The Whole Story

Mar 20, 2015 by

          “Girls mature faster than guys,” he said.

          I don’t believe that. I think maturity level is more a product of individual character than gender. I think the idea that girls mature faster is widely believed because guys have a reputation for staying single longer. But bachelor status is not synonymous with immaturity.

          “I didn’t know what I wanted,” he told me, talking with regard to women. “Those years between 18 and 24 were rocky.”

          “What do you mean?” I asked. “You married your high school sweetheart.”

          “We dated a bit in high school, yeah,” he smiled devotedly, the way he always does when he speaks of either his wife or his children.

          “There was a break?” I asked with my mouth almost on the floor. Clearly, I had gotten the short version of the story up until now.

          “She went to York and I went to U of T,” he explained.

          This clarified nothing. Both of those schools are in Toronto. I needed more details.

          “Did you two grow apart during university or was there an actual falling out?” I pried.

          “There were falling outs,” he told me.

          “Why?” I asked.

          “There were other people,” he smirked.

          I nodded in understanding. “So how did you end up marrying her? I need some insight. Help a 25-year-old out,” I urged, making him laugh.

          “The plan was to go all the way to my PhD,” he began. “But at 24, when I realized my parents’ marriage wasn’t going to make it, I knew I had to get my shit together. I needed somewhere to live, which meant I needed a salary. I also knew I wanted a family. How was I going to convince any woman to leave her parents’ house to live and raise kids with me on a student budget?”

          He had told me before that he chose work over a doctorate and why, but I had incorrectly assumed his now wife was still in the picture at that point from high school.

          “When I thought about the life I wanted and who I wanted to spend it with, I thought of her,” he continued. “She knew me. She knew my dreams.”

          My heart was melting.

          “But I’m glad we had that break. It would kill me if I had treated her the way I had treated the others,” he said. “I was screwing around – figuratively and literally. But there were many Saturday nights I wished I were with her, and it turned out there were many Saturday nights she wished she were with me too.”

          My heart was officially liquid.

          “You’re giving me the wrong kind of hope!” I laughed. “So how exactly did you two end up back together if you weren’t speaking? Who was the one to reach out?”

          “I showed up at her door and said, ‘Baby, let’s go for a steak and beer, and let’s talk.’ Steak and beer turned into marriage and kids,” he laughed.

          “And she just said yes?” I exclaimed. “After six years?”

          “What can I say? She knows a good thing when she sees it,” he winked.

          I laughed. His quick wit balances his typically humble character well.

          I like the whole story much better than the short, high school sweetheart version. I like it because it’s not perfect. I like that a man I highly respect, whose character I consider godlike, admitted to a time when he treated girls poorly, yet I still see him as the wonderful person he is.

          I like the whole story because it supports my belief that a guy can disappoint a girl, but still be an overall good man. Maybe I was simply one of the girls on a good guy’s path to someone better suited for him. Or maybe I just got caught on his way to figuring himself out. Either way, I understand.

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