This month, the authors on this wonderful blog are allowed to choose their own topics. Being as I’m totally immersed in getting my romantic suspense book written before school is back in session, brilliant blog ideas are few and far between. But it’s my turn, so I asked my hubby for a topic. In his typical sarcastic manner, he said, “Write about the hell I have to go through being married to a writer!”
Okay, honey. I will!
Poor Jeff. We’ve been married thirty-one years. There have been the usual ups and downs, but overall, I think we’ve done pretty well. Both of us are still alive and neither is in jail for murdering the other. That’s success in my book.
So why “Poor Jeff”? Because all those years ago, he didn’t take vows with a writer. No, he thought he was marrying a future lawyer. Things didn’t turn out quite like we’d planned. Then again, isn’t there an old Yiddish proverb that went something like… Make plans and God will laugh. Evidently God has a warped sense of humor. Nothing ended up at all like we’d envisioned back in 1983.
First, I got pregnant right after the wedding. We married in June, then found out I was expecting in August. That threw us both for a loop. At the time, we were living in Chicago. Jeff was working for an engineering firm that was deep into designing a nuclear power plant, and I was an assistant (translated: secretary) for a lawyer. What I discovered was that I spent more time with her twins than she did. I often was sent to pick them up from pre-school and drop them at their nanny’s home. I thought it was a sad situation. So when I discovered I was pregnant, I realized the practice of law could easily consume a person’s life. I also realized I wanted to be with my baby as much as possible. That’s when I decided to be a teacher.
We moved back to Indiana, and I went to night school to get my teaching degree. By the time our two kids were both in school, I was too—they learned; I taught. I’ve loved teaching. Being diagnosed with lupus and dealing with the fun and games of such an exhausting disease have made my job more difficult each year, but overall, it’s been a great run. The restlessness didn’t kick in until my younger child was getting close to graduating from high school.
That year, I started to feel like my life was getting stale. I did the same things every day. Work. Home. Television. Reading. Jeff decided to buy a couple of harness racehorses, which gave his life a new shot of excitement. While I enjoyed watching the races, that was his thing, not mine.
I was making a nice rut for myself, and I hated it. So I decided to cross off one of the first things on my bucket list. I wanted to write a book. And I did. No one told me it would be so bloody addictive!
This is where Poor Jeff comes in. He grew up with a father who’s a writer. Let’s admit it. Writers are…different. We’re much more in touch with emotions, have a propensity for melodrama, and we tend to be moody. Living with us is, I’m sure, a challenge. Jeff thought he’d left the “fun” stuff about being around a writer behind when we’d married. And what do I go out and do? I started writing, and I keep writing. He gets ignored for hours on end while I pursued the new passion in my life.
Then I decided to try to publish and Poor Jeff was introduced to a whole new set of “fun” things. The struggle to find the right agent. The angst over rejections. And that miraculous first sale! Which only led down other “fun” paths! The worry over sales figures. The anguish over finding the right publishers. The edits—my God, the edits!
For all my writer friends, remember to thank your significant other. Profusely. They truly are saints to put up with us!
At least that’s what Poor Jeff tells me all the time!