about his background, including an alcoholic mother, suicidal brother and an aunt and uncle who for all intents and purposes, I thought were married. No; brother and sister. Nothing too sinister there, just a little unusual! I would have managed to keep the gorgeous dog I lost in the custody battle and would not have been scarred for life and want to love and hug every brindle boxer I see!
OK, so maybe it was the children that scared me away. Well, at least the ones I knew about! (um…..no, I’m not making that bit up!)
If you are reading this and laughing, it has had the desired affect. How could I have had such a train crash of a romantic history?! Not one bit is made up – and I consider myself a smart woman! Post-graduate education and all, thank you very much!
So if 4 kids scared me off, I was clearly, clearly OK with just 3. So I married him. I managed to get myself a fabulous job at a University, met one of the greatest mentors of my professional career and started to really love the whole Change environment. I loved it so much, I changed my marital status!
Enter the un-husband. Not my fault. Forces of the earth and much greater beings meant that my breathing was impaired without him in my space. My thoughts were corrupted, my heart knew pain and suffering from not having any contact. Not love at first sight. Love at first sensing. Sensing his presence, knowing he was “dangerous”.
Utterly appealing in the first instance of course. No children. Younger than me. That had never happened before. Redhead….what?? Scientist. Geek. Loner. Who am I? Brain the size of a planet, emotions to match (just well hidden at first, but I got those suckers out!)
I knew he was a keeper when he was introduced to all of my family at the death bed of my father. He just took up the post of barman and never really left that one. We think now that that is because he is the one who frequents there most often. Back then it was the nurturing that kicked in, the only way he could look after people and do his job as supporter. Talk about baptism of fire.
So, sliding doors? How many have there been? That is only the relationship side (and OK, you didn’t get all of it!). Un-husband is still around btw, 12 years and some pretty interesting life experiences later. Would I change any of it? Not a jot. Cliché yes – but it all made me who I am, and I am pretty OK with that. Plus there were so many nutters,and so many good stories, I am never short of a subject!
My parents loved only each other for close to 38 years. I obviously thought I had to experiment! My Dad died at 57, way too young. In fact anyone who knows my mother will tell you that she is still in love with my father. Will be forever. He is no doubt still in love with her. One of the great tragedies of life – and how I would have LOVED to look in on that door. Not just for them, but for me, for us – my siblings, nieces and nephews.
I consider myself fortunate to have had such a privileged life. Rich and privileged, and I am not talking about money. I have had some heartache of course, who gets through this life without it? But to be honest, nothing compared to some and for that I am eternally grateful.
Now – if you ever need any dinner party fodder, feel free to use mine – and think back on your sliding door moments, with joy I hope!