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Annette Hendrix Williams

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Member Since: Aug, 2007

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The Man That I Did Not Marry
By Annette Hendrix Williams
Wednesday, September 05, 2007

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I talk about a young man who wanted to marry me, but I did not want to marry him. Then I go on to describe what my life has been like since I turned him down and what is known about his life since that time. It has been revised. After you read this meet the guy that I did marry in my poem about Santa Claus working the night before Christmas.

     On a hot sultry summer afternoon at a Baptist youth camp in south Mississippi the sunlight glistened on a young man's crimson curls while he grinned as brightly as that sun on the cool water of the swimming pool. His grin called as it announced, "Come check me out!" It would become his dream to marry me, and I think that he wanted to do that before he ever even learned my  name.
     His name was Larry, and he really liked football. He had been kicked out, or I should say he had been evicted, from the ninth grade for not knowing how to read or spell, but all he really missed about the place was how those curly locks blazed down the field as he made touchdowns for the hometown team. I did not have the best reputation for exemplary grades myself with math being my worst terror, so I probably encouraged him while he told me about those cruel authority figures who would not let him stay in that maddening hell hole. I must have played up to him sympathetically, and he liked it. 
      I told him everything I knew about the world around me including that I was saving my virginity for Mr. Right. After all, my favorite Home Economics teacher, Mrs. Robinson had convinced me that if a young man really respected me and in fact loved me, he would be glad to wait to marry me to seduce me. It seemed like a great deal to me; I could enjoy the honest life as a virgin and suffer none of the consequense that sex brings as a result.  I surmised that an unwanted pregnancy would not bring an unwanted forced marriage or a murder of an unborn innocent baby.  Then I thought I could give a lot of time to think about whether I really wanted to marry a particular man or not.  Surely I thought my prospective husband could appreciate that.  It seemed like an easy way to find appreciation from somewhere.  Then Larry started thinking of things that might seal his fate if he had not already done it.
     We would have  to go our separate ways soon, but he promised to write. After I got home, he not only wrote letters, he would hitchhike some eighty miles round trip to see me. I found out from the letters precisely why he was dismissed from his high school. He wrote intolerably, and it distressed me without mercy. I tried to break it off because I wanted to go to college. He also did not make good conversation. I asked him to talk about politics or something that I read in books, but all he said was, "I love you." Now I have to ask what kind of conversation is that?
     He would be filthy every time I saw him because although he owned no car, he must have fixed every car on the road to get to me. I told him not to come back covered in motor oil. That was when I decided that I do not want to marry someone who cannot be trusted to come to his own wedding clean. I also thought that marrying him would somehow keep me out of college. So without discussing what was really bothering me, I thought it would be best to sever the relationship.
     He did not understand. I thought my parents would understand especially my mother, but she did not. This was the one who dropped out of college to get married and claimed that she never looked back. Yet she spent my entire childhood pushing me to go to college. I expected her to be proud of me for getting rid of an aimless drifter who thought he could play high school football the rest of his life but could not read.
     About that time she awoke from her coma or whatever that was she went into when I really needed her keen observational skills the most, and then she started noticing whatever she wanted to. She saw me sitting a long distance from him on a church pew after he traveled so far to be with me and after I had politely told him not to come around any more. "Be nice!" she demanded.
     While still in his presence, I hurled back at her, "I have been nice to him. Where were you when I was being nice? If I keep it up, he will think that he is getting somewhere!" As always she still chose to believe that I never did anything right, and of course I felt betrayed.  
     It was about this time  that my entire family made a decision that families often make when they see that their baby girl is growing up, and there is nothing they can do to stop the passage of time.  They decided to release their protective grip on me and let me make my own mistakes because I would not have the benefit of leading a full life if they tried to keep me a baby forever.   Furthermore they liked this young man who appeared to have honorable intentions.  Therefore because they liked him he was welcome in their house: my home.  I could not make him leave and they were no help.
     I stood my ground. He would not go. I was firm and finally won. It was a triumphant moment. The last I heard from him he was going into the army while I was jubilant! "He will meet some girl who is right for him in the army. I did the right thing!" I patted myself on the back because there was no one there to congratulate me for doing the right thing.
     I went to college and got my BS degree in art. I almost never got a husband; so I finally put an ad in the paper to advertise for one. I almost never got a job and finally had to be happy as a hotel maid because people with art degrees could not expect more. The man who answered my ad to become my husband was smart and had some college education and that pleased me, but he could not spell so I ignored that deficiency. He was not very clean either. I married him because I knew that my fertility hour glass was running out of sand. It was getting hard to find a faultless man who would marry me so I had to accept this one as he was.      
     Then having children was not easy. Out of five pregnancies, I learned to be grateful for the two live births and the husband that I was blessed with. So after many years of futile struggles, I found myself working as a hotel maid and going to college part time as a married woman. Then one day at the hotel, I met someone who came from the same hometown that Larry did. I felt compelled to ask the nice young lady if she knew him because I wanted to know what he was doing. I was sure that I would hear some wonderful story about his wife and children and how prosperous and happy he really was. After all, I harbored no ill will against him. I really hoped that life had been kind to him.
     She had seen him years ago because he had been her neighbor. They had asked him why he never married, and he said this, "I once fell in love with a girl who did not want me. I don't know why she didn't want me. I was good to her. I never married because I never got that feeling again." When he was asked why that girl did not want him, the reply was, "I guess it just wasn't God's will." Actually she thought he had gotten maried and had a child but now was divorced.  She added that he seemed unhappy and lonesome.
     In other words, he did not get what he wanted so he was not going to give anyone else a chance to make him happy. I do not know what kind of world that men live in, but women have to live with disappointments every day as I would have if I had married him.  Men generally have their midlife crises in their forties when it becomes obvious to them that their lives are not turning out the way they wanted them too, nor will they ever. Women usually have these revelations shortly after they get married. Everything that I did not like about him was an issue that I had to deal with later in life. Perhaps it is because the Lord chastens those whom He loves. That guy could have been happy with someone else, and the Lord could have blessed him in that, but the fellow was not interested in happiness.
     I have my days when the anger rises up, and I want to kill him all over again.  On those days I forget all of my kind sympathies as I charge, "What was that knucklehead thinking anyway?  Why did he try to force me to marry him; and why couldn't he just get a life?"  Then there are the other days when I wonder, " What was I thinking?  Wouldn't my life have been easier if I had gotten married younger and did things differently?  After all, I never met a man who wanted to marry me more than that guy did."
     I couldn't help Larry now even if I wanted to because I am happily married to the other guy who does not spell well. More than thirty years after I met Larry, I am still dealing with the issues. I have learned the hard way to feel happy and blessed with what I have. God bless him; I hope he will find happiness before he dies. Maybe he won't have to pick up a book to find out what he has missed.           


