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Monday, July 07, 2008

Yes, I'm Married to a Crazy Man


It's true.  Bob's crazy.  And I should know, because I used to be crazy too.  Emphasis on "used to be." You see, in my younger and crazier life, I rode Harleys.  I grew up on the back seat and then graduated to the front seat in 1989.  I bought me a nice, shiny, candy-apple red Harley Sportster 883.  For a first bike, it was perfect for me because at the time I weighed about a hundred pounds soaking wet and if I dropped it, like I did often, I could maybe pick it up.  Actually, I couldn't pick it up, but I did engage the resources of good-lookin' men in the vicinity when I did drop it.  Then I sold it and went back to college.  Hmmm.  This is turning into a  fessin' up post.  Okay, whatever.

I went back to college and majored in Pre-law because as a Harley rider, I wanted to get my degree and go onto law school where I could be a kick-ass lawyer.  When you are a Harley rider, you tend to be good at kickin' ass.  So I sold my bike and traded it in for a college education.  I moved from Florida to Maryland and attended Georgetown University where I hated Statistics and dreaded Economics and loved International Law and Business.  I graduated near the top of my class (although a little bit older than most of my student com padres) I was proud of what I had accomplished and was ready to go to law school.


Then Bob came along.  We had gone to junior high and high school together and had been acquainted since the age of 11.  My life, however, took a different turn in high school as I was interested in really good-lookin' men and Naval Academy jocks in white uniforms - not Bob types.  It was a yummy time of my life.  Trips to Annapolis were wonderful.  I love Annapolis.  I love the Chesapeake Bay.  I love the tiny shops near the water and the 4500 midshipmen strolling around town.  It was a smörgåsbord of hunka-hunka love in Annapolis, and my hormones were raging.  Not a good combination I'll have you know. 

I didn't go there alone.  I had plenty of girlfriends who were suffering from the same raging hormones, so we all went together and would dance our way thru the weekends at Disco Dahlgren (that was the dance at the Naval Acadamy's Dahlgren Hall) and the Officer's Club.  Those high school years were the best.  The thing was, however, was that I was not interested in anyone at my high school.  In my eyes, they were a bunch of babies and would probably grow up to be a bunch of losers too.  I wanted to date someone distinguished, handsome, strong, muscular, with a clear complexion and deep voice.  No problem, right? 

Midshipmeninannapolis So I found me a sailor.  A future officer sailor, and I fell in love and I melted like butter on a hot muffin.  Mike was a cool dude with a strange sense of humor that I loved.  He was handsome, distinguished - well, you get the picture.  I had it bad for him.  He drove a white Corvette and let me drive it to and from the Academy on the weekends.  Rain, sleet, snow, hail storm - it didn't matter, I was going to get the 50 miles down the road from my home to the Academy if it killed me.  And one day it nearly did.

I was driving Mike's Corvette down Rt. 50 in the dead of winter.  It was snowing and the roads were slick and icy.  Two lanes in each direction, when a huge 18 wheeler began to pass me on the left.  Both of my hands were gripping the steering wheel so tightly I swear it left permanent indentations.  I was praying.  I  tend to do that when I see my life passing before my eyes.  When the 18-wheeler passed, I started to brake - wrong - I mean really wrong - as the front of the car began to hydro-plane towards the direction of the 18-wheeler and just missed his back tires.  Holy Damnacious!  My life passed before my eyes and that was a quick trip - I was only 18.  I mean, what life? 

I didn't tell Mike.  Not if I wanted him to continue to let me drive his sporty Corvette.  Heck no.  What?  Do you think I'm stupid or something?  Just because my heart was pounding out of my chest and I couldn't peel my hands from the steering wheel and I had to go and change my underwear.  Naaah, I was perfectly fine.

I drove home that night about 10 miles an hour sitting close to the steering wheel, my teeth chattering, and my hands planted firmly into the steering wheel.  You should try that in a Corvette.  It's not easy.  I made it home safe and sound - about 18 hours later.

Without getting into all the details of my dating experience with Mike, and by the way, he is the other crazy person who went riding with my hubby Bob today, just suffice it to say it was an interesting dating experience, and maybe someday I'll elaborate, but not now.  This is supposed to be about my crazy husband, and his crazy, life-threatening behavior today. 

I rode Harleys.  You've got that part, right?  I grew up on them.  I bought my first one in 1989 in South Florida.  Loved it.  Nearly got myself killed on the dang thing a few times, and rode in the pouring rain more than once.  I don't recommend it.  It is a sure way to get your ass in a sling and find yourself 10 feet under.  But, that's what Bob (and Mike) did today.  And if anything had happened to him, or Mike for that matter, I would have blamed myself the rest of my life.  Why?  Because I'm the crazy person who got them interested in the blasted motorcycles to begin with and I'm not good with regrets. 

When Bob and I married 16 years ago, he wanted for us to get motorcycles.  He had never had one and had never driven any, but because I had had one of my own and knew how to ride, he wanted one in a bad way and wanted us both to get our Harleys.  Not.  I told him not until we had a single-family home.  I wasn't about to blow our money on two motorcycles until we had blown our money on a house that we had to sink every dollar into.  Five years and 2 kids later, we had our single-family home on 3 acres and I now had the itch for a bike.  We lived in the country in Maryland and I looked out the window one afternoon and saw about 50 bikes cruisin' down the road.  I could hear the rumble-rumble of the engines that were notoriously Harley.  Bob was at work and I had an idea.  Everybody needs to stay clear when I have an idea because it usually costs money. 

