The congregation was standing, the music was playing, “Here comes the bride.” All eyes were on my dad and I as we walked down the aisle. Spotting my soon- to- be-husband dressed in his Navy whites, I melted. New life was beginning with a Harrison Ford look-a-like.
What he did not yet know, nor did the world, was that I had a plan to make healthy marriages happy forever all over planet earth. How could marriage be such hard work? If you loved someone, you just did what they want, and they do what you want and voila “world peace.”
Simply put, arguing, fighting, harsh tones and slamming doors in our home would be banned. Not allowed ever. Then I would write a book, make millions, and we could move to Hawaii.
He had just been commissioned to be an ensign on a submarine in New London, Conneticut, wherever that was. Not ever having left the south, to me this was expanding my horizon.
In college, he was enticed by “Join the Navy, see the world.” I was enticed by “Go to college, find a man.”
And so here we were beginning a life of zero conflict. I hadn’t yet let him in on the plan. I needed the vows first.
“Honey, I have a surprise for you in the living room,” as he blindfolded me. We had succeeded. Two months of verbal peace. I know, I’m impressed also.
A few days before, the plan almost got blown out of the water ( pun intended) when he came home to announce his submarine had to go down for the summer to guard our sea bottom (my words, not his.)
“No dear, that can’t be possible. Please call your captain and tell him we are newlyweds who need some quality time.”
His face turned the same color as his uniform. He had never done that before.
Realizing the whiteness of his face may signal impending trouble, I asked for a dog. That didn’t work, so I went for a cat. I finally got the sinking feeling that this is where my plan had to kick in. I stifled.
I know, I’m wonderful.
“Honey you are so sweet. I love surprises, ” as he removed the blindfold and I shrieked.
“What is that giant centipede doing in here?” I was loud.
“Are you serious? It’s a lobster. This is what they do in New England.” And he left the room.
It was ugly, and I had a dilemma here. The man apparently wanted me to have a pet, and this is “what they do in New England.” The pet was ugly, but I was touched. He had heard me.
I guess he was giving me of moment of bonding time. Of course I had envisioned bonding with him, but the Navy messed that up.
Try bonding with a lobster. Making eye contact is impossible. But he did look like a Luther. Luther the lobster looked scared.
My man walked back in with a huge grin on his face. It is sweet what loving gifts between newlyweds can do.
“Honey, you are so sweet. His name is Luther. Where is his cage? ” I dripped with fake enthusiasm.
"WHAT? You named our DINNER?” he was loud.
“What do you mean dinner? You can’t eat our PET?” I was louder.
"NO ONE NAMES THEIR DINNER.” He looked shocked.
“NO ONE EATS THEIR PETS.” I was mortified.
The man, my husband whom I thought I knew, had actually been boiling water in the kitchen while I was bonding.
My plan to never argue and write a book was now ditched in the same place as diets and New Year’s resolutions.
But also something surreal was occurring. I could tell you I heard violins, but I’m not a liar. I heard trumpets.
I saw that he was different from me. He didn’t get the plan and that was rather endearing. To be frank, it was a stupid plan.
Luther died that night, ‘cause my husband likes dinner.
It felt good to cry. It actually felt good to be myself. And he even made sense actually. God knew what I needed. Luther’s sacrifice started our thirty-seven year old marriage.
Because of him, it was love at first fight.
“Be angry and yet do not sin.” Eph.4:26 NAS
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