Reposted after editing by Rexford Dam
Further screwing with it by me. As always, all mistakes and Faux Pas are mine.
My name Chuck Tomas; I’m 32 and until recently, married. This is the tale of how I came to be ‘unmarried’.
Jan Winston and I met while I was in college. She was a Freshmen and I was a Junior. I met her in a poli-sci class that I didn’t take as a Freshman but was required to take before I could graduate.
I was 22, and had spent a year and a half in the army, when a training accident caused me to be medically discharged. I was a passenger in a helicopter that ground looped and threw me out of the open door. I broke both legs and one arm. The doctors put a steel rod in my left leg, and said that because of that I was now a civilian. So, I used my disability payments and the GI Bill to go to college.
Jan was 19, and as pretty as a dawn’s glow. She was just under 5’ 8” tall and probably weighed less than 125 lbs. She had the greenest eyes and blondest hair I had seen in a long time. She smiled when she came in and sat next to me in class.
After the class, as we were walking out, she introduced herself. Then she asked if I got anything about what the instructor had just said during the lecture.
When I responded that you were not required to understand, just pass, she laughed a deep and hearty laugh.
Jan asked if I had time to get a cup of coffee. I said yes, and over coffee we became better acquainted with each other. She said she wasn’t dating anyone, and was serious about college and wanted to be a paralegal. I found her to be a fascinating lady, and wanted to see her more. Apparently she felt the same, because when I asked her to go to dinner and a play that coming Friday night she agreed.
The first date was very good, and while we were not exclusive we dated several times through her entire freshmen year. As the school year was coming to a close I detected some tension starting on our dates, and a couple of times Jan pled previous commitments when I asked her out. I was probably not the brightest bulb in the lamp, but I took the turn downs as a sign of cooling down of our relationship. I stopped asking, and went on with my life.
I did not see Jan that summer and not until second semester of my senior year. When I did, she looked like she had lost her last friend. I said hi, and asked how she was. What I got back as a reply shocked me.
Jan said angrily; “What the fuck do you care for, you haven’t called for almost 9 months. Why?”
I explained; “I know we weren’t exclusive, but after a couple of times when you claimed that you had plans when I asked you out I felt that I was not part of you plans, and accepted that.” I was angry at her attitude so I went on; “I was to the point that I wanted to be exclusive, but you showed me you didn’t. What was I supposed to do, hang around and wait for sloppy seconds? I did not pressure for sex, I never went beyond good night kisses because I do not feel that I want that without a commitment. You obviously had other dates, but whether you believe it or not, you were the only person I dated after that first time.”
She just stood there looking like she could spit nickels and shit dimes, when I held up my hand and said, “If you would like to begin dating again lose the attitude, and remember, my phone and e-mail both work, and you never used them.” With that I went to my class and thought it was over.
Jan called a few days later on a Saturday. I was finishing a paper for one of my classes and let the call go to voice mail. When I was done I listened to her message;
I was an idiot, but I was afraid that you wanted to get serious about us last year. I was also mad that you did not at least try to get in my panties. I thought you were either gay or not interested.
Can we start over; I have a new cell number, so please call me at 555-XXXX. I missed you and I’m sorry I was so angry.
I called her and explained that I would love to start over, but that I would not make any attempts to ‘get in her pants’ unless we were exclusive.
We dated for about six weeks and Jan asked when I was going to ask to be ‘exclusive’?
I said sharply; “Never, you are the one that will have to make that decision, I have only dated you since I met you. When you are ready to commit, I will give you my answer.”
That went over like a noisy fart in church. Jan started crying and turned and ran away. I did not hear from her for a week.
When she called me she said; “I have thought about us, and while I am scared of this, I want to be with you and only you. If you want, I will commit.”
I just about dropped the phone and told her I was surprised, but pleased. I then said; “Just so you understand, I want you, and I love you. I never said it before, because we were not exclusive. I want you forever; even longer if I can have it.”
I continued; “Jan I don’t want you to be scared, and I don’t want you angry, but I want you to know that if we make this commitment, it lasts until one of us says ‘no longer’. That means, no other dates, no plans hidden, no sorry, I’m busy without an explanation. It also means no lies about our feelings. If you can agree to that we are a couple, if not, please do not come back in my life.”
She agreed, and we dated until I graduated and then I asked her to marry me. She said yes, and we started planning. I found a good job with a local office of a large corporation. I was a salesman.
I met the ‘rents, and to say that they were underwhelmed is a gross understatement. Jan’s mother was outright hostile, and her father did not even shake my hand when I offered. I was pissed.
I said to Jan; “I do not need this treatment. I never did anything to deserve this. You need to decide in about 15 seconds if you are going with me because I am out of here.”
Jan looked like a deer in the headlights and did not follow when I left.
I called a couple of days later and asked for my ring back. Jan said if I gave her ten minutes of my time she would return the ring. I agreed.
When she came over to my apartment, she looked like a bag lady. Her clothes were all wrinkled, her hair was a mess, and her eyes were very red.
I was not charitable. I said; “The clock is ticking, say what you planned and give me the ring. I have my own problems to deal with, but I will not let your parents screw up my life.”
Jan looked down at the floor and stated to mumble.
I stopped her. “The clock is still ticking. Your family hurt me, and now you can’t speak plainly to me. Just give me the ring and leave me alone, please”
Jan then looked up and said; “You said you would give me ten minutes. I am sorry I was mumbling, but I am hurt and also mad at my parents. I will write you an explanation because it will take more than ten minutes to tell all. Here is your ring, and I want you to know that I would marry you with or without my parents blessing.” With that she handed me the ring and left.
About two days later I got a letter in the mail from, of all people, Jan’s father. I opened it and was surprised that it was lengthy. It said;
I want to apologize for my actions when you came to meet us. I can offer no valid excuse.
