Ted & Vickie – The Next Two Years…

March 8, 2011

The life story of Ted and Vickie

Time moves slowly when you’re not having fun, but it does move.

Photo of Keystone Heights beach

Keystone Heights Beach

Fast forward to two years later. Macho Park Ranger Guy and I had been married for 6 years – 6 totally wasted years of my life. Since our move to Keystone Heights I had been working multiple jobs again. During the day I packaged hamburger in the meat department of the grocery store, at night I served drinks in the local bar.

Meantime, Macho Park Ranger Guy was a park ranger through the day and had bought a boat with a rotted transom in partnership with another park ranger. The two of them planned to repair this boat and use it to import and sell pot. I’m not sure where they were going to get the contacts or how they were going to evade the authorities.  He had built a greenhouse on the back of our trailer right in the park living compound and was growing pot there. Maybe he thought he could sell enough home grown pot to afford repairs on the boat? Not that it mattered, mostly they sat around drinking beer, smoking pot, and talking about how rich they were going to be when they sold the first big boat load of pot. Oh well, I never said he was bright, only that he was a park ranger.

For the first time in my married life, I believe it was November two years after the move to Keystone Heights so I had been married for six years, my parents came for a visit. Of course they saw the pot plants. Later Mom let me know that Dad had changed his mind. Rather than see me go to jail as an accomplice, he wanted me to move home.

FINALLY!! I had somewhere to go so in November I packed my stuff in the van, wrote a ‘Dear Macho Guy’ letter, and headed for ‘home’. At that time I was 5’2″ tall, weighted about 89 pounds, and for the next week my stomach hurt so bad I couldn’t stand up straight. I think it was the first time I had let myself relax in years and I was having muscle spasms.

After my stomach settled I got a job in a pharmacy as a cashier and worked through the Christmas season – a job that actually lasted until the first of January. An job where I didn’t come home smelling of blood or like an alcoholic. The first week of January my first and only nephew was born. Since he was delivered by cesarean section and his mother had complications, I moved in with my brother and took care of the baby until my sister-in-law came home from the hospital. My first child. I never realized there was so much to keeping a baby: sterilizing bottles and nipples, changing diapers, heating formula, changing diapers, giving baths, and did I mention… changing diapers. By the way, for some of you who are really out of touch with babies and think you want one…diapers REALLY STINK!

photo of Gold Head State Park

Beach at Gold Head State Park

I was only back at my parents house for a few days when Macho Man called and said he loved me. He promised the sun and the moon and that he would change, then said he wanted me back. Great timing. No Christmas presents required. I guess he forgot my birthday was the following week. Anyway, I thought, “Maybe he realizes what a prize I am, and has decided to be a man and change his ways.” So….OK, maybe I’m not the brightest light on the planet….I moved back in with him. In self defense, I was still naive enough to believe love can change people. Of course, they have to actually be in love for that to happen.

Within an hour I knew nothing had changed and it wasn’t going to work. What was my first clue? His statement, “By the way, I talked to the owners at the bar and told them you’d take your old job back.”

My response, “I don’t want to work there any more. I think I’m going to take some time off.”

Over the next few weeks he started following me around the house yelling at me for no reason. I would go to the bathroom and he would follow me in, beer in hand, to yell at me. Once he grabbed me and shook me so hard my head almost flew off.

I moved my things into the spare room, and that night he moved in with me. Imagine my surprise. In the middle of the night I moved back to the master bedroom.

At one point I was cooking. I had cut potatoes for french fries and had to leave the room for something. When I came back I sat on the sofa and he took a scoop of potatoes from the frying pan and slung them across the room, hitting me across the face with them. Fortunately it was a fair distance so the grease cooled enough before it hit me that I only had red marks and not blisters on my face.

The following and badgering got worse. He even did it to my dog until the dog finally bit him, then he took the dog out to the woods and shot it. I was living in a horror story.

Finally he pushed me too far, I grabbed something off the counter and hit him across the face with it. Busted his nose. Surprise! He stopped bothering me for a few days, and during that time……

Ted showed up again.

Tune in next week for the continuing saga of Ted and Vickie…

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7 Responses to “Ted & Vickie – The Next Two Years…”

  1. Mark Valcour said

    To be honest, I’m not quite sure if I was thinking of ‘required’ change versus ‘would be nice if’ change. But you are absolutely correct when you say it is unlikely an outside observer would know what (if any) change is ‘required’ for a relationship to carry on, and wouldn’t likely know of all the ‘small’ changes that occur in the privacy of a relationship.
    I would just like to ‘throw out there’ though that my comments are not entirely based on being an ‘outsider looking in’. There are my own relationships and a number of others’ relationships where one (or both!) partners wanted to confide in me about their relationship. I’m assuming this has happened to you and most others. Half the time I was reluctant to be involved, while half the time I was OK with being drawn into ‘the loop’ – mainly because I cared about one (or both) of the partners. So, there have been a few times in my life where I’ve known what the ‘required’ and/or ‘would be nice if’ changes were. In these instances, whether these changes occured (or not) did not always seem to directly correlate to the success of the relationship.
    I’d also add that some of the ‘required’ changes were REALLY BIG ONES – like: serious substance abuse, philandering, physical and/or verbal abuse (sometimes in public!), crime, gambling… Yet, in some cases the relationship some how carried on! Hence, my original supposition that ‘true love’ can make you endlessly tolerant of your partner’s traits. Not always – but I’ve seen it happen often…
    Thank you for this dialogue! What I will take from it is that in most relationships, changes will occur. An outside observer could never know what would be ‘required’ changes. And, ‘true love’ can be the ultimate motivation for change…

