By the time Joe came into my life, I had my fair share of dating disasters.
There was the guy who took me out on two dates, before telling me to look him up on YouTube. Only then did I discover he was a “WWF wanna-be” with dozens of clips of his bald body…slamming people around inside of a ring. I almost gave it a chance, until he showed me his freshly shaved legs.
There was the Swiss lover. A strikingly handsome businessman who seemed almost perfect; except he forgot to tell me he was moving back to Switzerland— like the next day.
Don’t forget Mr. Miami; who flew me down for a romantic New Year’s Eve weekend, but wouldn’t share his apple juice over brunch…not even a sip of his juice!!!
There are clear signs a relationship isn’t going anywhere if you’ll only open your eyes to see them.
So, as the failed attempts at love piled on, I created a list of everything I wanted in a husband. I thought it was the sure way to get a good one. I had traits that were negotiable, and others that were deal-breakers. I made a list of “signs to watch out for” to tell my friends as well.
If someone won’t share their juice with you, they won’t share their true life with you.
If a guy won’t carry your friend’s luggage up the stairs, run. He’ll never carry the weight of what matters in your life.
And on and on…
My list grew of things I wanted out of love.
When Joe came along…so did my checklist.
He always opened the door and carried in my groceries.
He cleaned my filthy apartment and thought I looked great in pajamas.
He wanted to travel, he liked sushi and he promised me some day he’d be rich.
CHECK, CHECK and CHECK!
Now a fair warning ladies, there may have been some false advertisement here, but my eyes were glued to him as he sold me his stories of business success and lavish vacations.
There were a few negotiables. His table manners were a little rusty, but you can teach anyone to put a napkin on their lap.
He also wore crocs.
That scared me at first, but later I’d even throw on the ol’ things to make a quick trip outside.
I guess that’s true love– crocs and all.
(2009, when I moved to Orlando)
You can make lists and check things off in life, but you can’t prepare for everything which really ticks me off. I feel so mad because I put so much thought into the person I would spend my life with. I wanted a good husband and I got one. I refused to settle and I knew what I wanted. I never thought life could go any other way.
I’ve never felt an ounce of jealousy. Joe makes it known he loves me, and he’d never break a commitment.
I chose someone I knew would make an excellent father. I watch him get up in the middle of the night to check on Mira, even with a chemo pack strapped around his waist.
I wanted someone who would pay the bill at dinner. I wasn’t stupid when I picked Joe. I knew what I was doing. I saw a good one and I made him mine.
That’s what is so hard about what is happening. It affects the major things all the way down to the minor things…like remembering to take the recycling out.
Sometimes, he’s forgetful from exhaustion and chemo. This week, he forgot to pay the rent. This has NEVER happened. I’ve never even asked him if he’s paid it. These are just the things he does. Things I should probably learn to do.
I don’t want to.
None of this was on my list. I don’t want to be left to clean out the garage or cut the onions. I hate chopping onions, that’s Joe’s job.
For as much as I tried to keep myself from any heartbreak by choosing the wrong husband, it’s worse because I picked the right one.
Even now as I watch him struggle up the stairs with my suitcase, I know I stand to lose so much. And, I have no idea how to live without him.