I really didn't have anyone to blame but myself. I could have stopped it in the early stages, but I let it go on because it just didn't matter to me. I had no idea that it would go as far as it did.
Camryn and I met in college, dated for a while and then moved on to other relationships. A year later we were at the same party, got to talking and started dating again. We went steady for about a year and then broke up again. It wasn't a bitter break up, just one of those 'not ready for anything permanent' break ups. The year after graduation we met at another party and started dating again and that time it went from dating to going steady to getting engaged. One year later we were married.
We were a good fit for each other and the marriage was a happy one for the first five years. Both of us were career oriented and we had decided early on that we didn't want children. I took the precaution of having a vasectomy so we wouldn't have to mess with condoms, birth control pills, diaphragms and the like. I never told my parents about that decision though because they had their hearts set on a herd of grandchildren. My father especially, he wanted a grandson to carry on the family name. I didn't worry about that because I had two brothers who could see to it the line was carried on.
Camryn and I worked hard on making it in our respective fields and both of us made progress and began moving up. The promotions came along with raises and bonuses and like most couples in this day and age as our income increased our life style changed. Our little two bedroom was sold and we moved into a four bedroom which was in turn sold so we could move into a bigger four bedroom with a swimming pool and a tennis court. We joined a country club, bought matching BMWs, moved in a smarter set and in general enjoyed our success.
Our success did not set well with my parents. One day my father said to me, "You are doing well enough. Camryn doesn't need to be working. It is high time she get around to starting a family."
I lied to him of course, "Dad, were trying. Camryn will quit work as soon as she gets pregnant, but until then she sees no need to give up her career. We are doing every thing we can. We are watching her cycles, plotting out her most fertile times and we have even tried some fertility drugs. But until the rabbit dies she is going to keep on working."
Camryn threw a birthday party for me and my two brothers were there. The three of us found ourselves out on the patio alone at one point and Harry asked Bob and me if we were getting the same pressure from dad that he was to produce an heir. I laughed, "He's on me at least once a week. I tell him that Camryn and I are trying hard, but the truth is, we don't want kids."
"Neither do Laura and I" said Bob.
"Ain't that a bitch" said Harry, "Nancy and I want kids, but it doesn't seem to matter what we do it just isn't happening."
I shrugged and said, "You are still young bro, there's plenty of time yet."
"Tell that to mom and dad."
Then the economy went sour and for six months both Camryn and I worked even harder at our jobs. We could both see the hand writing on the wall and we knew if the economy didn't get better there would be some down sizing and some personnel cut-backs as our company's retrenched and we wanted to survive the cut. We both had the old fashioned belief that hard work would be noticed and rewarded when times got tough. NOT! Camryn's company went through a down sizing and she was let go. What really steamed her was that the company kept two women who did little else except spread their legs for management. Camryn did get a pretty nice severance package and she wasn't real worried because she knew that she could find something else and she was right. She got a ton of job offers, but all at a salary fifty- percent lower than what she had been making. Eventually she had to take one of those offers and that is about when things began to go bad.
We had lived on what we made and what the two of us had made together was what had enabled us to live such a great life style. With Camryn no longer making as much some things had to change. First to go were the matching Beemers. They were replaced by a Honda Accord and a Buick. We had to stop giving parties, which meant that we had to cut down on going to them since we could not reciprocate. The country club membership was not renewed when the dues became due and I started packing a small lunch in my briefcase and I cut way back on going out to lunch with the guys I worked with.
I didn't find out until way later about the day that tipped everything over. I was in my den and had been looking through the Yellow Pages trying to find some railroad ties for some landscaping I wanted to do behind the house. I found what I was looking for, called them and got some information and then went out back to make some measurements.
While I was gone Camryn came into the den looking for me and saw the open book. She glanced at it and saw not the page that said, Railroad Equipment and Railroad Ties, but the page opposite that said "Real Estate." Camryn left the room thinking I was getting a line on a realtor preparatory to putting the house up for sale and she was determined that she would never let that happen.
Camryn started putting in longer hours at work. She worked late several times each week, worked on occasional Saturdays and once she even went in on a Sunday. The one thing she didn't do was talk to me about selling the house.
Two months went by and then one day my mom called me at work. "I just had to call and congratulate you. I'm just so happy for you and Camryn and I know that your father will overjoyed when I finally get a hold of him and tell him."
"Slow down mom, you are getting ahead of me here. What are you talking about?"
"Why about Camryn getting pregnant, what else?"
What else indeed I thought. I tried reaching Camryn at her office, but the receptionist said that she wasn't back from lunch yet. Three-thirty and not back from lunch? Must be nice. Oh well, it would wait until I got home.
Camryn was standing by the wet bar building herself a drink when I got home. "Make one for me too honey and then come over here and tell me all about what you and my mother talked about that has her all excited."
Camryn took a long pull on her drink and I could tell she was not looking forward to the coming conversation. She refreshed her drink, made me one and then came over and sat down opposite me.
"If you have talked to your mother then you already know that I am pregnant."
"Do you want to shower or freshen up your make up before I alert the media?"
"Alert the media? What are you talking about?"
Well Camryn, we both know that I'm not functionally capable of making you pregnant so we need to let everyone know about the long awaited Second Coming."
"Don't be facetious. You know full well what my being pregnant means."
"Who is the lucky daddy?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know? That sounds suspiciously like there has been more than one lover in your life."
"There have been several and they weren't lovers. All they were, at least to me, were sperm donors and there were several because I didn't want to know who the father was."
"That sounds like you set out to get yourself pregnant."
"If you felt the need to have children why didn't you come to me? They can reverse vasectomies these days."
"I didn't have time."
"Camryn, will you please just tell me what the hell is going on and get it over with. Don't make me drag it out of you a little at a time."
"Your mother had Laura, Nancy and me over for lunch about three months ago. She made the announcement that she and your father had decided that there wasn't sufficient motivation for us to start producing grandchildren so they decided to stir up some competition. She said they would give whoever produced the first grandchild two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and they would make it five hundred thousand if it were a grandson.
"I don't know how Laura and Nancy took the news, but my attitude was 'who cares' until the day I came home and saw that you were looking for a realtor to sell the house. I will not lose this house. I had to give up a lot when I lost my job, but I will not lose my house!"
"I've never looked for a realtor. We aren't even close to having to sell the house."
"But I saw it. I saw that you had the Yellow Pages open to Realtors."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"I went into your den looking for you and I saw the Yellow Pages on your desk. It was opened to the section on real estate."
"I don't have a clue as to what you are talking about Camryn. This house is not for sale and I've never even thought about selling it."
Her face went pale and I asked again, "Why didn't you come to me and talk it over?"
"I didn't have time. I was in a race against Laura and Nancy; I couldn't afford to take the time it would have taken to get your vasectomy reversed."
"What the hell happened to the logical mind that you used to have? Did you not take the time to think it all the way through? What did you think would happen when I found out? All you did Camryn, was guarantee that the house would be sold."
"No baby, no. I've got it all worked out. We take the two hundred fifty thousand and pay the mortgage down and then we refinance. We'll be okay."
"No Camryn, we won't be okay. This is a community property state. The house will have to be sold and the profit from the sale will be split between us in the divorce."
"Divorce? What divorce?"
.... There is more of this story ...