To my dear sweet niece,
At twenty I married your mother’s brother; he liked to hang with the guys at the bar, so I went to the library because I like to read. We were young and in love so we picnicked and made love in the woods, but twenty years later, I’d say,
“Wanna go to the movies; come on, let’s go.”
“Nah, I don’t want to go,” meant an evening watching TV.
If I wanted to go to the movies, I should go to the movies, so I said,
“I’m going to the movies; you want to come?”
He replied with his usual,
“Nah,” not missing a step towards the family room sofa.
Never had I gone to the movies alone; I held the notion that we should do things together, but had to honor that if he didn’t want to go, it was his right, so when I opened the front door, with my heart pounding, I called,
“See ya later.”
Looking back, I wonder why all the drama; the thought of being a married woman alone in a movie theater upset me, but determined to for once do what I wanted to do even if he didn’t, I left.
I remember my fingers being all sweaty, wanting to sob, but being me, I thought, fuck him and started the car, threw it into reverse and backed out of the driveway. Before I could get into forward gear the front door opened; he threw his shirt on while heading to the car.
“Yeah, a movie sounds good,”
was all he said in his best nonchalant, cool dude style.
Honey, I don’t know anyone’s life but my own, but I have learned to love and value myself enough to do what pleases me.
Your mom and her brother were tight; she’d tell me stories of things she and her brother did. Oh, my, your family had love.
I remember you with long blond hair and bangs; it seems you were one of the taller kids. What a sweet girl, I thought, you took after your mom.
This much I know; a man who loves you may not go to the ballet with you, but he’ll join you on things he likes because he wants to be with you.
The times I went to things without him, surprisingly, I’d come home smiling. Learning I could have a good time alone helped me get out on my own after he passed.
With or without the love of my life, I must try to enjoy my life or be a miserable old bitch; what’s it gonna be, honey?