I never dreamed of the white dress.
While we’re at it, I never thought much about white picket fences either. Hey, I grew up in a modest condo in Southern California.
My parents divorced when I was six. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I hid in the My Little Pony tent on my bed until I heard the front door slam shut, signifying the finale of “Mom Just Moved Out”, a play I never wanted to see. I peeked my head out and saw my dad sitting on the floor, his face covered by his hands.
All I could do was put my arm around him. It’s all I had.
We did the joint custody thing. Dad most of the time and mom every other weekend. It was odd living out of a suitcase when I hung out with my mom, but we did our best.
I have two half-sisters and one half-brother. None of us grew up together.
A smattering of step-siblings trickled in and out of my life for years. It was always a strange dynamic with them: we played together, we ate together, we pretended to be this makeshift family.
It never worked…we were strangers playing house.
But, this story isn’t about having it hard growing up. I know, compared to many, my childhood was a piece of cake.
The outcome of it all was a cynic – a young one. I grew up thinking love was a sham. Marriage was just a joke to me, the kind I rolled my eyes over.
From a young age, I vowed never to marry. Why the hell should I even bother? All I could see was heartbreak, callousness, and paperwork.
Then, somebody came along to prove me wrong. My husband. My soul.
When we first saw each other…we just knew we were meant for one another. It’s cliché, I know. But damn, what’s wrong with a little cliché?
This year we celebrated eight magnificent years of marriage. We’ve been through it all together – we’re war buddies, we’re best friends.
Now I believe in something different, that love is available to all of us. We just have to accept it, then hang onto it for dear life.
Well, that’s how the cynic became a sap.