Welcome to Post Traumatic Sundays, which are posts written during my first marriage. None have appeared on this blog before, and only a couple were included in my book. What these posts aren’t about is venting or vindictiveness.
So what’s the point, you ask? Simply to offer reflections from someone dealing with an unhappy marriage in the best way he knew how: with humor. Eight years later, I am happily re-married to someone who inspires me each and every day to laugh for the right reasons.
It’s good to laugh with you for the right reasons as well…
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By the time you read this, our family will be on its seventh day of a nine-day road trip to California, which means that, by now, I will have been institutionalized somewhere outside of Fresno for almost a week. Yes, even with 11 years of marriage and seven years of child rearing under our belts, our combined wisdom wasn’t enough to save us from a plan that essentially locks us together with our children for nine days in a confined space roughly the size of an Altoids box.
Let me just say right now that this was my wife’s idea, and that she can be very persuasive when it comes to talking me into things I wouldn’t normally do without first consulting (1) a physician, (2) a lawyer, or (3) a micro brewery.
In her defense, I did have an opportunity to stop this whole thing by presenting my own better-vacation idea. And even though I think that my idea was better, her presentation — which included highlighted maps, visitor’s guides and a 10-minute virtual tour over the internet — was more organized and flashier than my stick-figure drawing of a man (presumably me) sleeping in a hammock.
After politely considering my idea for about three seconds, my wife added the word “alone” next to the sleeping, stick-figure man who, at which point, didn’t appear to be anyone I knew.
Preparing for a trip like this means determining your priorities. Obviously, our first priority was our children, and how to provide them with an experience that wouldn’t include the memory of their father leaping from the car and running headfirst into oncoming traffic along the Santa Monica freeway.
Doing this meant devising ways to keep our children happy and content during those long hours they would be spending in the back seat. I came up with some ideas and tested them during a mini, two-hour trip to Lincoln City a few weeks before our vacation — the thought being that I could take what I learned from that trip and apply it to our California road trip.
One of the things I learned, for example, was that sedation was pretty much out of the question. Even taken in measured doses, it affected my driving ability too much to be considered a viable alternative. I also discovered that keeping our children occupied by singing songs was not going to happen. The reason is because, after an hour or so, those songs have a mind-numbing effect that’s even more dangerous than sedatives. This discovery came halfway to Lincoln City, when I suddenly realized I had no memory of the last 40 miles and was absently singing what can only be described as a hybrid-nursery rhyme that included a man named Old McDonald who had a farm. And on that farm he a dog named Bingo that climbed into a waterspout after drinking 99 bottles of beer.
It is this song that I plan to sing in order to gain admission to that institution located just outside of Fresno, where my stick-figure pictures should go over really well.
And let me just say
Before I go
Eeye, eeye, oh.