The After Wife
Backstage with Drowning Pool
You think getting him to marry you was hard?
I met him when I was fifteen years old. It most definitely was NOT love at first sight. I thought he was a total dork; he was goofy and clownish, neither of which helped his popularity, and by popularity, I mean the acceptance of our peers. In high school it is all about popularity and reputation. Like Hollywood, only a more "ghetto" rendition, of course. Far be it for me to offend anyone by using the term "ghetto." See, this is what high school/Hollywood is like, say anything or do anything not rendered as 'politically correct' and it becomes instant news, and by todays standards, I use the term 'news' very lightly.
Anyways, I digress. Eventually, he won me over with his uncanny ability to make me laugh. Before I met Steve, I was being sexually abused from the time that I was seven. I was six when I learned my father was not in fact my biological father and was then introduced to my 'real' dad, Romeo. He licked my face; he called me c#@! and beat me with a curtain rod he yanked from the wall-because I had the radio too loud. So, by the time Steve came along, making me laugh was something I was in desperate need of. He taught me how to laugh at myself, he taught me how to take something painful and shameful and turn into something positive. Given my history with men thus far, it isn't any wonder how I viewed him as, my prince charming.
We were on again, off again, throughout high school, but somehow we always wound up back together. That is, until graduation night. Wanting to go to a party for the first time in my life was not acceptable to him, he wanted to go out to the middle of the desert and drink with his friends instead. The “in crowd” gave the party and because he did not feel he was a part of that crowd, he had no desire to attend. It didn't matter that I was friends with most of those people he referred to as the "in crowd"; in fact, I was friends with pretty much everyone from every crowd. I didn't care who you were or what you did, how you dressed or what you wore, where you lived or what you drove. My only issue was honesty. I despise gossip. I believed in defending the defenseless. In other words, if you talked smack about me or anyone I knew or you hurt them emotionally or physically, I would beat you down. Yeah, I was 'that girl'. Yet again, I digress. That night he did his thing and I did mine. The next day I learned he had been caught making out with some girl in the front seat of her truck, by my brother.
He called me the next day.
"Hello." I said, answering the phone.
"Hey, how was your night?" He asked.
"Who is this?" I asked, knowing full well it was him. After four years together, I recognized his voice.
"It's Steve." He said, laughing nervously.
"I don't know anyone named Steve." I said curtly, and with that, I hung up. It was more than a year before I ever spoke to him again.
Eventually, he 'wore me down' and we ran off to Vegas and got married. That was in August of 1990, I was 19, just shy of my 20th birthday. It was the happiest day of my life, the beginning of my fairy tale. Fast-forward 18 years, our 17 and 13 year old sons are blissfully sleeping in the other room. When suddenly I hear myself,
"Why don't you just come right out and say it?" I pleaded. "I cook, I clean, I serve you your meals, I do your laundry, I lay it out, I get up at 4 am every morning, still and make you lunch and your coffee and write you love notes on your napkins after 18 years AND still want to have sex with you every day, all day, if I could. There aint a bitch out there who will or would do what I do and have done for you, so it must be a man."
Did I just accuse my husband of being gay? I looked around, as though someone else had been in the room and said it, because that is not at all what I had planned on saying when we sat down to talk that night of February 2008.
Nevertheless, the shocking part was not what I had said or what I had just accused him of, not nearly as shocking as his reply anyway.
"Okay. You're right. I'm gay." He said, and just like that, in one fowl swoop, my Prince became my Princess, and I knew there would be no happily ever after, not for me us, anyway.
Where the hell's Walt Disney when you need him?
This is how I found myself, at 40 years old, backstage with the members of Drowning Pool, drunk as hell, and having the time of my life. Too old to be a 'groupie'...I think not! As the Drowning Pool song states, 'Let the bodies hit the floor.'
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