It All Began With The Dogs, Part 3

A marriage proposal with conditions: this seems more like “Let’s Make a Deal” than “Let’s live happily ever after.” What would Lorna do?

Being a Middle Child, I always picked Door #2. It was usually a donkey pulling a cart filled with a year's supply of canned peas, dish soap, or Geritol. Lesson: dealing was never my strong suit.

Three thoughts crossed my mind when he proposed:

  1. This was my 3rd marriage proposal. The first was in 5th grade. Mike chased me around the playground trying to kick me. When he cornered me between some bushes and bus garage, he announced in a breathy voice, “I’m going to marry you.” My pouty silence, narrowed eyes, and crossed arms kind of discouraged him. The issue of our future nuptials never came up again, but he cased and kicked at me until 6th grade. I was a hard girl to get over and an easy one to corner. My second marriage proposal was Brian’s death-trap-canoe proposal. At least Chuck’s proposal was civil and didn’t involve any threat of bodily harm. I took this as a good sign.

    I should've known better when he wanted "our" song to be "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me."

  2. He liked dogs, so he must have a good heart. He lovedHumphrey. Unlike the numerous flaws he found in me, he couldn’t find many faults with my Old English Sheepdog. If he loved Humphrey, he must love me because Humphrey loved me, so I should love him. Well, it made sense at the time.

    Chuck would risk his life and his leather vest to save a dog if he thought it was dog-paddling its way into danger in the kiddie pool.

  3. My options were limited. It’s not that I minded being a single alcoholic with no future, but how long can that party last? I had a man with a plan willing to tote me along on his journey toward greatness. His goal was to become a millionaire. He always had a 5, 10, and 20 year plan. Maybe I could use a little planning in my life and he was willing to plan my life as well as his.

"I am Chuck the Magnificent. I can see into the future 5, 10, even 20 years from now. Lorna, I will change you." By Golly, he was right!

I was still a bit loopy from the bottle of wine and after-dinner drinks, but all these thoughts jettisoned through my head quickly enough for me to give Chuck an enthusiastic “Yes! I’ll marry you,” without hesitating one iota.

Two iotas later came the strings to which I had to agree before he would seal the deal:

  1. He wanted 4 children–2 boys and 2 girls. I negotiated him down to two when I said he could bring the four children to visit me on Sundays in the Rest Home when I was properly sedated.

    Wait! Don't bring Chuck and the Gang-of-Four in yet. I haven't finished my Valium-fortified grape juice.

  2. I must be willing to move to a city where he could make his fame and fortune. I was fine with moving as long as our new home has liquor stores nearby.

    Samsonite had a suitcase for any and all occasions. It was a heavy bugger to carry when full; but it didn't stay full for long.

  3. Taking his name was a sign of my commitment to him. I wanted to keep my maiden name. He was firm. He wanted his surname to live on so that property transfer would be clear. In case of a war between landowners, there would be no mistaking that his lineage ruled over the kingdom. Wait, we just time-traveled back a few centuries to Medieval Europe… I agreed to change my name.

    "She's worth at least 15 acres and 100 head of goats. Let's drink to you taking her off my hands, young lad!"

  4. I had to adopt Methodism as my religion and raise our children as good Christian soldiers. I had to go to “classes” and a minister lectured us about God, marriage, forever, death, etc. He’s divorced now.

    I'm pretty sure he gave me one of these books to read. I don't know where it is now--probably gave it to the Methodist Thrift Shop.

  5. I had to learn to play Bridge and stop playing Strip Poker because “respectable” people who play cards in groups would rather bid their hands than drop their drawers.

    Strip Poker seemed at lot less complicated.

There were no “pre-nups”; my word was good enough for him. He trusted me. I didn’t tell him I was an alcoholic, but, to be fair, I only considered myself a heavy, closet drinker at the time–something hardly worth mentioning.

Were were officially engaged. The wedding was set just before my 26th birthday so as to prevent me from becoming an old maid.

After 25, it's a slippery slope ladies.

Did Chuck discover Lorna’s secret before they tied the knot? We’ll see…

~ by Lorna's Voice on August 24, 2011.

24 Responses to “It All Began With The Dogs, Part 3”

  1. Yes, he was (is) a bright guy. He just has the kind of personality that plans things down to the smallest detail. He wanted a boy and a girl and that was that. Some would call that personality trait “determination”; other, “control freak.” It’s a matter of perspective…;)

  2. Did he even realize that you have no real control over the sex of your children?

  3. Yes, the good stuff was usually behind Door #1. But that was the obvious pick…

  4. ….And behind curtain number 3 you have a one-eyed goat who refuses to eat your yard because it’s too long even for him…. damn worthless goats they give away now days….


