When I announced to my wife that I wanted to be a writer, she looked at me as if I confessed my love for another woman. She could have smiled and said something cliche, like, "Don't give up your day job." Instead, she said, "I hope you have a good time."
Writing was more than a mere challenge. It made me feel like I might be cheating on her.
I attempted to include her in my proofreading, and she'd always been a stellar speller. But the well of her enthusiasm tasted bittersweet. When I announced I'd won a contest, she asked, "Are all the judges women?"
I was speechless as she worked on her own project, knitting a sweater for a new baby at church. I thought I could make her feel special, and offer her a piece of my spotlight. She was all needle and thread.
It wasn't long before the writing consumed me, and I was addicted, as if I harbored a hypodermic needle filled with ink. My wife who never shared my penniless enthusiasm soon discovered I was treading deep into my fantasy world. I would live through my adventurous characters, where I could hear their inner voice tell me they were glad I gave them life, and they were all mine. The bills piled up, and the Mrs. went to bed alone, but I figured it was a price I could afford to pay. Yikes!
The bank didn't share my newfound enthusiasm for writing either. They took our house. But we had a custom van, and I tried to cheer my wife up by showing her how easy it was to have breakfast in bed. She didn't complain all that much, but I felt like I needed to sleep with one eye open.
Have you read those marshmallow-toasted articles where the perfect spouse massages the neck of their courageous writer, spellbound with every page?
I would've loved a good shoulder rub now and then, but worried I might get surprised with a chokehold. Once, my wife got behind me and tried to see if my girl character was properly dressed, and wasn't swinging from a silver pole trading flesh for money.
You would've thought our tight living conditions could have ignited a romance. Not so. It was more like spontaneous combustion.
Six months later we got kicked out of the trailer park. It had something to do with the fact that I had an extension cord hooked up from the window of my van, and wasn't properly blocked on a good foundation.
Next we tried an extra large "Wal-Mart" tent. Wow. Good thing the kids were grown.
She didn't say anything. I got the message, she slept in her compartment, and I slept in mine, with a laptop.
A few months later my self-published novel went viral. Before I knew it that little web page of mine rang with orders. And you guessed it, I found old friends I never knew I had. There was even a long lost Uncle who offered to barbecue for us at our new house. Yes--we did buy a new house.
My wife and I had fun making up for lost time. I fell with her across the threshold, and chased her around all sixteen rooms in the house. When I caught her, we wrestled on one of the newly carpeted floors. I think you know what happened next?
Somehow all those old scars including the rug burn healed, and we found our golden years.
No, it wasn't the money. It all went back to that sweater she knitted a long time ago. I asked her, "How is it that sweater looked lost on one side, but came together perfectly on the other end?"
"We live in a broken world," she said, "where nothing seems to fit, but God's above it all, and he knows the end from the beginning. When it's finished it will be what it's meant to be, like us."
I learned two things: we were meant for each other like needle and thread, and she forgave me for my writing affair.
My best seller called "Teardrop in the Ocean," you guessed it; it's the story of my life, dedicated to a resilient wife. No one likes to sleep in the doghouse, when they can sleep in a mansion.
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