Rustic 6/15/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Believe it or not, I was actually married once. It was unfortunately brief, not even lasting for two years. At the time, we were living in South Dakota, and we eloped. Kind of. Well, we were too old to actually elope, but we were married shortly after we decided to do so. We just hopped on a plane to Las Vegas so quickly that she had even forgotten to inform her brother. As for me, well, my regular readers know that I’m not terribly close to my family. I was married over a decade ago, so things were not so dire as they are now. At least I was still speaking with my sister.

So, off to Vegas we went. Interesting city to say the least. There is a lovely little store there from a hard-shell chocolate candy that is apparently the only one in the nation. My then new wife adored it, and so did I. What shocked me was when she insisted that her boys, then 6, 7, 8 and 9 would love Vegas, which I have no doubt they would but for very different reasons. She saw Vegas as a family fun city, while I saw the phone sex billboard trucks driving up and down the man street, the men standing every ten feet from each other handing out stacks of prostitute business cards to anybody who would take them, and topless women dancing on tables in the lobby of hotels. Don’t get me wrong; there are lots of family fun places in Nevada, but maybe not downtown Las Vegas. Maybe this disconnect was a sign that we were not as well suited as I thought we would be.

At one point, she decided she wanted to meet her new in-laws, which, frankly, is kind of a nice thing. We planned a road trip since they lived in Ohio. We stopped at some very cool places on the way and stopped off to introduce her to my parents and my sister and her family. It didn’t really go well. My parents are, well, let’s say stand-offish. My sister organized a dinner for us and invited all of her in-laws who pretty much treated it as a family reunion. My wife and I were delegated to the end of the table (if it was really about us, wouldn’t we have been closer to the middle?) and nobody spoke with me. Later my sister said that her family (meaning her in-laws) “all” thought she was cold. Crazy.

You know, people have to decide if they’re happy or not. That’s really all there is to it. On the drive back, we decided to take a chance (since we were not on a tight schedule) and drive back from Ohio through the Michigan upper peninsula. Without reservations, we figured we would find a motel on the way and stop when we were tired.

If you want to know the truth, I loved it. What a marvelous adventure. She hated every moment. The drive was just isolated through heavy woods. Scenic, marvelous smells, and we even stopped periodically to walk on a Great Lakes beach. There were no major cities, but small towns spread quite far apart from each other. I was surprised that it was rather challenging to find any motels at all.

I guess we were on the road for a little too long. She was getting cranky and mouthy and I was getting tired of her complaining. Finally, yes, we did find a little motel.

It was beautiful. Seriously, nestled deep in the woods, natural wood walls, decorated like a hunting cabin. And the bathroom was astounding. It had the largest walk-in shower I think I’ve ever seen in a hotel room. It was SO cute. And she hated it.

I don’t know why. She just really didn’t like it. I’m wondering if it had something to do with her alcoholism because there was no alcohol or bars there. But sure enough, we had a huge argument, which certainly wouldn’t be our last.

Everybody has their own tastes. I understand that. I love wooded rural areas and long drives. Obviously, she wasn’t so thrilled with our adventure. She, on the other hand, loved shopping. I’m not a shopping fan, but when she wanted to go I would join her. I often did not enjoy shopping, but I always enjoyed the time I could spend with her. The reality is that I enjoy new experiences. Things don’t always go as planned but I truly love new experiences. And frankly, I’m happy I choose to live this way.

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