Dates related to our marriage

February 11, 1998
I had dinner with Dan and Hilda Davis (Dan is Chey’s father) to ask for Chey’s hand in marriage. They responded, “No.” Nervous silence ensued. Then Hilda finally added, “Take all of her, not just her hand!” Very funny. After dinner I decided that it was the day to propose. After realizing that all the flower shops were closed, I called my friend Adam Richardson. He drove me to Meijer to look for flowers. I know little about flowers and knew even less then, so I picked something colorful and petally from the meager selection (It turned out to be a carnation. How embarrassing.) Flower in hand, I walked in on Chey. She was in a bathrobe, soaking her feet. So, I did it. Knelt, presented the ring, and proposed. She was aghast that I picked that time, what with her feet in a tub. I wasn’t sure if she’d say “Yes,” and my heart jumped when she did.

May 8, 1998
Friday of final exam week, we were married. A few hours before the wedding, a house mate of mine ran my last final exam, a final essay for a class, into the English department in Morrill Hall. We were yoked with a pearled wreath.

December 9, 2005
I was kicked out of our house for the last time. I hoped it was temporary and that we would work towards reconciliation.

January 6, 2006
Chey called me at work and demanded to be divorced.

Last week of January, 2006
Chey filed for divorce.

Today, February 14, 2007
We appeared in court months ago, and I’ve seen some drafts of the divorce terms. It has been over a year since the filing, and we’re still in process.

The beginning of the�

Once upon a time, long ago, in the Winter, when I was living at my parents’ house in the snowy Upper Peninsula of Michigan, my job was to make sure the driveway was cleared of snow so people could drive out. It was a fairly long driveway, especially by city standards.

This meant waking at 5 a.m., eating a bowl of instand oatmeal, putting on my snowsuit, mask, gloves, and boots and walking outside to start up the 13.5 horsepower snowblower.

It was usually very cold and windy, as we lived on relatively high ground. And, it seems like it was usually snowing too. Sometimes so much that I had to make two passes with the snowblower to clear the driveway, as the snow was sometimes taller than the snowblower, and the top snow would just collapse after the first pass.

Sometimes, when it was very cold, I would pull on the rip cord for the snowblower, and it just wouldn’t start. No matter how fast or how many times I pulled, the engine just wouldn’t start. Nothing I could do would matter. I could push the primer or fiddle with the choke. It was just too cold.

And then, by the time I had pulled all I could, the engine would be flooded with gasoline and so wouldn’t start for that reason.

It was so frustrating, and I would get so angry. I was so cold, the air cutting right through my layers. My nostrils would be iced from my breath. My mask was crusted around my mouth. My right hand felt stuck, the fingers frozen in grasp on the rip cord handle.

I swore at the top of my lungs in frustration. I punched the wall of the garage. I shook my head and took deep, cold breaths through my ice-crusted mask. It was futile. Futile. My efforts were all wasted.

My marriage is like that.

Tonight I sleep in a recliner in my office in the basement. Tomorrow I hope to receive a call back from a nearby apartment complex. I’m looking for a cheap place with a kitchenette and bathroom and flexible lease terms. If you have a room to rent, let me know, pronto. Cell: 331-0872. I’m nice. Really.

Once I had accepted the fact that the snowblower wouldn’t start, I picked a shovel off the wall of the garage and shoveled until the driveway was clear.

The only problem is that this marriage is so much more than a driveway.

I’m afraid that this is the beginning of the end.