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Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 10/17/2007
Annette, this was so touching. You write from the heart, and that's something I like. And when you said,"...I am still married to that other guy who does not spell well,"....it brought a smile to my face.
Reviewed by Annette Hendrix Williams 10/15/2007
In response to Connie Faust, I tried to write a worthy poem about my husband entitled, "I Married Santa; He Works The Night Before Christmas". I have recently added his picture with his Santa hat and I think he is adorable.
Reviewed by Connie Faust 10/12/2007
I have to echo Regis' assessment that this is a compelling story. It's too bad about Larry.
You make your life story very interesting, including your Bio.
I hope you really tolerate poor spelling well; there's plenty of it on AD, which surprised me at first. I'm a stickler for spelling, but find that I, too, make mistakes.
You'll have to write about your husband now, to build him up after just referring to him as "that other guy."

Connie
Reviewed by Amy Orsi 9/29/2007
Really good story, kiddo.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 9/26/2007
Hahaha!! This had a touch of sugar & salt, with vinegar sitting on the counter just for the right touch of tartness . . . Being of the male gender I don't know if "Men generally have their midlife crises in their forties when it becomes obvious to them that their lives are not turning out the way they wanted them too, nor will they ever. Women usually have these revelations shortly after they get married." sets too well with me, but then whot da i no . . .
Reviewed by Charlie 9/24/2007
I thought you were writing about me for a while. Chin up! God loves all his children, even Larry.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 9/10/2007
A compelling write that drew me in and held my attention until the end. Thank you, Annette. Love and peace,

Regis
Reviewed by David Perry 9/8/2007
Wow, what a story. I was kept interested all the way and a great ending too. It's apparent that you have a lot to say, please keep writing, you do it very well.


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