Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Anniversary to my Ex-Husband

Hitched at Tappan Hill, Tarrytown NY. Michael Gordon photo
Yesterday when walking the dog, I thought there must be a card saying Happy Anniversary to My Ex.

I'm sure I could look up an appropriate card for marking the occasion of our wedding on May 29, 1983. Back at the Union-News, I did a story on Hallmark cards for every odd occasion.

I didn't look for one, so today, on what would be our 34th anniversary, here is what I would say.

We made three wonderful children.

Out of the 13 years that we were married, most were good.

When I first saw you in the Transcript-Telegram newsroom, you looked like you had come out of a movie: cigarette dangling from your mouth, your fingers banging on the typewriter, you prowling the newsroom on deadline, wise-cracker, joke-teller, prankster.

The time I had to be the Friday night news editor, and you rigged the phone so I couldn't hear a voice when you called me from the back of the newsroom, and I said, HELLO, hello, and Greg Pearson had to clue me in. The time you called my desk in the People section and said in a high-pitched voice, after I had reviewed a play at the Mount Holyoke College Summer Theater, that Sy Becker did a much better job than I did.

(Could you actually have stomped on the paper when someone made a big mistake, or am I misremembering? Did I really drive by the paper to see if your red truck was still there and then wander back in innocently to ask you something or other?)

I tell people I fell in love with your editing, and it is a little bit true. I thought it was magical.

Those Thursday night after-work outings at the hole-in-the-wall bar at the K-Mart plaza where you and Matt told stories about the old days at the old downtown plant and then the two of us went to the bar at the Yankee Pedlar and told more stories, followed by the Friday mornings getting to work by 7 a.m. Bleary eyed.

The afternoons and evenings at the old College Inn, watching traffic go by or cheering during college basketball games.

You lightened me up.

You engineered a trip to Newfoundland. We went camping!

You calmed me down when a bear was prowling around our tent.

Joe, Ben & Katie, a while back at Tailgate Picnic
You held my hand when I was in labor.

You were and are a good father.

You comforted me when I got leukemia. You were the first person I called, crying hysterically, after my in-take appointment at Dana-Farber. You said to take it one step at a time, and you promised to take care of the kids.

You kept them sane after moving into the house when I was in treatment. You made them feel secure, keeping their routines intact. You talked to their teachers.

You made funny signs: "The dining room table is not a laundry-folding station."

You stayed an extra year when I was recovering.

When you were scheduled to go to the Cape with the kids, you took me along because I could not be left home alone. You gave me the best room. You called me Ronnette.

At Christmas, when I could not have a real tree in the house, you got an artificial one.

You made good meals. ("No offense," one of the male children said, "but we ate better when Dad was here.")

When I relapsed twice, you stepped up again, took me on vacation again.

You helped me get better again. And again.

You did a great job staining the unfinished furniture (desk and sideboard) that we bought together long after we had broken up. We were getting along so nicely that the salespeople thought we were married.

When my dining room ceiling fixture blew a gasket and I couldn't remember where we bought it a gazillion years ago, I sent you an email and you sent one right back with places to order, and photos and descriptions, and your choice for which ones would look best.

We've had a lot of divorced anniversaries, and I don't know why this one is making me especially emotional.

I think it's because after a big bad breakup, you focus a lot on the negative.

In thinking of the positive, I'm almost brought to tears, because it wasn't supposed to be this way.

Still, on our anniversary it's good to remember the good times.      

1 comment:

Laurie Cavanaugh Bobskill said...

Ronni, the most beautiful part is that you never mentioned the reasons for the divorce. George is right. You are a special perdon.