Friday, May 16, 2008

As far as boyfriends go, Paulie Bleeker is totally boss: The condom broke part 5.

Justin met my mom and dad on our third date. In the Utah-iest location in Utah this is a normal and accepted practice. It doesn't mean things are serious, it's so Ma and Pa can perform shotgun and rifle cleaning on a regular basis.

My parents were naturally concerned with my date choice. I was still a teenager, albeit legal, and Justin was 23, fresh out of the Army. His best shoes were his Desert Storm sand colored combat boots. My dad asked Justin what he did...which is a loaded question coming from any father...but a bit more so when coming from my father. Dad is a worker. When he got home from his shift as a machinist at the steel mill, he put on his other work clothes and worked some more. Dad is a work perfectionist. Work hard, work long, work until it's done, and don't do any of it half assed.

How did Justin reply to Dad asking what he did? He spouted off with, "Nothing. I'm a lazy bum."

I wilted.

It would have been better for Justin to describe lewd sex acts in detail, sprinkled with plenty of profanity and a request for match to light his meth pipe, rather than to tell my dad that he was a lazy bum. If there was a wrong thing to say, that was it.

Even after three dates I knew Justin was for life. I knew it the same way you know you have a spleen even though you've probably never seen your own spleen. It wasn't a romantic notion either. Is a spleen romantic? No. It just is. Justin and I, just the way it is.

(No, I don't want to see pictures of your spleens. Perverts.)

How does your family not look at you like a boy crazy eejit after he owns his bumhood?

Thank goodness Dad swears that he doesn't remember Justin saying such a thing. He liked Justin. Justin was serious about studying in college. He joined the Army because he wasn't nearly as serious in high school. He figured if he was going to get anyplace he wanted to get to, that the Army, and then the G.I. Bill, was the path that was the most likely.

And though Justin knocked me up, my family put credit where credit was due, squarely on the both of us, and supported our decision to marry and make it right. If my parents had wanted to punch Justin in the wiener they never told me. Maybe I'll ask my dad when I see him next. Saying wiener in front of my dad ought to be hoot.

My marriage and life and family has it's base in the G.I. Bill and VA disability (for Desert Storm Syndrome). So many questions had answers because we had those resources and services available to us, even though you have to buy red tape in bulk to use them. Between veteran's benefits, scholarships, stipends and grants we were able to scrape by in those early years. We were poor, but we were able to live within our means, leaving college a few years later with only a couple thousand dollars of debt by way of a loan we took so we could move. We didn't even have a credit card until our 8th year of marriage. Our GPAs and credit scores were both excellent.

Those poor years... Those years where finding a five dollar bill you didn't know you'd left in your pocket was like winning the lottery.... Those years where I was darning socks and making baby clothes out of the best parts of Justin's worn shirts and pants... Those years where we were staggering classes, pushing the stroller back and forth from college to avoid daycare costs while we both attended... Those are some of the best years of my life. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

There are those that say that marriage is work. Family is work. Work as in ditch digging, sweating, muscle spasm-ing work. Lately I've been thinking differently on it. It's an occupation. It's work as worthwhile and as enjoyable as your priorities and your attitude towards it. Though Justin and I are a condom failure rate statistic, we were determined to work hard, work long, work until it's done, to not do any of it half assed and not become a young marriage statistic. This is it, just the way it is.

Our "baby" is 14 now. I make him shower and use soap. I talk to him candidly about sex, about condoms, about his responsibilities in reproduction...and about love.

Though, I don't know what girl would be after him if he continues to think that soap is arbitrary. At least he's stopped projectile vomiting.


  1. Did you and Justin both finish college?

    This was a wonderful series, Becky. Is it done, or can we have Parts 6 through 10 now?

  2. Even after three dates I knew Justin was for life. I knew it the same way you know you have a spleen even though you've probably never seen your own spleen. It wasn't a romantic notion either. Is a spleen romantic? No. It just is. Justin and I, just the way it is.

    Thank you, thank you. I've been trying to put into words just how it was with SG and me. This is perfect.

  3. This one finally made me weepy. I hope you're satisfied.

  4. That is a good story and it is wonderful how you two have made it so successful. 14 year olds are still kind of between children and adults so it is okay that he isn't sure he likes soap. He will change.

  5. Hi Becky,

    Long time, and wanted to say hello.

    Good to hear how you and Justin hooked up, and how he met your parents.

    I see from your pictures that your child is very grown up for now.


  6. Hi Becky,

    I enjoyed very much reading your series.

    Your story sounds very truthful and maybe against your intention, inspiring.



  7. Dear Becky,

    Just found your blog :) And Loved this very first post! It's amazingly easy and interesting to read (not too often with personal blogs)! Thank for sharing the story!


  8. Orange:
    Justin finished, but I did not. He was ahead of me by at least a year, so we had plans to move back to where we are both from because he had a teaching internship. I was to finish there. But there were complications (not caused by us!) and best laid plans were unlaid. We moved to where we live now, which hasn't got a college anywhere close. I've been looking into satellite schooling. Though, I have enough costume schooling, and self taught skills, to do all the sewing work that I love.

    Blogarita, you may send me a photo of your spleen.

    Meggy, darling, I am satisfied!

    Dick, I hope so. Soap is a good thing.

    Hello Barbara!

    Hello Gabita mucha peluda!

    And hello Natalie! Welcome.


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