Today seems like a good day to tell the world the true story of my third son’s conception. It happened on my seventh wedding anniversary, which oddly enough fell on Groundhog Day. I may possibly be the only dumbass who ever got married on Groundhog Day and didn’t know it for three years. A woman who’s too ignorant to know she got married on Groundhog Day should never be surprised by the circumstances of a day where a celebration, an ending, and a proposition all show up at the same occasion.
As aforementioned, it was our seventh anniversary. In the last paragraph, I had said it was our wedding anniversary but we had no such wedding. We got married at the courthouse, but we most certainly did not have a wedding. Shotgun wedding at a courthouse on Groundhog Day. “How romantic,” you snicker. This is the point in the story where I recommend that no one ever marry in the months of January, February, or March. Either you, your spouse, or one of your children are bound to have a cold, a broken leg, or cabin fever during these months, making the likelihood of a happy celebration next to nil. Mark my words.
We drove to the restaurant nimbly, our goal to avoid a slide on some newly iced roads. Upon arriving, we found that our table wasn’t ready so we went to the bar for some stiff drinks. Well, at least I had a stiff drink. I needed all the fortitude I could muster for my “announcement.” My husband and I chit chatted like old high school chums just catching up on all the news of mutual acquaintances. I filled him in on our kids and he let me know what all the guys at work were up to. It was awkward. After my second drink and no hope of our table being ready any time soon, I blurted out the real reason for our date: I wanted out of the marriage.
My husband being much older and calmer than I took another sip of his drink and a drag on his cigarette and coolly said, “You have a strange sense of timing for this announcement.” Somehow it hadn’t seemed all that strange to me. My need was for a place to give him the news, outside the house, and in a public place so that there would be no shouting or door slamming. We’d had a rocky marriage and two kids at that time, and hadn’t been sleeping in the same bed for most of the seven years.
Soon after my news was delivered, our table was ready so we grabbed our drinks and were seated. I remember having a great salad and a nicely seared steak, and chatting with glee about how I saw our future as we co-parented our kids and lived free from the shackles of our mostly unhappy marriage. I almost felt guilty to feel so happy. We drove home agreeing to file papers soon, to be amicable to the best of our abilities, and to be supportive of one another. It was surreal. It hadn’t occurred to me that two people who could not be civilly married could be civil as they unwound the life they had (kind of) shared for some years.
Upon our arrival home, I went to the master bedroom, and he retired to his leather lounger in the living room; our usual sleep arrangement. He preferred to sleep in front of the TV when he came home from the late shift and that pattern had started on the first week we got married. It seemed like a lie to even say we were married. My own parents never slept apart.
Sometime after I had fallen into a light sleep, a fluttering sound woke me a little. I opened my eyes as much as I could after three gin and tonics and two glasses of wine: was that my husband standing beside the bed? What is he doing in here? Naked? Is he crazy?
“What are you DOING?” I whispered. “I’m trying to sleep, here.” I tried to make my voice sound a little drunky and sleepy but I knew exactly what he was doing. How could I not? His manhood was only inches from my face. Gee, ya think? Frankly, I was trying not to hurt his feelings. The sight of his naked member wasn’t exactly thrilling at this point in time.
Amazingly, he had a little proposition for me. It was a night of strange announcements, alright.
“One more. Now. Why not? One for the road, our last stroll down memory lane,” he whispered back.
My brain ran a nano process and determined it was in fact a pretty good idea. There had been no nooky for ages so I agreed. I had my own needs to think of, after all. Who knew when my next opportunity for sex would present itself? How many nights had I practically begged him for some affection when he stubbornly sat in his chair watching TV and ignoring my needs?
We did the anniversary last dance and he delivered the goods. I fell asleep as happy as I possibly could be: scoring sex and future free of him all in the same evening, on top of a great steak dinner!
Unbelievably, a few weeks later, I had determined that I had gotten pregnant and I sobbed for hours and hours. I considered my options. I sobbed more, and louder. It turns out I was not only stupid enough to get married on Groundhog Day, I was also stupid enough to believe that “one for the road” was a good idea, also.
Needless to say, one more for the road was an incredibly good idea, after all. The baby seemed to know the circumstances of his creation and came into the world screaming bloody murder. He’s an almost sixteen years old now. And an ever-present reminder of what the Seven Year Itch can do on a cold winter night.