Mom and Marnie quickly left Spring Texas. But not without leaving their trademark oppression.
Willie and I did not miss a beat. We and I were in the honeymoon stages of our relationship. Marnie and Mae were quickly forgotten in the din of 2am lovemaking, me rushing to work in the earlier morning hours and Willie in the early afternoon.
I would return home to Devo and Billy, cook their meals, review the events of the day and see Devo off to bed, Billy off to his “gigs”. This may be the reason things worked out so well between Willie and the children. She barely ever saw them.
I would then prepare something special for Willie. This was a difficult task. As I said before, Willie came from a family where gravy is a beverage. But I did what I could in spite of the constraints. I followed with a long bath and dressing in one of the gowns Willie (or Crawford) had purchased, watch a little TV and then go to sleep. Occasionally I brought work home with me and spent the evening “marking up“ drawings. Overtime pay. Willie worked the 3 to 11 shift in the operating rooms of The Methodist hospital. There were incidents where she would run late and hit the roof. It was up to me to change her thinking.
“Willie, you need to be on the other end of all of this” I referred back to my experience waiting to see if my father lived or died after his lung transplant.
“All you can think of is, I am going to have to stay late.” I explained “There are family members who are in emotional pain, waiting for the outcome. If the best happens, it is still going to be difficult, if the worst happens, well, I don’t need to explain, do I?”
“You are their only connection to the outcome” I continued.
She seemed to understand yet no one can really know. This was Rule 2.
Willie and I implemented a set of rules and we stuck by these rules rigidly:
1. You can never say “You’re the One” or YTO
Meaning you can never say “You’re the one that wanted…” This included “I am not the one” and “It wasn’t me..”
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Meaning ALL OF IT. If Devo’s room is messy (made her nuts) If Billy ran up the phone bill (Also made her nuts), if someone left something laying around like a dryer sheet or piece of clothing, or a car ...
3. You only have 24 hours to register your complaint.
Meaning, if you have an issue that’s pissing you off, better get it out immediately because at the 25th hour if you say “Ok, this is what I am pissed about …” too bad, so sad. Closed for discussion. You wonder how does one know if the other is angry. That’s just a given. If you truly love each other, you should know when the other is pre-occupied. And most issues, you can date stamp them. If you were to spend money on something the other doesn’t like, you would know when over 24 hours had passed…correct?
4. Never lie, you cannot unscramble eggs.
I lived by this and made Willie crazy because I would admit the absolute most “lie”able occurences.
It’s just easier. The truth needs so little rehearsal. Willie did not embrace that.
5. You never air your dirty laundry.
I had no problem obeying this rule. Willie on the other hand? This will develop in the story line later on.