Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WYL #11a Love and Marriage

I will admit to cringing a bit as I post this (you’ll see why), but the trials and tribulations of those years helped to build the strength and courage that has helped me in the years since.

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The Things We Do for Love

Looking back it seems that I always had a crush or infatuation with some boy or another. My first crush was Danny Scanlon. I thought it was true love from the first time I set eyes on him. I was in grade 3, he was in grade 4. I knew that one day we would marry but overlooked the small detail that he would have to reciprocate my feelings. Our families were friends so we were thrown together on a regular basis. I remember one evening sitting on the couch together watching the 'the Planet of the Apes' and talking about how we would both become vets. I was still a pre-teen but it seemed that my future was mapped out. We moved away as I was going into high school, but I always kept him a secret little fantasy in the back of my head. I was 21, living in another city, and hadn't seen him for years when he walked down the aisle with another woman.

The first two years of high school had the usual merry-go-round of boyfriends but none aside from DG stand out (oh, I forgot about Olaf V.). Dave, 21, was the son of family friends and had come from Winnipeg to visit our family during my March break. I had known him for years before then, (when I was 13 he introduced me to 10cc, an alternative rock band), but we had never spent much time together. During his visit we went to see 'Fun with Dick & Jane'; laughed while walking in the rain and singing 10cc's 'The Things We Do For Love'; rode the bus to the parliament buildings where we took a tour to the top of the Peace Tower, and looked out together over the grey city. It was almost inevitable that we developed a fondness for each other, but I was only 15, a full 6 years younger than him. On the day he left, he sat me down to tell me how much I meant to him and that if we weren't in other relationships we would reconnect when I turned 19. That day never came as he was killed in an airplane crash.

I met Steve Janssen in grade 11 and was immediately and totally in love (do you sense a trend?). He became the centre of my world, leaving little room for myself, which in retrospect was unhealthy. When I was 19 my parents moved to Toronto but I stayed in Ottawa so that I would be near him. A year after my parents left we moved into a shabby basement apartment together and then shared a townhouse with another engineering student. We had what I thought was a happy relationship until one day he came home to say he was in love with another woman. The timing couldn't have been worse - Alan, our roomate, had just tried suicide and had named me as the reason. I was already upset by Alan, but it wouldn't have mattered, I wasn't prepared for the total devastation that Steve's desertion would engender. I couldn't believe how stupid I had been - I had arranged study dates for the two of them and cooked vegetarian meals for her. I couldn't deal with it and cracked up. In the end it was a police officer at my door that brought me back to reality and possibly saved my life.

Another Steve was my companion for a year. He was from Trinidad and was great fun. Visits with his family would involve feasts of Island food, and then with full bellies we would all go to the rec room in the basement and play music and dance like we were in Trinidad. I was never really serious with him - how could I be after being hurt so badly? The year after Steve Samuel and I broke up I bounced from relationship to relationship, none of them serious. I wasn't really over my breakup with Steve J. yet.

I was at a friends wedding when I met Ken. He swept me off my feet with tender words and caring actions. I was starved for a serious relationship which left me in a vulnerable position. Within a month he had moved himself into my apartment, despite my protests. He could be hard to resist as he smothered me with cards declaring his love and small gifts of dedication. Just when my guard would be down he'd sit at my bedside sharpening his army knife and proclaiming that no one but him would ever have me - the message was deftly delivered. I'd try to squirm out of the relationship but he stuck to me like glue and kept me on a tilt-a-whirl of devotion and devastation. People saw him stalking me. I moved. He followed. Eventually he got the message and moved out. I was left in an unstable state - he had really f--cked with my head. He continued to stalk me and occasionally phone me. Eventually he gave up. Unfortunately it took years for me to get over the fear.

Enter Carm. Like the proverbial knight in shining armour he arrived into my life just when I needed him most. He was kind without expecting me to sacrifice myself. He was loving without dire threats. He was patient and didn't try to trip me up. He was protective without smothering me. He was sane. He was exactly what I was looking for all those years.

The Things We Do For Love / 10cc - Live: https://youtu.be/i-6PnsnBpQE

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