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Saturday, February 9, 2019

12: The Ancient Obsession

            “You complete me” never came from Steven’s mouth.  Nor did any other words come from him to her, nor from her to him.  It took years, but the pining finally subsided. Then it occasionally burst up again unsummoned.  No matter the years, the relationships, even the marriages, one can never be cured of the loss of one’s first love.  Even now, nine years later, with a sweet husband and a whatever-you’d-like-to-call-it with a hot jock youth pastor, Jasmine feels the pierce in her heart for her first love.
            At least it was a momentary break from the never-ending images of those moments with Davie – their introduction, their one-two punch winning shots, their High 5 slaps, followed by their Low 5 shakes – held barely longer than what’s considered appropriate.
Set it aside.  Steven’s in the past and Davie never really was.  Think on your husband.  You know, that amazing man you fell in love with who is not forbidden?   Jasmine kept the vow she made with her friends after Jerry Maguire.  Mostly.  Her husband Tim might not have fully completed her, but he completed her in the way that mattered at that time: he was a stable force.  Jasmine was scattered, unsure of herself, and felt like she was living on a roller coaster.  But Tim is like a rock, stable, confident, and always certain.
Familiar music breaks her thoughts – the instrumental version of the chorus of Lonestar’s crossover 2000 hit, “Amazed.”  Tim had the song playing during a dinner he made for Jasmine, and he perfectly timed his kneeling presentation of an engagement ring to the lyric, “I wanna spend the rest of my life / with you by my side.”  Then her gorgeous stable rock timed his next move brilliantly.  Just after “Baby I’m amazed by you,” he asked, “Will you marry me?”  
Jasmine smiles.  Her trick seems to be working.  Last month, she found an instrumental version of the song and downloaded its chorus onto her cell phone to set as her ring tone.  Yes, even her phone is helping her rekindle that early, elated spark with her husband.  She almost doesn’t want to answer the phone so she can keep listening to the music.  Can she let this call go?
It’s Mindy.  Better not.  
“Hey Jazzie, are you free for shopping and lunching on Sunday?”
Sunday.  Perfect.  She can idle away her day with her best friend and forget where she isn’t. Sundays usually started at church and then continued with lunch out with her husband and their friends at Quail Canyon – until she not been cast out.  Tim has decided to take a break from church, but says he and Jasmine should think about checking out a new one.  For now, Jasmine wants to boycott church altogether.  But still, Sundays are hard – especially at lunch time. 
“What’s the occasion?”
“I’m turning 29 and freaking out.  Maybe you and Girls’ Day Out at the Mall can save me.” 
“You baby girl!”  Jasmine’s 32.  She can say that. 
Mindy chuckles, but says Jasmine doesn’t get it: “You were married by 30.” After a pause, she adds, “You were even married by 29!” 
At 25.  Jasmine wonders why she married so young. 
“Are you freaking out because it’s your birthday, or because your heart’s still crushed over Justin?”
All of it,” Mindy groans. I tell myself not to think about him, but I can’t stop, so I think around him.  And I think around the break-up.”  Jasmine can relate.  It’s how she was after her break-up with Steven, and it’s even how her mind is working now, thinking “around” Davie -- not that they “broke up” and not that they were ever “together” in the first place.
Mindy continues, “When I’m not thinking around the break-up, my mind returns to the ‘omen’ – that ancient obsession women should be married before 30.” 
Ancient obsession.  Like ‘you will desire your man’? 
“And that ancient obsession that we can’t stop thinking about our man,” Jasmine adds. 
“Yeah, that one.”
Do we women still have to live this way? 
“Haven’t we outgrown the archaic ‘married by 30’ madness?”
“Maybe the other seven billion people in the world have, but not my family,” Mindy groans.
            “Really?  Are you getting pressure from your family?”
            “Maybe it’s just Mom.  Married at 29, she often says she made it ‘just in time to beat the omen.’  She likes to brag about the next part too: she had all her kids by the time she was 40.  I’m the youngest of four, born when she was 39.”
            “Uh oh, you’ve got big shoes to fill!”
            “I do!  Mom reminds me of it too, saying, ‘29: great year to get married!’”
“Uh oh.  You’re deep in the mud.  Do you tell her things have changed?”
“Haven’t mustered up the courage yet.  How do I break it to her that life has changed since the days of eight track tapes, black-and-white TVs, and disco?  I think I need a cheerleader.  You.  So, Girls’ Day Out Sunday morning?”
“To cheer up my bestie?  Of course!  When do you want to start?”
“How about right when the Mall opens?  Ten, at the fountain, in front of Macy’s.”
“Perfect.  I won’t be missing church, since I’ve been ex-communicated.  Ten it is.” 
“Ex-communicated?!  Do Protestants do that?  What have you done, Girl?!” 
Uh oh, what have I just done?

© 2019 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use with permission or a citation that links to this blog.

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