The end of this past week was our town festival. I live in a fairly small town and all of the local towns around have some kind of festival each year, some in the spring, some in the summer, and some in the fall. Anyway, our town celebrates ours the first weekend in June.
It struck me this year that it was basically a high school reunion. I saw many people who I haven’t seen in years. It’s always a little awkward because I was not part of the “in” crowd in high school and these are most of the people I saw. It makes it interesting because my husband was part of that crowd. We’re polite and say hi, ask what each has been up to, then part ways. I did have one very proud moment, though.
My husband and I were talking to a guy that he played baseaball as well as partied with in high school. This man told my husband that there were a bunch of people meeting up at the local bar to relive old times. My husband, without missing a beat, told him that he had quit drinking in October. This guy made some joke about it and my husband responded by saying very matter of factly that he was an alcoholic and he wanted to save his marriage. I was so impressed and proud. The guy apologized for making a joke and said he could still come up and hang out with them. My husband thanked him for the invitation, but declined.
I told my dear husband that he could go if he wanted to and he said he would rather spend time with me and the kids. I was quite overwhelmed with emotion.
Two nights later, a friend called and asked if I wanted to go to the same local bar. I said sure. We went, but I wasn’t in the mood to drink much, so I ended up drinking soda. She, on the other hand, drank a great deal. We saw a guy that I went to high school with and started talking to him. It was almost 1:00am and I was tired. Finally, I had to invoke the ground rules.
You see, after going out with her several times, I realized we needed ground rules. Rule 1: I get the keys to take her car home, no matter what (she drives so she can smoke). Rule 2: As long as ground rule #1 is followed, she is free to do as she pleases (she is recently divorced).
She went home with this guy and I didn’t ask questions. I took her car. This is not the first time this has happened. I am realizing that people have some very different values than I do. Before I was married, I made it a rule not to take home or go home with anyone that I met at a bar. I guess it was more about my safety than anything else. Oh well, it is her life and she is free to live it as she pleases. But, as I tell my husband, I often feel this need to go with her all of the time to be protective. It’s weird.