It is true that, for the most part, I dated a lot of jerks, losers, and unmarriable people during my formative years but--to my credit--I had the good sense to marry someone decent and be friends with cool, funny boys during those same formative years. It's just that those cool funny boys didn't like me or love me or want to date me.
I've mentioned the webbed feet, but there were many more suitors whose main handicap was just plain cruelty. Generally the cruelty didn't rear its ugly head until after the break-up. Like the boy who really did go a little crazy writing me notes with strange scriptural references and the word "cursed." There was some pushing and some frenzied locked-door rattling--a restraining order really should have been obtained but I like the fact that I can tuck this story away and pull it out when I need a little street cred--like if I ever find myself in a shelter for battered women. Besides, it bonds me to my sister-in-law who dated him too. Hope he don't read this blog!
I'm not sure whether an enforced diet of plain cracked wheat would qualify as physical or emotional abuse or whether it's just a little weird but I had another temperamental and health-conscious beau who ate it every day and really wanted me to eat it all the time. Strange, isn't it? He implied that I really shouldn't be eating ice cream and ham sandwiches. Don't worry, I kept eating the ham sandwiches. He also taught me how to drive a stick shift and break into the swimming pool at Old Mill Apts. for midnight swimming so there was some good that came from that relationship. Except, once when I went swimming there by myself I came home and was immediately stricken with a horrible case of hives which caused me to vomit a green bile-like substance and only commenced with a trip to the ER when my throat began to close off with swelling. Hmmm. Don't swim there. And don't date people who eat cracked wheat at every meal. [It's not just that I'm against healthy eating. When I broke up with this person he actually laid down under the wheels of my truck so the cracked wheat really was a red flag.]
And then there was thoughtless "Toby." He was pretty good in most ways but for his birthday I SEWED him a robe and gave him a shirt and tie all wrapped up beautifully and stashed secretly as a surprise for him to discover at his house, as I like to do. So later when he and his much more thoughtful friend picked me up for a Sting concert he said nothing. NOTHING. Finally the friend complimented me on what a kind and thoughtful gift it was. You might be thinking poor Toby just felt uncomfortable, that I had given him too much at that stage in our relationship and that the faux pas was mine and not his. But this man's mom surprised my mom at her office with some future mother-in-law banter and once as we watched the fireworks from his [very cool] old house in Provo he said, "We'll live here some day." So a robe wasn't too much, but apparently a "thank you" was.
And one time I found myself on a date with a man who told me about his true love who had died. Then U2's "With or Without You" came on and he proceeded to sing the whole song at the top of his lungs. I'm not exaggerating. He was the singer in a band so I think he thought he was providing me with a rare treat but--me no likey. Good luck with that. We didn't have caller ID in those days, but somehow we managed just fine. Sure we had to tell more lies and disguise our voices when people called us but it got the job done.
Finally a cool and funny boy liked me. So I married him.