Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | September 20, 2011

What About Bob?

My husband’s birthday was this month, so in honor of him I’d like to tell you a little about him and our early years together.  Bob and I have had 34 wonderful years of marriage – 34 out of 36, not bad!  This is not to say that our first two years were bad; they simply were difficult.  It is safe to say that we were on the immature side, especially me.  I was a 19-year-old who did not know how immature she was.  My marital expectations went along the lines of Leave it to Beaver.  I’d be June and welcome my husband Ward (played by Bob) home from work every night with a lovely dinner on our linen covered table.  I’d be perfectly coiffed complete with a lace apron and pearls.  Bob would come home to me from a good day at work and he’d read the paper while I effortlessly put the finishing touches on dinner.

Here is what it really looked like.  Bob and I both worked full-time.  He was a surveyor in PG County in Maryland and I worked a secretarial job on Andrews AFB.  After work he went to night school (four nights a week) where he pursued his engineering degree and I went home to an empty apartment.  Sadly, I didn’t have any pearls, a lace apron or a nice table to put a tablecloth on (or a tablecloth).  We did have his mom’s old sewing table with the legs that spontaneously collapsed during meals so much so that we always sat across from each other in case we needed to stop our dinner from sliding off the table.  Friday night was date night and Saturdays were study days.  It’s all a bit of a blur, but God used those early years to grow us up and I’m thankful for them.

I was determined to be a good wife.  Bob’s mom was a home economics teacher so that put extra pressure on me (self-inflicted of course).  I decided to learn to knit.  I took home ec in school, so I knew a little of the basics.  When I say a little, that’s what I mean because my big knitting project was a headband.  Yes, while others were knitting scarves and sweaters, I was working feverishly on my headband.  It took them a shorter amount of time than it took me and I think I still got a C- on it (probably because the teacher felt sorry for me).  But I would not let those memories deter me.  I bought all the necessary supplies and went home to present to Bob a vision of domesticity – me knitting.  Well, this was harder than I thought it would be.  I struggled and struggled until my thoughtful, foolish husband offered to help me.  Unbeknownst to me his mother had taught him how to knit.  He picked up the needles, glanced at the instructions and effortlessly began knitting, trying to show me along the way just how easy it was.  He was so helpful.  He gently handed the knitting needles back to me and let me try again.  I gently took those needles and threw them against the wall.

After our first year of marriage we decided to move to Florida where it was warm enough that I would not have to knit anything to keep the chill off of us .  As long as we were here, Bob decided to go to school full-time.  In December of 1978 he received his BS in mechanical engineering.  In February of 1979 I quit my job and gave birth to our first child.  Bob has had varied and interesting jobs along the way, including one where he was given the nickname Fecal Bob, so be sure to tune in next time for an overview of Bob the Engineer.

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Responses

  1. Great post Bonnie! I think a lot of people go into marriage with unrealistic expectations of just how difficult it can be. But I applaud and aspire to your martial milestones!

    BTW, it’s quite a coincidence that both you and I used the word “coiffed” in our respective posts today!

    PS – How did I not know that you and Bob live in Maryland???

    • Thank you, Tor. Yes, I did notice that we both used the word coiffed in our posts. Small world! I was born in Ferndale, MD, just outside of Glen Burnie. We moved to Camp Springs when I was five. I graduated from Crossland High School. Bob’s was raised in Fort Washington. He and I spent our first year of marriage living in Oxon Hill in apartments on Indian Head Hwy before moving to Orlando in 1976. What part of the area do you live in?

  2. Ah,yes, the moment when fairy tale meets reality.
    The key point is using this as a learning opportunity. And, a growth opportunity. Otherwise, it’s a family law experience. I vote for either of the former choices.

    • You are right, Roy, and I agree with you. Those unrealistic expectations are part of going through marriage toddlerhood. We’re so glad we walked through it and are enjoying the benefits at this point in our lives.

  3. Marriage!!
    Most brides myself included go into marriage with high and some times unrealistic expectation from our spouses. I learnt my lesson the hard way with tears.
    The early days of marriage are the most difficult but once the couple are able to scale through to the next level family values are built and the relationship strengthened for whatever may come again. Like my husband always says ‘it is good to marry your friend’ it makes the journey easier.
    I love the ease and flow of your writing and i am amazed you can still remember the details after such a long time.
    Looking forward to the next post

    • Thank you, Pamela. Yes, those expectations can be killers. I agree with your husband, too, especially after all these years. Marrying your best friend is the best. Thanks too for your kind words about my writing. It’s funny that I remember the first two years better than the next two. Probably because they had such an impact on me.

  4. […] What About Bob? – I have a dear friend who is absolutely hilarious.  She sees life through her funny bone.  This week she talks about her marriage to none other than – Bob.  Check her out – you may end up subscribing to her biweekly posts. […]


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