Having three wives under my belt provides me with a diversity of memories. About all the three have in common is that they self-identify as women, which is a good thing because that’s what their plumbing firmly indicates.
Well, there is another characteristic they share, something all women share. They are fond of talking. Women love to talk. Some do it rather calmly, and some less so.
Every morning we sit at the dining room table about 8:30 with coffee and biscuits. She talks. I listen. More often than not, she’s agitated about something, which usually falls into one of two categories. One is the Mexican president who goes by his initials AMLO and who holds a press conference every weekday at 7 a.m. It’s live on YouTube, which is where my child bride watches in bed, and gets herself steamed.
Her second, common source of breakfast uproar will have something to do with one of her many, many relatives, a motley crew if ever there was one.
Okay, now that we’ve established she often comes to the morning table in a state of agitation, let’s move on to the topic at hand, how she manifests that agitation, and it’s something that provides me with endless chuckles, usually kept to myself.
She waves her arms around wildly. I watch as a hand passes the coffee cup at 100 m.p.h. and then the plant vase, and then whatever other fragile item sits nearby. Surprisingly, her windmilling has clobbered very few table items over the years. It must be like the radar that bats possess with which they instinctively dodge obstructions ahead.
The morning windmill is as entertaining as her rants about AMLO or her thinking she can, with sufficient sage advice, change the chaotic course of the lives of her kinfolk.
Following an occasional Hacienda tradition, we took a drive Sunday afternoon. We headed for the pyramid. On a distant day in 2002, I got down on my knee, just like in the movies, and proposed to the fine, young Mexican babe standing in front of me on that auspicious afternoon. She said yes.
The pyramid was built before the time of Columbus or rather, in our case, Hernán Cortés. Columbus never set foot in Mexico as far as we know.
It’s a nice ride through lovely land, and we skirted the town of Ihuatzio.
It was a good end to the afternoon during which we earlier dined in one of our favorite mountaintop restaurants, a spot named El Rincón de Arrachera. I had sensational breaded shrimp and my child bride dived into chicken enchiladas topped with mole.
When we woke up in our Havana guesthouse in 2012, our 10th anniversary, which was why we went to the communist hellhole, my child bride, whose English was none too good and remains so, said to me: Happy university!
We’ve chuckled about that ever since. So now we do not have anniversaries. We have universities, and the entrance exam is strict. No snowflakes.
I was married to my first wife just over five years. I was married to my second wife for a decade, but we lived in sin about nine years before the Houston ceremony performed by a Unitarian minister. There was just the three of us, and we did it on her lunch break. One more year, and I’ll have been with this Mexican hottie longest of all.
We tied the knot in the indoor patio of my sister-in-law’s coffee shop. There was a nice crowd, and we danced. A woman sent by the judge officiated.
You don’t say I do in Mexico.
You say I accept.
Wish someone had told me that in advance.
But it’s all worked out just fine, thank you.
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(Note: Here are more photos I took in Havana. I wish I had taken more and with a better camera, especially since we’ll never return. It’s a grim place.)
MY FIRST TWO marriages failed, and maybe it was because of how I proposed to those wives. I don’t recall how I did it the first time though I do remember why. That was over half a century ago. But I do remember how I did it the second time.
We were in a restaurant on Westheimer Boulevard in Houston. I did not get down on one knee. I did not have a ring lurking in a champagne flute. There was no music. The waiters did not sing ‘O Sole Mio. I told her we should get married so she could get on my employer-provided medical insurance. She had no coverage.
She swooned. I was such a romantic guy.
We had been living together at that point for seven years.
Perhaps if ObamaCare had existed, we never would have wed, and I would have been spared lots of pain, grief and expense.
By the third time, I had learned, matured, wised up and sobered up.
I did get down on my knee, and I did have a ring. And where did I do it? Where these two pre-Hispanic pyramids join, right there at their base. You see it early in the video, the V between the two structures. That’s where it happened about 18 years ago.