When he first decided to set down on paper some of the things about his marriage to Angelina, Dave Ross was a little ambivalent. It’s not that there weren’t enough things to talk about; there were actually too many. Certainly no shortage of the sensual chemistry of the two, neither was there a lack of warning signals against any kind of union, probably more negatives than positives when looked at from the traditional standards of the time. But, beyond that, something he couldn’t, or at least found it difficult to communicate.
He wondered how to approach a situation that seemed to shape itself out of what was, in the beginning, a simple need for the two of them to do things together. Something compelling, curious, maybe even magical, a bit racy, well...yeah! yet above all that, existed a need for a certain kind of balancing of social and personal requirements.
Now wait, he thought. It probably might seem a bit high-minded to attempt to portray two people unabashedly steadfast in their obvious physical attraction for each other as messengers of social decorum and strong family values, particularly when one, Angie, had been twenty-nine, and Dave was nineteen. And, Angie had four children, one by her divorced husband about six years earlier and who had custody of the boy because Angie had been certain she could not adequately take care of him, then, afterward, two girls and a boy by a man who proved to be unreliable as a provider... to say the least.
Add to that the fact the two worked in a fast food restaurant, not the kind of occupations generally thought of as great career opportunities, the fact also that Dave wanted take the Naval Academy entrance exam and the NROTC exam for possible scholarships for his college education, as an unmarried individual, with future required military service, and finally the small detail of Angie needing to begin divorce proceedings from her husband, well, certainly some had questioned, "What the hell, exactly, were you two thinking of?" Dave’s parents were at the head of that list.
Most assuredly, if Angie were still alive, she would, at this point be nodding her head in agreement and saying, "I told you so, didn’t I? Who, in their right mind would consider such an outlandish thing."
Of course Dave knew she would also have a loving smile that said, to him, "I’m so glad you were so stubbornly stupid," And it would be about that time he knew he’d have little difficulty getting his story out and on paper. What he would actually need, is a decent editor to rein him in when the words became so numerous he had too many decisions to make about what information to include and what to wisely leave out.
Yes, there were social and personal problems to reconcile and struggle for answers to, three more children, their’s, they had to consider also, there were jobs to take, some, not so appealing, but necessary for obvious reasons, the commitment to demonstrate, as a family, how hard work and dedication to each other usually provided answers to what might at first seem to be unsurmountable obstacles, and the knowledge that however rocky the road may have seemed, the journey itself was what made it worthwhile. Oh sure, there were things he didn’t have that others could easily be proud of, and so much of it just plain wasn’t easy, but, simply looking at one grandchild, or great-grandchild, or having one of his kids look at him with a wink and a smile that said, in its own way, "thanks pop." well, that was kind of special.
D. Kenneth Ross