A Piece in the Puzzle

There’s a big part of me ever wanting to give people what they want. My nature strains toward the way to please.

Seeking to do so helped a lot in school. I had only to discover what a teacher wanted from me and deliver. Voila, good grades. At home existed a similar situation. I could find out what my parents wished. My behavior conformed, and they praised me. Friends, nearly always oddballs, or flashy, or somehow needy, generally knew what they were after. I did my best to provide off-beat humor, or a listening ear, or whole afternoons letting them help deduce what I desired, so they could give me advice on how to get it.

When I began dating, things got confused. Young men wanted. Would I give in? The pull to please, and to embrace physical excitement, grew strong. Then I became involved with the son of a preacher man.

Timothy wanted me and wanted to be good. His strong-willed restraint kept us somewhat proper, at least by today’s standards. After the Navy reassigned him to Charleston, SC, two thousand miles from my home, I struggled to give him what I guessed he wanted: freedom. Tim decided, not long after he’d moved away, he WANTED to take me for his WIFE, yesterday.

His desire (not to mention my own) blessed my immature sensibilities with a reasonable path to travel. So far I’d very narrowly skirted adolescent sexuality’s pitfalls. Some friends from church were getting abortions, but I wasn’t hip to go there. My parents, the ones who discovered my friends were getting abortions (the friends themselves weren’t talking so much as withdrawing), expected their offspring to make mature choices. For me, a girl who’d once sworn she’d never marry, wedded bliss became attractive. My mom would blow up over my trashing dreams of university degrees, but I would form a plan for attending a Christian college one year to soothe her, while engaged to Tim, to soothe him.

It worked. Yeah, well … You who’ve set foot into marriage without a clue (is that most of us?) can guess the problems were massive. I found myself bound to someone and not able to give him all he wanted. If only I could do that, see, I’d be sure to relax. Tim, for some odd reason, wanted and needed me to understand what I wanted, so he could be a partner to me. He wasn’t much interested in heaping on praises for each thing I did, to reassure me we were okay, so I could calm down, and so on. I got pretty darn angry. And withdrew. And screwed up, literally. But that’s another story, for another long post (where was I going with this one?).

Oh, yeah. Tonight my thoughts are of writing. Frustration abounds trying to conjure what the bookish masses want. But as I’ve learned married to Tim, growing to accept my own wants makes for clearer, truer expression. It’s risky. I still desire a good report card, though I’m learning I no longer need it. Maybe the main thing someone who might read me wants is refreshment, a dip in a well-worked story.