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YOU WANT ME TO WHAT?

romance is so overrated.

By Margaret BrennanPublished 2 months ago 6 min read
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image by: grantsjewelry.com

YOU WANT ME TO WHAT?

Romance is so overrated.



“What a day!” I heard my friend and co-worker say as she walked to my desk.

I replied, “Yeah! Big was on his worst behavior and his body odor? Oh, Lord! Did he ever stink! I’m sure you could smell him from a block away.” (We secretly called our boss Big for two reasons, it was short for his name Bigelow, and he was HUGE!)

Cheryl laughed. “I know. I could smell him with my office door closed. He really needs to change his diet. He never looks like he needs a shower so I’m sure it’s not anti-soap; it has to be what he’s eating.”

Big and his partner-wife had already left for the day, and it was part of our job descriptions to close the office down and lock the doors before leaving for the day. After the day we had, stopping for one quick beer sounded like music to our ears.

“I’m calling my boys and letting them know I’ll be an hour late. One beer and then I really need to be with my sons.”

Cheryl understood. Since my divorce, my boys and I had gotten closer than ever. They were seventeen and fifteen, and we tried to make it a habit of always having dinner together. Yet, there were times when that habit was necessary to break. That night would not be one of them. They insisted on waiting until I arrived home, but also insisted that they would get dinner started.

I didn’t often delay the drive home but now and again, when Big was in one of his moods and the rants were continuous, Cheryl and I, rather than take our frustrations home, stopped for a quick beer just to unwind. Unfortunately, for some reason that we didn’t know about, Big’s moods were fouler and more frequent in the past few months. Since we worked for him, if there were problems at work, we didn’t know about them. We could only conclude they were personal. To be honest, we didn’t care what his problems were as long as our jobs were secure. We’d endure his moods and foul odors. After all, we worked only eight hours a day, with a 45-minute lunch break.

One night in June, after the half hour it took us to close the office, we’d stopped at a local bar and ordered our beers. Forty-five minutes later, as we were leaving the bar, I turned to say something to Cheryl and slammed into someone entering the door I was trying to pass through.

We said our “oops, sorry” lines and the man stopped, placed a hand gently on my arm and asked, “Are you leaving?”

I can’t explain why I stopped and spoke to the handsome stranger but after telling him my reason for leaving, he asked for my phone number. Again, I can’t explain why but I gave it to him. He insisted on walking me to my car and waited until I drove out of sight.

The following day, I mentioned this to Cheryl. “Weird,” I told her. “I don’t do those things but for some reason, he just seemed nice, so I figured, what the heck! After all, what are the chances he’ll really call? Right?”

Huh! Well, the laughs are on me. He did call. He called every Thursday night, and we made plans for every Saturday night when I had no “mom and son’s” activities planned. We shared dinner at my house. I had dinner at his. He told me of the tragic illness and death of his wife. His children were close in age to my own and we’d often have dinner with all four “kids”.

I know this sounds strange, more like a Brady Bunch kind of story but our children became friends. While the relationship between Rich and me grew, marriage was never a topic of conversation.

Did I want to get married again? I never thought about it. There was a certain contentment in just having my sons around, but they were grown up now, no longer little kids. While they had many friends, neither had a steady girl – not yet anyway, but I knew eventually that would change.

Maybe it was time for me to begin thinking about my own future – a future with my sons no longer living at home and worrying about their “mama”.

I still didn’t know Rich’s thoughts about a future for us and decided to just take each day as it came.

My sons wanted to ask him about his “intentions”, but I warned them to do as I’d been doing. One day at a time. If it were meant to be, it would happen but if we push the issue, it might cause problems let alone be embarrassing for all of us. They finally saw my point of view and kept quiet, but they still worried.

Almost one year later, Rich and I were sitting in a cozy restaurant, when he said, “You know, our lives would be so much easier and better all around if we got married.”

There was no “I love you”, no “I really love being with you”, no “I’d like you and your boys to be part of my family”. Nothing like that at all. No romance of any kind.

I said I’d think about it.

I mentioned the conversation to my sons, and they weren’t simply happy about it, they were enthusiastic. Yet, I warned them that this had still been only a brief conversation. I saw no commitment in it.

The following month, once again, we sat in a booth in the same restaurant and after placing our dinner orders, Rich reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled out a box which he placed on the table.

“This is for you. Just give me a date and we’ll consider it done.”

What the heck? I thought.

‘You want me to what?” I asked in a shaky voice.

I opened the box and inside was the most elegant, beautiful engagement ring I’d ever seen.

We began planning our wedding. No, I didn’t marry him because he’d given me such a gorgeous ring. I married him because I so thoroughly enjoyed his company and didn’t want our fun times together to end.

Here we are thirty years later. There’s still no romance, but there is love, compassion, and respect. It doesn’t get much better than this.

And for romance? Well, romance can be so overrated.

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About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 76 year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

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Comments (5)

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  • Willett2 months ago

    I’m so surprised I haven’t seen your writings earlier. Wow 🤩 you’re amazing. It’s fantastic 👏👏. How long have you been here?

  • Margaret Brennan, you skillfully weave a tale that explores the nuances of friendship and love while serving as a reminder that sometimes the most meaningful relationships are formed on pillars other than passion.

  • Kalina Bethany2 months ago

    I often wonder if that's the point of it. My friends and me are more romantic anyways haha! Great piece

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    At first, I didn't know if he was going to be a stalker...and now I'm laughing because he is the worst kind of stalker....the kind we marry. (I know you get the humor)

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    True story?

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