  5. “Fast lane” people pass me by. I live in the slow lane and love the pace. The problem is that I just figured this out!

    Thanks for the support, Ray!

  6. Lorna, as always another great post. I always love people that planned 5 10 15 years. I don’t know how they do it well actually they don’t do it, but oh well sometimes you have to live life in the fast lane.

  7. Jello salad–think flavored gelatin congealed with fruits and or vegetables. Yummy, huh? They are most often described as “Look, there’s another red salad!” or “Oh, that green one looks interesting…”

    I agree, some of the comments as as enjoyable as the story itself! I’ve got some great friends/blogger/readers!

  8. Lorna your posts are just a joy and the comments people take the time to write are just as enjoyable. Being from Scotland I don’t know what jello salad is but I have to say it sounds awful. Looking forward to the next instalment. Your posts just get me every time. Thanks for the memories – at least your memories.

  9. Yes, I suppose some fetishes are just too hard to handle for an up-and-comer like Chuck. Closets are seriously under-appreciated, you know…

  10. Maybe the marriage vows should be changed: I promise to love, honor, and do my level best to change (fill in the name of your bethrothed) until death by natural or unnatural causes us do part.

  11. Ah, the joys of love and getting married! I’m in love and that love runs so deep. If only I could change… er… um… well, just about everything in my partner.

  12. I can understand why you didn’t tell him you were heavy and addicted to drinking closets. That would have been a deal breaker, for sure. I don’t even think there’s a 12-step program for that.

  13. Trust me when I say it gets even better. As I am reliving it all through telling it, I can’t believe some of it myself. Is that bad or what?

  14. Great! I’ll be your port in the storm. Oop, I did it again. I’m hopeless. 😉

  15. You know, Lorna, I’ve read some heavy poetry today. Now I know where to come when a need a pick-me-up. And you have my okay to have a go at those cliches. Victoria

  16. I believe I would have had to have been drunk to agree to all that…I’m loving your story, mIssy. Keep ’em coming.

  17. Oh, Izzy, he tried his best to refine me, redefine me, re-press me into some version of the person he wanted on his arm. I didn’t know it then. How could I? I was so young, eager to please, and addled by alcohol. The marriage wasn’t fair to either of us, really. But no one said life was fair. I sure am glad I can find the humor in it and that others are finding it equally funny. Kinda makes it all worth the bumpy ride…

    Thanks for bouncing along with me,



  18. All that has gone on in your life and only 26 … you must have been thinkin’ your life span was gonna to be short. That is a lotta of living right there, Lorna.
    Somehow … all of a sudden … I started to feel southern and developed a drawl … I guess I wanted to be the opposite of Chuck … not so refined. Are you sure you didn’t wine and dine and refine him ???? LOLOL

    Keep us laughing ….
    Hugs, Izzy ~~~` : – )

  19. I’m trying to be funny but not mean–thanks for the reassurance that I’m meeting my objective. And, yes, isn’t snarky just the best word for describing, well, snarkiness?! 😉

  20. No, you’re not being too snarky. If Chuck is anything like my ex, he would love to be referred to as magnificent no matter what.

    I love that word snarky!

  21. Chuck was very smart. He was just focused on himself and his plan–the American Dream++ (2 cars, 2 homes, 4.4 children–you get the picture). He wanted the perfect family, to be the perfect successful businessman, to be the perfect community leader. My God, He wanted to live in Stepford and for me to be one of the Stepford wives!!!

    I’m no expert when it comes to religion, but from my limited experience (is that enough of a disclaimer for you?), Methodists focus on the New Testament and pride themselves on being quite inclusive. They have female ministers and really enjoy music in their services. They have a lot of social gatherings involving jello salads, too. They are not so much into the punnishment messages I used to hear as a kid growing up Catholic. But they believe in the same sacrements and do the same rituals (tithing, lighting candles, praying). No kneeling, though. I think the major difference is the music and the jello. But, as I said, I’m not the expert…

  22. Am I being too snarky?

  23. I’m gonna say Chuckie didn’t know. I’m going with that because I don’t think he was smart enough to figure it out. I’m curious to know what fortune he was in search of? What was his 5,10,20,50 year plan?

    What is being a Methodist like? Is it like being a Catholic at all?

    Finally, you just agreed to these things, he trusted you, and did you follow through? I can hardly wait for more of the story.

  24. Chuck the Magnificent, that was great.

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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