When I was a brand-new seminarian’s wife, I went to the Student Wives Association’s annual Back-to-School Night. This is SWA’s big beginning of the year meeting. It’s also the first time that the wives regroup after all the summer moves take place.
At any rate, this even occurred a couple of weeks after my husband and I moved to the seminary as a married couple (he had already attended classes there the previous year). We had been married less than three weeks prior to the event and I was still trying to figure out how to be both an adult and a wife (I can’t claim that I’ve figured it out yet, but I’ve now embraced my ignorance).
I stood in a crowded room where I knew a handful of acquaintances. Bewildered, I tried to make small talk. That’s when a wife came bustling up to introduced herself to me.
Keep in mind that prior to coming to the seminary, I was a college student. Not only that, most of my fellow students weren’t married and certainly didn’t have children. This wife’s enthusiasm about her relationship and fertility freaked me out. It didn’t help much that it seemed like most of the other wives had a babe on their hip or looked pregnant.
However, I eventually got used to the seminary culture. My jaw doesn’t drop every time I find out someone is pregnant. Not having children of our own can sometimes be awkward for my husband and me, but I don’t get freaked out by the ridiculous number of babies toddling around campus. In fact, they can be kind of fun.
Every once in awhile a first-year wife/fiance will brighten when they hear that I don’t have children. “Wow,” they’ll say, “That’s great because it seems like everyone here expects you to have kids!” Most of the time I simply shrug and explain, “You get used to it.” And truth be told, they’ll most likely have a child of their own soon enough–very few remain immune to baby fever at the sem.
P.S. If you are introducing yourself to others like Jane did to me, please tone it down a bit–you’re freaking out the newlyweds.
Last winter, my husband and I took a mini-vacation at a B&B. This was an exciting get away for us because it was the first trip since our honeymoon that only involved the two of us.
Our B&B was a renovated Victorian house in a small tourist town. Breakfast would be delivered to our door every morning and we would spend the rest of the day exploring the downtown area. Plus, part of our room package came with a bottle of red wine. Now, I don’t like the taste of any kind of alcohol unless it is cut by serious amounts of sugar. Consequently, I almost never drink any sort of alcoholic beverage. Why spend $10 on a milkshake with liquor when I can spend $4 on a plain milkshake? However, I was determined to make our vacation a classy experience. That meant I had to have a glass of wine.
My first sip immediately proved immediately that I found the wine disgusting. But since I was going to have a classy vacation, I kept sipping the wine. My husband finally noticed after half a glass that I was making weird faces and commented on it.
I finally finished my classy glass of wine and went to bed.
About an hour later, I suddenly woke up because my esophagus felt like it was on fire. I took a drink of my water hoping that I was simply thirsty. It didn’t help. After a few minutes, I realized that the burning in my esophagus was actually heartburn (I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had heartburn–that’s why it took me so long to figure it out). I poked my husband awake and asked if he had any antacids. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to pack them.
I tried to ease the heartburn by sipping some milk. It didn’t help. In fact, the burning increased and I started gagging over the toilet. So not classy.
I finally stopped gagging but the heartburn continued. Exhausted and in pain, I started crying. My husband finally asked:
So that’s why my husband wound up going to a gas station at 11:30 at night. So not classy. It’s also how I learned that you can get heartburn bad enough to make it difficult to swallow the next several days.
Finally, it’s why I promised myself to never, ever drink red wine again, no matter how classy I want to feel.