Why isn't Larry talking to me? It's 1970 and we'd only been married a few months. We were finally going on our first vacation since our honeymoon and I was thrilled! I couldn't wait to be with my beloved for three whole days. I was especially looking forward to the five hour drive on our first day. Without interruptions, we could talk and talk!
My young husband who loved to drive!
But as we drove along, Larry seemed strangely silent or else gave me one-word answers to my questions. I guess Larry must be intent on driving, so I'll enjoy the scenery, I thought.
Several hours later, hunger nagged at me. "Aren't we going to stop to eat?" I asked.
Larry replied, "I thought we'd just eat the snacks you brought. That way we can get there sooner."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "Larry, vacations are times to relax and enjoy your way as you go along."
"Honey, I want to get there before dark," he replied. "Just pull out the chips, okay?" He turned his attention back to the road and seemed to be so happy. But I was fuming! How could he be so happy while not saying a single word to me!!!! And how am I going to get him to stop so that I can use the bathroom?
Something inside me died as my dreams and expectations of a leisurely drive with lots of conversation evaporated. And him paying attention to only me! I concluded that Larry didn't like being with me, and I swallowed back tears. Why does this happen so much? I agonized. Why am I constantly being disappointed and finding my opinions ignored?
Hours later we arrived at our destination--the Sequoia trees of Northern California but stayed only two hours. As Larry explained to me, "If you've seen one tree, you've seen them all."
Then it was off to Larry's next scheduled driving goal. When we finally did stop at midnight to sleep, he insisted we get up at 5 A.M. to continue our trek. I had no idea our vacation would be one driving marathon.
That was many years ago, 45 to be exact, and Larry and I laugh now at those early misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations we both had! But they were very real at the time and began to plant seeds of discontent and anger in us that bred many weeds that almost resulted in our divorce.
Looking back, I wish I wouldn't have assumed Larry's silence meant he didn't love me anymore (within a year of our wedding). I also know now I was clueless about what was important to him. And I didn't understand his masculinity.
In my next post, I'll explain more of those details.
(photo by feelart found at www.freedigitalphotos.net)