This I Believe

Jeanie - Texas
Entered on March 22, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe you never know someone until it is too late and I also believe that sometimes what you learn is better than what you thought you knew.

I came to this belief because of an unforgettable meal. Yet how can the most memorable meal be the one you cannot remember? The meal in question has burned an indelible hole in my memory and that of my husband’s. We just didn’t see it coming at the time.

We were still practically on our honeymoon. After a romantic courtship of wining, dining and dancing I married a good-looking blonde pilot. We had never had a disagreement or seen each other in anything but the best of circumstances. I mean, surely we presented our best sides while slow dancing to “Unchained Melody” in a dimly lit night club.

Arriving in San Francisco at my new husband’s duty station, we were checked in to the VOQ (Visiting Officers’ Quarters). The title sounded grander than the actual place. We were give a room with a bath–period. It was painted a green that only a military decorator would choose. But that was okay. We were young and living on love.

We tucked in after our meal, never suspecting the train was coming down the track and headed for our honeymoon hideout. It roared into the station about dawn. Food poisoning!

You think you know the person you have married, but there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like acute intestinal catastrophe to bring reality to the fore. I will not disgust others with graphic tales of quaking nausea and its accompanying joys in our little room and bath for the next 24 hours. Suffice to say, it was life at its most basic. In between bouts of vilent upheavels, one of us would crawl across the street to a vending machine for a 7-Up.

Did we get to know a new side of each other? You bet. Was it a change from our previous romance? Oh, yes. No secrets left.

However, I learned that I had married not only a good dancer and a fine pilot, but also a man who would be good humored and compassionate in the midst of gastric chaos. Together we learned that although we had chosen the wrong meal, we had chosen the right life partners.