Mr. FG is a lifelong Chicago Cubs baseball fan, but when we got married, he’d never been to Wrigley Field.
And since we spent the early years of our marriage in a fairly penniless state, we were not about to take a trip there.
At one point, though, when we were parents of three kids, we did one of those “take a sales tour of a timeshare and get a free two-night trip voucher” deals, and I saw that one of the destinations for this was Chicago.
So, in 2005, Mr. FG and I left our three kids with my parents and headed off to Chicago to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
(Am I into baseball? Nope. But as I’ve mentioned before, I am not much of a destination traveler; it’s more about the company for me. So I didn’t really care where we went.)
Anyway, when we walked into Wrigley Field, I remember that I teared up because I was so happy that Mr. FG had finally gotten to be there! And I was surprised by my reaction.
A week or so after we got home, though, I started to feel not too good. I took a pregnancy test, and lo and behold, it was positive.
So, unbeknownst to me, I’d been pregnant on the trip. And that definitely explained my tears: hormones.
My husband and I were both raised with a strong work ethic, so when his job demanded that he frequently alter our vacation plans, go in on a weekend, miss an evening event for the kids, stay all night to oversee repairs, etc., I wouldn’t be pleased but I accepted it as something he just had to do. He was the site manager at the place where he was working, and took the responsibility very seriously.
One summer weekend, my sister and I drove my kids over 700 miles to leave my young-ish kids with my parents for two weeks. They all looked forward to that very much. I had less time off accrued than my husband, so we planned for him to go get them in two weeks, driving 700 miles there on a Saturday and driving back 700 miles on a Sunday, so the kids would be back home with 8 days to go to class orientations and get their school supplies before school started. And of course, that way he wouldn’t miss work.
Then another site manager, scheduled to meet with my husband and a third manager, said he couldn’t make the scheduled meeting, as he would have to come in from vacation one day early to do that, and the third manager said he couldn’t make it either, as it would make him delay the start of his vacation for a day. So they called the district manager – without my husband’s knowledge — and scheduled the meeting for the Saturday my husband was supposed to go get our kids. The district manager told my husband. My husband came home from work and told me he would have to delay getting the kids until the following weekend, leaving the kids only one day to get ready for school after a long drive home, and they would miss their class orientations – they wouldn’t even know which teachers they had or where their classrooms were located. In addition, my parents would be inconvenienced, as they had plans for after my kids left.
I lost it. I had never gotten in his face and delivered a broadside before, and haven’t since, but I did it that time. All the years of having to cut our vacations short, have him miss family gatherings, of me delivering food and clean clothes to him at night as he worked on an all-night emergency job, had built up in me, and I told him that it was someone else’s turn to change their plans, by golly – he’d had this weekend approved for a month already, and the other managers had just popped up with their issues the week of the meeting. I told him in no uncertain terms that he should call the district manager and tell him that meeting date wouldn’t work for him, because he would be out of town, as planned. I said more, but you get the drift.
My husband stared at me in surprise and finally, quietly said, “I’ve never seen you do this before.” I really surprised myself as well. I had no idea I would go off like that. He called his boss, told him that date wouldn’t work after all, the meeting was re-scheduled to its original time, my husband left on the day we had planned and brought our kids home on schedule.
When my not-yet-husband told me one of the things he liked best about me was how assertive I am. I started crying (really assertive behavior, right?). All my life I had been told that I was too outspoken, did not know my place, and, according to my father and step-mother no man would want a woman who “talked back.” (Even though it was my father who taught me to talk back and often rewarded me for being assertive!) Yet here was someone I was falling in love with telling me that he valued what everyone else considered a flaw. Really, I can still tear up when I think how that one sentence made me feel seen and loved.
Awww, so sweet. I don’t care one bit about sports, but I guess I understand how important it feels to others! It’s all part of being a supportive spouse, I guess! He did stuff for me that I know was of no interest to him. You both look young and happy, and it’s cool that you can associate the beginning of a loved one with this occasion!