Bob came home and I put on a sullen face and was sitting on the sofa in our living room. 

"What's wrong?" he said  "You look really sad.  Did someone die today?"

"No.  I've just been feeling really depressed lately (not really) and I've been needing some help" (not really, but boy did I have him fooled). 

Naturally, Bob was very concerned.  You should have been a fly on the wall and seen his face. It was priceless and full of worry. 

"I want to help.  I had no idea you were sad about anything or upset about anything.  Are you okay?"  he continued.

"Not really.  I've been feeling really down and so I called my therapist today and he wanted us both to come to his office and talk."  At that point, Bob's eyes were buggin' out of his head and his hands were sweating. 

"I had no idea.  You're usually so happy.  So silly.  So - so - motherly." 

Okay, he went a little too far with the motherly bit, but I didn't let up.  Then he had me thinking.  Did I look motherly or did I just act motherly?  So before I really got depressed and had to call for a prescription to fix what ailed me I told him we had to leave - immediately - and go visit my therapist (I didn't really have a therapist, but I think he thought I really did.)  Didn't he wonder when I had gone to all those appointments if I really did?  Don't get me thinkin' about this too long or I will go crazy. 

I told Bob I would drive.  The kids stayed home with my mother who has lived with us since 1998.  So, I'm driving along and then take a detour through Rockville.  I looked at Bob and said "We just have to make a quick stop.  It won't take but a second."


"Okay" he says.  "Whatever you need is fine with me."   He was such an adoring and loving husband back then.  Well, he still is I suppose, just a little lazier and Laz a fair than before. 

"Why are we stopping here?" he asked as we pulled into the parking lot of Rockville Harley Davidson.

 As we walked into Harley store, I looked at Bob and said, "Honey, I would like you to meet Larry, my therapist, and see that bright, shiny, black 1200 Sportster over there?" (as I pointed to the most beautiful bike on the floor in my eyes, of course)   

"Yeah" Bob said

"Well, that's my therapy."

At that moment Bob knew I had got him.  I had got him good.  He was so relieved he said "how much?" and he wrote the check right then and there. 

Several days later after Rockville HD had serviced the bike, I rode it home and was feeling gloriously free (and easy) and sexy, and strong, and in control - all at the same time.  Wow what a rush. 

Over the coming months, I taught Bob how to ride, and by Christmas we purchased him a Low-Rider.  The funny thing is, here, is that I had to drive it home from the dealership in the rain because Bob didn't have a motorcycle license yet.  Am I crazy or what?  It was a beautiful bike and we both did a lot of riding together over the course of the next 7 years. 

We did go thru a rough spot financially when Bob was laid off from work and I sold my bike.  I was so caught up with taking care of the children which now included my grandson, Glen, whom we began raising as our own when he was 2 weeks old.  Bob was out of work for almost a year and I knew that my bike was a luxury so I sold it.  I missed it, but I had plenty to keep me occupied.

Bob kept his bike and had a few friends to go riding with.  He enjoyed it and it was a nice diversion from the stresses he was facing being out of work, so I wasn't about to ask him to sell his bike too.  I just knew we would be alright.  And, I was right.


Bob got a job with Compaq and we were back on the road to recovery.  Before we knew it, we were doing great and so, we went back to Rockville Harley Davidson and looked at buying me another bike.  This time, however, not only did I end up buying a V-Rod, but Bob ended up trading in his Low Rider for a Road King.  Hey!  Someone has to carry the groceries, the t-shirts, the cameras, the rain gear!

I threw my leg over the prettiest, candy-apple red V-Rod and after driving it for the first time I was hooked.  It was the easiest driving Harley I had ever experienced. It was love.  It was - FRICKIN' AWESOME!   I enjoyed every second of the riding experience and someday I will write some stories here about my near death experiences on the road, but in the meantime....


I sold my bike. Yeap, I sold it about 2 years ago.  We moved to North Carolina 3 years ago and I had noticed that my eyes have been getting continually foggier.  I've had eye exams and even updated my glasses and sunglasses, but I didn't feel comfortable driving the bike with my eyes being so blurry, and I felt like my judgment on the road was compromised when I was on the bike, so I sold it.  That was the most difficult thing I have ever let go of but it was either that or my life, and I chose to live.  I listen to my instincts - carefully - and they were screaming at me to sell that thing before I'm buried with it.

So I did.  But Bob kept his bike.  He enjoys it and he doesn't ride often, but when he does I can't help but worry.  It's not his driving I worry about, it's the other crazy drivers on the road.  And today, he went riding with Mike, and not around the corner either, and they got caught up in a downpour that was blinding.  They rode smart, but it was still so dangerous.  I was never so happy as when I heard the rumble of Bob's Harley coming down the road.  I grabbed my camera and took pictures.  He was soaked to the skin, but I was never so happy to see him as I was right then.   

While Bob was drying off and getting a shower, I called Mike to make sure he made it home okay.  Sure enough he was fine and told me that it was a good day despite the rain.  They had fun. 


All I can say is that the Lord answers prayers indeed, and the 2 most important men in my life were safe.  And I could finally relax. 

Oh, by the way, and before anyone asks - No, I do not have any tattoos.  Thought about it though.  And yes, Bob still makes my heart go pitty-pat and I may not melt as fast, but Bob too, makes me melt like butter on a hot muffin.  I'm just glad he got his hot muffin home in one piece tonight.

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