In my senior year of high school, amidst all the drugs, alcohol and self-pity of losing my first love, a girlfriend of mine told me that her fiancé had a brother who is a Marine who is currently on a 3 month cruise and was lonely and wanted a “pen pal”. What could it hurt? It would give me something to do to take my mind off ST, and I loved to write because I had good handwriting skills. So she gave me his address on this military ship in the middle of the Mediterranean and I wrote my first letter, never really thinking I would get a response, I guess.
I did get a response, and MS and I continued our pen pal relationship for the three months he was overseas, and for a month or two upon his return to Camp Lejeune, NC, where he was based. When he finally got leave, he wrote that he would be coming to Syracuse, NY, to see his family (his mom and brothers), so we made arrangements to meet in person. By this time, I had my first car (a 1970 Maverick) and I had a job working at the Baldwinsville School District Offices as Receptionist after school each day… so I had $$. Also I had “toned down” my partying from my own school locker, and was only getting completely wasted on the weekends.
When MS and I finally met, it was pretty electric. Wow! I was a 17 year old high school senior dating a 21 year old Marine! And I was finally able to get my mind off ST ~ okay, well, maybe not so much. But who cares? I was dating a Marine! The mutual physical attraction was instantaneous, but then again, I’d had a lot of mutual physical attractions with guys before now… none were Marines. I guess, by the time MS left Syracuse to go back to Camp Lejeune, we were “boyfriend/girlfriend”, and I promised to continue to keep writing in between infrequent phone calls, and I also had decided to make the trip to North Carolina right after graduation for a week or so of fun in the sun at Camp Lejeune. I had relatives down there I could visit as well. It was an exciting time … 1977.
I’d planned that year to go to college after graduation with a business major and art minor. I was looking into schools when I found out I was pregnant (yet again), and everything screeched to a halt. What the he!!? How did this happen? And I had to tell that 21 year old Marine that we were going to be parents. I had no idea how he would react, but was thankful it was positive. He and I decided to get married and become a family with our little one due the next March 1978. So it was that he managed to get back to Syracuse 2 days before our wedding day, and we said our vows in Plainville Christian Church with a reception following at my parent’s home where I grew up and would soon be leaving. I couldn’t be happier! I was going to have it all… a career husband who would make good money in the service of his country to provide for his wife and child. And there might be more children, and eventually we’d buy a home somewhere and put up that white picket fence in rural America, get a dog and maybe some cats and live the good life and be in love forever. I expected nothing less. And I wanted to be a good mom and wife and do all the “stuff” that was expected of me once domesticated.
And all was well for awhile. We learned to “play house” in North Carolina. However, some things were just not meant to last, and my white picket fence was about to come crashing down.