Yet I knew my mother was not as fulfilled and worry free as her well kept hair, nails and clothing would have made you believe. Mother seldom went to church because she knew she was a sinner and did not measure up well with the other church-going ladies. She always felt judged and falling short of some invisible level of performance.
Dad was often disgusted at mother's housekeeping abilities and lack of education. Fights about money were constant. Mother's bleeding-heart need to help others infuriated my father because "we could not even pay our own bills". Many times mother would get herself in some kind of financial troubles and the pursuing games would begin. Mother racing to the mailbox to hide bills, mother answering the phone and obviously faking a chit chat call while trying to soothe a bill collector. Usually mother would eventually call her parents for money and hope dad did not find out. The sad thing is mother seldom went into debt for herself. She was always helping someone else. Mother's lack of a formal education and frail body often precluded mother from finding employment. Although she did try a few times.
I will include some of these in Mom's book.
So when I heard about mother and father's courtship, small hints about the unhappy match up given to me over all the years suddenly became very clear. My parents were neighbors in Santa Maria, California. My father had sisters my mother's age and introduced my mother to my father. World War II just broke out. Going into the military was on most young men's mind. Young girl's were caught up in dating as a flurry of men disappeared from the neighborhood. As a diversion from the realities of war, young people were dating and saying their good-byes etc. It was not uncommon for promised letter writing, war time engagements were made in haste. For most war-time engagements meant someday when we can seriously think about marriage, maybe we will get married but in the mean time we can enjoy a long distance relationship and you can leave to the military saying you have a girl-friend. Girls often accepted marriage proposals. My mother was 17 years old, I am not going to judge her too harshly with getting swept up in the wartime flurry.
So on a Saturday night, my father took my mother to the picture show. After the picture show, my father asked my mother to marry him.
Then in my father's own words:
"All I remember is that she said yes and we told my father and mother. By that time it was about 11 pm. We had been to the show. My father immediately got up and took us to her home and woke her parents up and told them what was going on. Much to our embarrassment and the following Wed.we all drove to Santa Barbara to get our marriage license and the Following Sun. we had a wedding in our home. The pastor of the Nazarene Church. Exactly 3 months to the day I went into the service.
The life we live. The choices we make or allow others to make for us. I was appalled at what my grandfather had done. In his God-fearing thinking he had surmised that mother was pregnant. His fear was if dad went away without them being married, this would have been horrible. The truth was mother did not have any children until several years later.
When I first realized what happened to my parents, I wondered why their parents were unable to guide and direct them. Then I became extremely angry at my father's father.
Including thinking of him as a bullheaded jack-a**. There are several other episodes when my mother's father-in-law caused my mother great grief and sorrow.
I also will include some of these in Mom's book.
So why did I tell this story? was it necessary? Is it needed to be included in Mom's Book? I dunno.....