Copyright © 1998 David C. Hay
On Monday, I had to go back to work, as though life was normal. I'm sorry, but after the two months I had just spent, life wasn't normal. My whole world had been turned upside down by the things I had seen and experienced.
And then there was this girl . . . I couldn't get her out of my mind. I went into a major funk for most of the Autumn. I developed the pictures I had taken in
My Dream . . .
I got a chance to go back to
"Well, you could marry her," he said.
Marry?! Wed only known each other for a couple of weeks. And she lives in
But then I went home and went back into my funk. About a month later I was writing a long chain-of-consciousness letter to a friend in
So I called her up and proposed. We were married in June.
It was an interesting sensation, being in the frame of mind that says: "You know? The absolutely most logical, most reasonable thing for me to do with my life right now would be to take a month's salary, go to the opposite side of the planet, and marry a girl I've known for three weeks. I mean, what else can I do? I certainly can't live without her."
It was also interesting to be able to witness a Polish wedding until I realized that I was the groom!
The Bride and Groom
Of course it wasn't until she came to
To anyone considering marrying someone you've only known for three weeks, I can only recommend that you pick someone from a completely different culture that you know nothing about. You will never be bored with each other. Her reaction to everything was completely the opposite of what I expected. Not only was she not like me, she wasn't anything like anyone I had ever known. The things she liked. The things she didn't like.
Ok, ok, maybe I was not exactly what she expected, either. I turned out to be a university employee with very little money, living in
A couple of years into the marriage, I was talking to a friend of mine who grew up in
I said to him that, you know, it's really challenging to be married to someone whose upbringing, experiences and way of looking at things are completely different from my own.
He sighed and said, yes, he knew exactly what I meant.
He had married a girl from upstate
As it happens, the differences between Jola and me have simply made life with her more exciting. She has made me check every assumption I've ever made about life with the effect that I have learned a tremendous amount about both the world and myself in the process. Marriage doesn't get more exciting.
And we do seem to have found something in common. A lot of those things we see differently that I thought were so important turn out not to be that important after all. Below the surface is the common chord that we both must have recognized when first we met. We've been married for twenty-five years now, raising two children from diapers to college, living everywhere from that crummy New York apartment to a nice house in Houston and we have never disagreed on anything important.
It looks as though this marriage thing may actually work.
It's still hard to believe that the person I couldn't imagine even speaking to is the one who greets me with a smile now when I come home from work. Indeed, she has turned out to be the very definition of that "home" I was looking for.
And I'm still crazy about her.
(And I find it astounding for that long story to have led to this.)
In The Deluge, the second novel in Henryk
Sienkewicz's grand trilogy describing
Envious ill-wishers -- and who doesn't have them? -- complained now and then that [Pan Andre] paid too much attention to his wife's advice. But he was the first to admit that he always listened carefully to everything that she had to say, because there was no mind like hers in the entire country, and no one else could give him such wise and thoughtful counsel.