Thursday, July 08, 2004

Part Two: The List

For years John and I kept a list. Creative as we were, we called it "the List". It changed a lot over time, with additions and deletions periodically, but it was a list of all the things we wanted. I mean ALL the things. It was comprehensive: a vacuum, a Pentax K-1000 camera, a bachelors degree, a masters degree, world peace, a good set of pots & pans, a Volvo station-wagon, a marriage license, a television, a wife (to do our laundry, cleaning, and "other" services), a baby, a million dollars. You get the idea.

A little more than a year after we moved in together, we moved from the Central Coast of California to the North Bay. I could do a whole post on the Central Coast—for those of you not familiar with California, let me tell you, when you’re looking at a map, the area that looks like the Central Coast ISN’T. The area that looks very much like southern California, just above the LA area, is what people who live there refer to as the central coast. As if nothing above San Francisco exists. Whatever.

So we moved. I was 21 and a half, he was 31. Despite the fact that we acknowledged a commitment to each other, we had an "open" relationship. Mostly because he wanted to and I was young and insecure. I was afraid if I didn’t agree, he’d leave me. So there it was. We each had carte blanche to do as we pleased with other people. Perhaps I’ll go into the details later, but right now the only relevant thing is that you are aware of that fact.

John was afraid of school. No matter what he said then or would say now, I am convinced that he was (is?) afraid of doing anything that might lead to success, so he doesn’t do anything at all. How sad. He’s an intelligent guy and the world is missing out on that. Oh well.... So he didn’t go to school, but I did. Eventually I got my BA in English Lit (creative writing, with a minor emphasis on Medieval literature—yeah, 'cause that’ll getcha far in the world!).

We lived for a while in the shittiest little apartment I’ve ever seen. Well, maybe not quite THE worst, but pretty crappy. We were Desperate for a house and a yard, so we found a roommate and rented a house together. After a couple of years, perhaps a little longer, the night after a mushroom experience, John proposed to me. We’d been living together for 5 and a half years by this time and I was in my first semester of graduate school. We set a date for a year out. During that year, I referred to our wedding as "the party"; John took great exception to that phrase, but I just couldn’t help myself. It was a big ol’ party we were planning!

We were married on a Sunday in June in 1994. I was a month shy of 27, he was 4 months shy of 37. We drove ourselves home from our wedding in separate cars, neither of them a Volvo. By that point, 6 ½ years in, we had obtained about half the items on our list.

You know, it just occurred to me, I’m glossing over some big stuff here. I’m not interested in writing out the details of shit like our wedding because those details don’t drive the story forward, but I’ll happily do some "aside" posts (or comments or emails or whatever) to answer any questions or give details. All you gotta do is ask.

I’ll try to get the post-wedding chapter to you soon. Give me time. It takes a while to get it in the right sequence sometimes.