Running Out of Options
May Help You See
I was a bride.
He was a groom.
We drove away from the church. On our way to a new life as one. We ignored the omen. As the preacher introduced us to the congregation, he hailed us as Mr. and Mrs. Lang. That is NOT our surname. People in the pews howled. We looked at one another. Well now.
On the way to our wedding night hotel, we had a fight. I lost the directions. In the parking lot, I grabbed my suitcase and mumbled something snarky. He did too. Our reservations for our wedding dinner mysteriously misplaced, meant we only had champagne to consume until 11 PM. It was now 5 PM. At 5:35 PM my mother called to see how we were doing. Another obnoxious ominous omen.
We sat glowering and inebriated on the balcony.
The next morning, we loaded my '65 Buick Skylark and hooked the UHaul, loaded with all our worldly possessions, to the bumper. On to Dallas. Our new home.
Tears, no, make that sobs, of good-bye. That was me.
A sigh. That was him.
The first day out. The car overheated.
The second day out. The car spewed vapor. We came to a rolling stop. We stood on the side of the road in pouring rain until the car cooled down enough to drive. We pulled into a garage in a strange city, late at night. We left our car and our UHaul, with all our worldly possessions, in a gas station. Two very non-charming and somewhat disreputable looking men, announced we had a cracked block, locked up our car in their garage and gave us a ride to a similarly non-charming and disreputable motel. They, smilingly, drove away into the night with our car keys jangling in their pockets. That night I told Mr. Lang I made a mistake. I, Mrs. Lang, wanted out. I wanted to go home. Trouble was I had no where to go and no way to get there.
Many many many hundreds of dollars of our precious wedding stash later, we returned to the road.
For about an hour. The car overheated once again. We pulled over onto the shoulder and stood drenched in the drizzle. I cried. He swore. I sneezed. He coughed. A state trooper stopped. He took one look under the hood and swiped his finger across his throat in the universal sign that translates into "This car is toast."
It was the fourth of July. Nothing. Nothing was open. No one to help. We waited for the car to cool, then followed the trooper out to a rural area and pulled into the gravel driveway of a local farm. The farmer was good with cars. Just not today. He would put our car and the UHaul in his barn overnight. We could pick it up in the morning. The trooper drove us into Joplin. On the edge of town. A U shaped motel. He dropped us off. Our room was teeny with a tiny TV, one station, with no picture, only sound. Both of us were sick. Neither of us wanted to walk to the office to ask for the toilet paper for the empty spool in the tiniest bathroom.
He went. I refused. We fell into bed exhausted.
We did not sleep long.
Bombs began bursting outside our front door. No, amend that. Multiple explosions followed by the loud roars and oohs and aahs of a crowd. We inched the door open. During our ten minutes of slumber, bleachers were erected, crowds had assembled and fireworks prevailed. We were in the midst of Fourth of July revelry at its finest.
Broke, tapped out, sick and crabby,
the anonymous Mr. and Mrs. Lang simply shut the door.
Morning light. Our friend the trooper picked us up and hauled us out to the farm. There, a generous soul, our farmer/garage mechanic/ guardian angel handed us a bill for $10. No cracked block. Never was. No mysterious automotive ailment. A plugged radiator. Needed a little flush. A bit of TLC.
We shook hands with the trooper,
hugged the farmer and headed down the road.
We lost all of our wedding money. We almost lost our sanity. We could have lost our possessions. My mother could have called. Instead, we arrived in Dallas. Unloaded boxes.
And Mr. Lang, handkerchief in hand, headed off to work.
I sat in the middle of the living room and cried, until I found a picture of us.
Before the wedding.
Standing together and laughing.
And I knew, right then, that one day soon,
we would look back and do that again...stand together and laugh.
Again and again and again.
...Because that was the part,
back at the church,
that came out just right.
The promise. Not I do. We do. Promise. For better or worse.
Better is the easy part.
It's standing in the rain together that is the glue.
I was stuck.
So was he.
Mr. and Mrs. What Was Their Name?
'Til death do us part.
The moral of the story:
It's not what you have..it's who...
oh and be sure to check under the hood once in awhile