  2. Mark Valcour said

    I agree with your comments that people can and do change when they want to and are motivated to. I was not implying that this never happens. However, of all the relationships I’ve observed, the majority seem to endure one (or both) partners not affecting many changes for the better – yet the relationship continues on. And hey, this must obviously work for many people.
    Also, I don’t believe I’m observing the ‘wrong’ people, simply because I’ve never been ‘selective’ as to who I observe. I have always observed ALL people who cross my path, be they relatives, friends, colleagues or strangers.
    But having said that, thank you for reminding me that good people can, when properly motivated, achieve and maintain positive change. I now know that Ted and your sister are good examples of that!…

    • kayuk said

      I believe we have a misunderstanding. I thought we were speaking of ‘REQUIRED change’, not ‘would be nice if’ change.

      All partners who stay together make small – and sometimes large – changes in order to ‘fit’ together. Because someone outside the relationship doesn’t observe those changes doesn’t mean they don’t occur.

      Also, what you feel are changes for the better may not be great issues within the observed relationship – especially if the relationship endures without the changes. Therefore the changes are not REQUIRED. A required change is a change that is necessary for the survival of the relationship.

      In the case of my relationship with Ted, the issue was not necessarily something that would be seen by an outside observer as it only affected me and generally occured in private conversation. Unlikely also that an outsider would notice the change at all. However, it was a fundamental change, took a year to accomplish successfully, and without it our relationship would not have survived.

      The ‘changes for the good’ that you speak of are aparently not necessary for the survival of the relationships so do not truly require change.

      You are correct, you are not observing the ‘wrong’ people, you are simply observing from the ‘outside looking in’ and therefore don’t see the entire picture.

  3. Mark Valcour said

    I’m not sure I’m prepared to agree that my life long observations on many and varied relationships are ‘wrong’. But, I do accept your challenge to what I have said. Your comments make it very clear that Ted was a truly special partner…
    I stand by my comments, but I acknowledge there will always be exceptions… and I know you realize how fortunate you are to have shared your life with one of those exceptions.

    • kayuk said

      Perhaps you have been observing the wrong people. Or interpreting incorrectly.

      People change their entire way of life all the time for all sorts of ‘reasons’. They get religion, they move to another job /city /house, start gambling, stop gambling.

      The only real reason a person changes is that they want to. Their life will be better in some fundamental way if the change is made. But even though you want something, and make a change, if you don’t find the benefit is worth it you will be dissatisfied and likely change back. Also, real change takes time and a huge amount of effort. You have to realize that the change required is worth the effort to change, the the benefit is greater than the discomfort, and you have to let go of the feeling that it’s unfair that you have to change – you have to look forward, not dwell on the past, and have strong motivation.

      For instance, my sister decided she had put on too much weight after having my niece and went on a diet. Ninety-five percent of the people who start a diet give up within three months and gain back all the weight they lost, plus extra. Because my sister was motivated and the diet made sense to her, she had a strong motivation to change her eating habits. She stuck with the diet, lost the weight, and has continued to be aware of the contents of the food she eats. Her weight is still where she wants it.

      I think you have been observing the wrong people. If the motivation is not there, the relationship is lacking to begin with. There is one other possibility. The required change was felt to be unfair by the changee. There must be love on both sides so that unfair requests are not made, discussion by both parties can be carried out, and agreement can be reached. If one party loves to wear perfume, but the other party gets a headache when in the vicinity of someone who wears perfume, is it not ‘fair’ for the affected party to request that scents be eliminated from the house, car and partner? Even if that partner is scent oriented and loves scented candles burning in the house at all times, scented sprays, and strong perfumes? This would be a lifestyle change in order to live with a sensitive partner.

  4. kayuk said

    You are wrong. People do change, it just takes thinking and concerted effort on their part – and time. I don’t know if my first husband has changed or not, but I do know that Ted did. He changed and the continuous effort it took for him to change, and his dedication to see the change through, is what made me realize that he did sincerely love me.

    And no, true love does not make you endlessly tolerant. Ted and I loved each other, but both of us had to adjust and make changes in order to fit into each other’s lives and forge our ‘together’ life.

    I will get to it later in the story, but Ted and I almost went our separate ways and one point. If that had happened it would have been caused by ‘irreconcilable differences’. Fortunately, he was a real man, was intelligent enough to realize that I couldn’t live with what he was doing, and loved me enough to be willing to make a change in his very outlook on life.

  5. Mark Valcour said

    It seems we all need to experience a relationship or two to come to the realisation that no one really changes. Then, as you observe others’ relationships, it becomes even more obvious. I bet you your first husband hasn’t changed much to this day.
    When you say that love can change a person “if you’re actually in love”. you might not be wrong. But I believe that true love makes you endlessly tolerant of your partner’s traits… Even though we all could think of a few traits a partner has that would be nice if they ‘changed’.

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