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>On Falling in Love, Part 4

April 14, 2010

>August 1996
Santa Clara, CA

I was awake before dawn. Four years in the Air Force and jet lag conspiring to rob me of any additional sleep that morning. Laying there, thinking, I knew I had a choice to make. I think even then I knew I was at a crossroads.

Here I was, alone in a new city. There was no one here to answer to. No one to question my actions, to frown at my choices. No one.

I could continue on the rather self-destructive path I had recently begun – angry and embittered over the last relationship that had gone south.

All I had ever wanted was a home and a family. Not that I could really tell you what that meant – I had been in other homes that were happy, but it’s not what I had growing up. A string of step-fathers had assured me of that, all of them alcoholics. My mother did the best she could. When it was just the three of us – she, my older sister and I – we were happy, but we were poor. A single mother trying to support two kids working three jobs at a time wasn’t the best life, but I never doubted her complete and utter devotion to us. I knew I was loved. She even tried to move us to California once, to make a fresh start for herself and two young kids, but we never got further than Colorado. Homesick, she turned back. Back to what she knew.

Always working in one type of restaurant or another, as kids we waited tables. (An eight-year-old can rake in pretty good tips.) At 14 I was working as a short-order cook in a deli. By 15 I was running the entire kitchen. In college (the second time around) I waitered in higher-end places down on The Strip – catering to rich New York City tourists up for the ski season.

Ever since I was 13 or so, I dreamed of a wife and family.Yet here I was, nearly two decades later, and I was still alone.

I had a good job as a process engineer, a great little 1920’s duplex in South Portland, and two cats. Morris and Zeke were all I had to come home to at the end of the day, so most days, I just didn’t come home until it was too late to notice how empty it was. I worked out at the company gym, competing with the other guys for who could curl the most, and on weekends I went to bars. (Editor’s Note: G would like me to point out that those guns were 17.5 inches around. I told you, they were IM-pressive.)

Nancy, my last girlfriend, was the final straw. For months I drove to Boston, two hours each way, every weekend to see her. She wouldn’t commit. I tried to break up with her and she convinced me that she really wanted this…and a month later she was gone.

It was all for nothing.

And so it was that I lay there that morning wondering what my next step would be.

Thinking back, I’m still not sure I can tell you why I did what I did.

I just did. Not thinking, I got up, picked up the phone book, and started thumbing.

I saw one that was nearby.

The ad was large, the logo friendly. I wouldn’t know a soul, and meeting strangers wasn’t exactly my favorite thing, but for some inexplicable reason on that sunny August day in Santa Clara, instead of squandering my life further on useless people and useless pursuits.

I went to church.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 2:35 pm

    >"And the two shall be one…." What a smile bringing surprise to read this chapter! That's true love for a blogger to share space, and what an honest, tender, creative way it is to tell your story. Reflections like this could be the equivalent of an 8 week marriage seminar! You two are modeling a great exercise for any couple who needs and wants to remember God's faithfulness and loving provision. I am thankful for those who sent comments to encourage you to continue your story so I could sit down and read all 4 chapters this morning. Even when I am out of pocket for a few days, please know my response will always be "More, please" when it comes to anything you might wish to share, and G that goes for you too! Bien hecho, mis corazones! Love you all

  2. April 14, 2010 3:39 pm

    >I was going to comment…but Pat said all there was to say!

  3. April 14, 2010 4:19 pm

    >What a fun surprise! Thanks to G for being willing to share his side of the story. What's amazing is that the two stories are similar enough that I didn't realize who was narrating until the part about stepfathers. (Although I did wonder when Adelle had been in the air force, haha. I figured Bob Sr. was at some point.)Can't wait to hear the rest!

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  1. On Marriage: Harrowing Adventures, Sob Stories, Happy Endings and Everything In Between | Adelle Gabrielson

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