I do want you to know why and what happened after you left.
The why; Jan’s mother has always felt that she married beneath herself. She is a social climbing ‘wanna be’. I am surprised that she hasn’t divorced me. Unfortunately I love the ‘bitch’.
Jan’s mother has had plans for Jan to meet and marry one of the rich assholes that hang around at the coffee shop that my wife works at. Jan wanted nothing to do with that and said so many, many times.
My wife wanted Jan to go to an Ivy League college. She even went so far as to forge applications to several of them. Jan was accepted at all of the schools that got her applications.
When Jan found out, she was furious, and she said she would not go to any college that she had not personally applied to. She packed her bags and left the house. She had never come back until she brought you.
The crap hit the fan when Jan called and said she was bringing her fiancé to meet us. She had not even sent a Christmas card in almost two years.
My wife was angry and said that if I said nice word or gave a friendly gesture she was leaving. Unfortunately you saw the result.
This letter is an apology for my lack of backbone.
After you left Jan, started crying and told her mother and I that we had seen the last of her for the rest of our lives. She then tried to catch you before you drove away. She was too late.
She came in the house, went to her room, and came out about an hour later with all of her clothes that she had kept here.
She called a taxi, and without a good bye, loaded everything in the cab and left.
Again; I am sorry for the treatment you received. Please don’t blame Jan; it was her mother and I that were to blame.
I put the letter down and sat in my chair for almost an hour trying to decide what to do when my phone rang. It was Jan.
Jan meekly asked; “Did you get a letter from daddy?”
When I said I did, she asked if she could come over, I said yes.
Jan arrived about 20 minutes later. When she came in she handed me three letters. Two were opened and addressed to her; the third was addressed to me. She asked that I read the open ones and then the one to me.
The first one I read was from her father and it was very similar to the one I got from him except that at the end he told Jan that he had moved out and let his wife know that he was “fed up with the manipulating bitch”, and if she did not stop he would never come back.
The second letter was from her mother. The evil that she spouted was amazing. She blamed Jan for running her father out of the house. She blamed Jan’s father for being too soft to see what was best for Jan regardless of what Jan wanted. Then she blamed the entire male sex for being evil and not worth “the bother to hunt them down and kill them”.
I looked up from that piece of trash and saw Jan softly sobbing on the chair across from me. She asked; “Please read the last letter.”
With shaking hands, I opened the letter addressed to me. As I suspected, it was from Jan. It was short and to the point, it would not have taken ten minutes to say, but I read it anyway.
I’m sorry that I hesitated when my family went off on you. I was embarrassed and surprised at their actions.
When I was able to move, it was too late. You had already left. I don’t blame you. I knew my mother was trying to marry me off to money. I also know that the blow up was a long time coming; but I did not think she would ever act so nasty to someone besides family.
I love you, and I want to marry you. If that means I have to abandon my mother, then I will. As it is I have totally moved out of the house. When school is out, I will find an apartment near you and work for the rest of my life if necessary to show you how important you are to me.
Please don’t throw us away. I want to live with you for the rest of my life.
I was speechless for a few seconds. When I was able to talk, I just said; “Yes.”
Jan jumped off the chair and almost flew into my lap. She was crying, laughing, kissing, and babbling all at the same time.
I waited for her to calm down and by the time she did, she fell asleep. I carried her into my bedroom, and covered her. I went into the kitchen and got a piece of paper and wrote “yes” on a note and left the engagement ring on it and went to get some food to bring back for both of us.
Went I got back Jan was awake and clutching the note in one hand and the ring in the other. She looked up and smiled. Then she surprised me by giving me the ring and saying; “I screwed up and lost the right to put this back on my finger; would you honor my by doing that for me.”
I was laughing so hard that I dropped the ring not once, but twice. I finally got it on her finger. We talked all of that day, and well into the night. Jan said she had to go because she was tired.
I asked why she had to go, I had a spare bedroom, or she could share my bed. I said she could wear one of my tee shirts and a pair of my boxers to bed. I promised that I would not do anything that she did not want.
She chose my bed and the next day moved in. We never slept in separate beds, except when one of us was out of town overnight, again; until the confrontation from the wrong phone.
We got married, Jan’s father gave her away, and her mother did not attend. We honeymooned in Niagara Falls, Canada and stopped for a couple of days in Toronto. Life was good for over two years.
We had been married for a little more than two years when Jan wanted to start a family. I was ecstatic and said with a Groucho Marx eyebrow wiggle said, “Let’s start now.”
Jan raced me to the bedroom.
We tried to get her pregnant for a few months and finally Jan went to her doctor to see if there was a problem. When I came home from work that evening she was crying and holding the report. It seems that Jan’s womb was malformed and every fertilized egg that tried to attach could not. She would never have children.
Our life was changed from then on. Jan no longer seemed to enjoy making love. She stopped wanting to go to any social functions.
I finally told her she needed to find a therapist or I was going to move into the second bedroom. I told her she was no less a woman, nor a less desirable wife, lover and friend. I said if she wanted, we could look into adoption.
Jan found a therapist, I got a promotion and we moved from the apartment to a rental house. I was still on an upward path at work and felt renting made more sense than buying then selling in 18 months or 2 years if I got promoted out of the office I was in.
Life got better; then the phone.
I was running slightly late to get to work, and so I just grabbed my cell phone from the charger and left home. On the drive there, the phone made a strange tone and the screen said ‘new text message’. I realized then that I grabbed my wife’s phone. I did not read the message until I reached my office.
I arrived at work, completed all of the start of the work day tasks and then checked the phone in case the message for my wife was important. When I read the message I knew my marriage was over.
The message was from a neighbor and friend George Stine, it read;
Hi Sexy Ass;