Copyright 2016 Mario V. Farina
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Mario V. Farina
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Marilyn and I were very much in love. We had met in college while taking courses in philosophy. We were within a couple of months of being the same age. Both of us had dated but neither had found the one they could devote the rest of their lives to.
Upon receiving our degrees, we found jobs in the same city but in different companies. Marilyn had been hired as a doctor’s research assistance and I had found a junior position in a consultant. Both of us were earning decent wages and our relationship had grown to be more than that of just daters.
We lived in different apartments across town but would often speak of moving in together in order to save on living expenses. Something within us kept us going forward with that idea. I think it was that marriage, to us, meant more than living together for a period of time. We felt this action meant that our relation was to be a forever thing and forever could not begin until, first, there had been commitments.
Marilyn and I loved to joke and would often play tricks on each other. She was better at this than I. There was many a time when I’d be feeling blue for one reason or another and she’d do or say something that would cheer me up immediately.
We loved having dinner at Olive Garden. Though meals there were not expensive, we had decided to visit there only once every two weeks, and always on a Saturday afternoon. We’d share the cost. Since we went to the same place every time, we got to know the servers well and they began recognizing us. They knew we were not married and referred to us as Marilyn and Michael. One of the servers was a young college girl name Eva. Eva had a habit, when serving, us of using the word absolutely often. Wed ask for more bread and she’d say, “absolutely,” and dash off to get it. Or, we’d ask for our dessert and she’d exclaim, “absolutely,” and scamper to the kitchen. Marilyn and I enjoyed referring to her as the absolutely girl.
Being philosophers of a sort, Marilyn and I would often discuss the effects of words. The words we used, placed in various sequences, could give us information, bring tears to our eyes or make us laugh. We shared our thoughts with Eva and she laughed when we told her what we had nicknamed her.
“I’ll try to do better,” she said.
“Please don’t do that, replied Marilyn. We love you just as you are. Stay as sweet as you are!” she sang the old tune. Eva promised she would.
The servers at Olive Garden became part of the family and Marilyn and I invited her to our wedding in October. It was a simple affair at Mount Pleasant Community Church. Marilyn wore a gown that had been modified and handed down from her mother. Eva was a Maid of Honor. I wore a dark blue suit. My best man was Jerry, one of the servers at the restaurant.
Marilyn and I had decided to spend our first night of marriage in a new apartment on Second Street. Then, we were to enjoy a two-week honeymoon at Niagara Falls. After a brief reception at the church, she and I rode in her Smart Car to our new home. Upon entering the apartment, we were surprised to see that a dinner had been prepared by the employees at Olive Garden and had been delivered for us to enjoy.
Eva and Jerry ate with us, then left. Marilyn and I were alone!
Time passed at it inevitably must. We sat and planned. Then, it was about ten. I was in PJs and Marilyn was in the bathroom changing to “more comfortable clothing.”
“Mike,” she called out, “would you hand me my nightgown. It’s on the extra chair in the dining nook.” She was holding her hand and arm through a small opening in the door.
“Surely, darling,” I replied and walked toward the door with it.
She suddenly withdrew her arm. There was a pause. Then,
“Who’s Shirley?” she called from the other side of the door.
Puzzled, I responded, “There’s no Shirley here.”
“You called me Shirley!” she said tartly. “Was that a mistake?”
“Yes,” I said. “I didn’t mean, Shirley, I meant . . .”
“If you didn’t mean Shirley,” she interrupted, “who did you mean, Alice, Helen, Trudy?” She spoke angrily.
“No, no,” I attempted. I didn’t mean Shirley, I meant surely.
There you go again! She came out the door laughing. She was wearing a bathrobe.
You were joking, I sputtered happily, then began laughing.
“Just having some fun,” she said as she took her nightgown from my hand. “Here, help me put this on!”
“Surely. I mean, certainly, darling,” I said.