A low point in my life.
Looking back I see the romance, but not then.
I was working for The Longaberger Company, decorating Dresden, Ohio for Christmas. Longaberger thought that it was the most wonderful of ideas to purchase old, dirty, crushed, and sometimes broken cast off artificial Christmas trees from JC Penny’s or Sears or the county dump.
It was 5 other ladies and my job to take a tree, straighten all the branches, and untangle the lights from the aforementioned tree, re-string the tree with lights, and then decorate them. We 6 called them the trees from hell. It was tedious, dirty, and monotonous. The only thing that kept us sane was this blond named Tracy. He would ride around in the company pick-up truck getting us supplies, getting us food, and because he was oh so easy on the eyes, we 6 decided to keep him busy with us.
On Thursday, I had stepped out of the quaint, old depot that we had been decorating for some fresh air, when his pick-up pulled into the parking lot. He was a sight for sore eyes. The man had not shaved all week. And since I had been actively flirting with him all week, I joked to him, “Don’t you guys ever shave?”. We both giggled, twittered, and made other funny, flirty comments to each other and I went back inside.
There was a passenger in the pick-up truck. I didn’t pay a bit of attention to him. My eyes were on the blond.
When I came into work on Friday, they moved us 6 to a different building to begin on yet again more trees. They had brought in reinforcements this time to help. I guess we were moving way to slow. They brought us help from Hopewell. Hopewell is a company that finds jobs for high functioning mentally challenged people. This made us happy as we tried to put them to work on the trees, but their supervisor wouldn’t have it.
I was a single mom, living at home, depressed, and going through a divorce. So, as I was working on my 10 foot piece of metal and plastic straight from the bowels of hell, fighting tears about my lot in life, and the fact that I had 20 more trees just like it waiting to be straightened, unstrung, and redecorated, a man walks over and asks if I was okay. He had a fresh hair cut, and was clean shaven. Not normal for the Hopewell people, but I thought that maybe he was higher functioning than the rest. He began to chat with me, and for 4 hours, we straightened branches together. He made me smile, he made me laugh, and he made me forget about the fact that I had 20 more trees to do.
As we left for the day, he asked if he could have my number. I almost didn’t give it to him, but he had been so nice to me, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, I gave it to him.
Later I found out that he had worked for 4 hours beside me after he had already clocked out for the day. He had been the one sitting in that pick-up truck. He had fallen for me, and had gone home and promptly went to get a hair cut and a shave. Just for me.
That was a little over 16 years ago. We got married in April of 1992.
I didn’t tell him till after we were married that I had thought that he was with Hopewell.