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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ray the invisible man - sorry hubby

I never mentioned my husband? That's okay, most people who meet me (without the girls or my husband) for the first time assume I'm lesbian. You know, I have that "look". I think I'm straight but I believe we're all a mix of one thing or another. The whole "girl" thing of hair, makeup, and clothes is lost on me although I make a valiant attempt for the little girls.

Ray is a wonderful human being who leaves me alone to do what I want, brings me ice water, cooks, often beats me to the dishes, the floors, or the laundry, and thinks I walk on water. He still brings me roses. Silly man. After several false starts, I finally got it right. Our life stories are very different - he refers to us as "Yale and jail". For the record, high school and a little college and a lot of business training through the years is it on formal education for me - Yale and jail is just an expression. Oh and he doesn't drive so I have a builtin navigator, map reader, disc jockey, coffee pourer, and child manager. I'm a terrible passenger, too many control issues, so we complement each other nicely.

He and I married over 16 years ago, a little over a year after the father of my two sons died. Jim had been sick for over 5 years and Ray was one of our old friends who was always there for both of us. We met in AA when I was new and he (Ray) was 7. My late husband Jim met Ray later after Jim and I reconciled. Short version - I had done most of my grieving watching my husband die. We had just gotten back together, we were sober and making a good home for the boys, and then prostate cancer decided to move in. Meantime Ray had moved to Paradise (honest, that's the name of the town - up the hill from Chico in gold country). Another good friend lived there as well and I started driving up with Tim (Jim was already in Army) some weekends. Ray started turning up at my friend's house more and more and I imagine you can guess the end of the story. We moved in together in S. F. and decided quickly that while we didn't think a marriage certificate made any real difference, we couldn't figure out how to introduce each other to people. Significant other? Roommate? Shackup? We made a spur of the moment trip to Reno (real craziness for another time), got hitched, and came straight back, just in time for the birth of my son Jim's oldest child, Samantha. With Tim almost grown, I know Ray expected a quiet life with his very first wife but he never batted an eye about the girls - just calmly helped.

He's been ill for some time now[ not life threatening, merely debilitating which is still a shame. Some days are better than others. He's supportive of all my radical ways; he knew what he was getting into having known me for 10 years before we married (I think that math is right).

See - just ask and I'll write you a chapter of a novel. If I haven't mentioned him, perhaps I'm taking him for granted. Thanks L. for the reminder.


L. said...

Hey -- just a suggestion -- I think a chart of the main characters in your life, and maybe even a timeline, would be greatly helpful for the benefit of those of us who read blogs on their wireless laptops while doing stuff in the kitchen, and can`t keep track of all the names. Ray? Tim? Jim? I have the girls` names and personalities down, but you have suddenly given us more information in your last few entries that some of us (like simple-minded moi) can easily process.
Maybe just a chronological list of your major life events, with the names of major characters highlighted as they appeared? Just so I won`t have to keep looking back when I think, "Huh? Who met who at AA?"
I knew you had sons, and I even knew their sexual orientations, but until now, they haven`t had names I`ve had to keep track of.

(Cool code word: owwosh!)

Granny said...

Done and posted at least up to a point. I had covered bits and pieces in BB comments but I talk most about the present. When Jen asked me about the girls and you asked about my husband, it was the first time I had tried to write any of it down.

Sometime I'll talk about rape and adoption or drinking and abortion or fighting a drunken abuser for a gun but not today. (I never shot anybody - I got the gun, threw it, and ran.) ibkab?