Although we were both brought up in the Jewish faith, we checked around for the nearest
church. We found a small inconspicuous one and didn’t bother to check out the
denomination. It didn’t matter to us, as long as the minister would honor our marriage
license, pronounce us husband and wife, and sign the document making our union legal.
I dressed in a simple pink suit and hat and Charles looked impressive in his blue suit.
Since we needed two witnesses, the church secretary and handyman served as our
bridesmaid and groomsman. Our marriage ceremony was over in less than ten minutes.
Under the glow of love and hopes for the future, we shared our first family dinner at
a modest-sized restaurant and spent the night in an equally modest-sized San Diego hotel.
The next morning, we returned to my apartment. This was our honeymoon, a far cry from
the newsworthy dinner-dance following my first marriage and the month-long cruise
replete with fancy wining and dining and lolling on the beaches of Hawaii.
Charles spoke increasingly about working with his brother and becoming a real
estate tycoon, but that’s as far as it went. He continued his work at the Broadway, and I
continued to commute back and forth to Encino. I looked forward to sharing supper over
a discussion of the challenges we’d faced in our jobs each day. Weekends, we’d take
walks on the beach or go grocery shopping together.
Over time, it seemed that Charles became unusually moody, sometimes to the point
of not talking when he got home or speaking in one-word sentences. When the weekend
arrived, he was too tired to do anything. “You go,” he’d say. “I don’t need the hassle of
all those crazy people mauling through the oranges.” Either that or he’d blow up over
minor things; throw a shoe across the room or something more frightening. I had never
seen this side of him. If I questioned him about the cause of his stress, he clammed up or
leave the apartment, slamming the door behind him.
I chose to keep a blind eye to these mood swings, telling myself he just missed our
former routine at the Broadway and, perhaps, his ego was suffering a bit from his having
to set up house in my apartment. Then he’d come home with his arms laden with
packages. “Look what I bought, Carol! I’ve always wanted one of these gadgets. The
store had a sale today. Look at this gorgeous neck scarf. It matches your favorite color
lipstick.” On occasions like this, his buying spree was unrestrained. I loved seeing him so
excited and upbeat and joyfully exclaimed over each purchase. Of course it put a definite
strain on our budget.
One day, Charles would be unusually talkative, bragging about the superiority of his
work ethic at the store compared to his peers. A few days later, he’d be irritable to the
point of finding fault with everyone and with everything I did. Or he’d slump on the
couch looking and feeling like he’d just been fired. “I’m worthless,” he’d mutter.
“Totally, completely worthless.”
“Why don’t we go for a ride along the coast and have supper at that Asian chow
mein café. We love it. It’ll give us both a chance to relax. It’s been a busy month.”
“That sounds good to me. Might be just the thing I need to get out of this funk. But
maybe we shouldn’t. We can’t afford to spend
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish