Sunday, February 21, 2010

Showdown in Quebec City

I had a tough time getting promoted.  When the American Educational Research Association scheduled its annual conference in Montreal, I knew I needed to attend.  I did and presented at the conference to better my next application for promotion.  I liked the city well enough that I wanted to go there with Lynn.  We had already driven to St.Louis and then across to New York and New England.  We did get to Montreal and liked it.  We were reluctant to head back home too soon and got the idea of visiting Quebec City, which was not far away.

We had been spending lots of time together in the car.  We weren't getting much exercise and were running up expenses.  In those days, we got into a fight with each other fairly often.  We had gotten into so many fights that we were both just sick of them.  Walking around the fortress of the city, we reached a mutual point of despair.  Too much fighting for too many years.  We faced each other and admitted we had been fighting more than 20 years and that was clearly a sign that we just weren't suited to each other.  It was time to face facts.  We needed to get a divorce.  We were far from home but we agreed between us that we had tried a marriage and failed.  We promised to get a divorce and we meant it.  

We were serious and we both knew that. Ok, then it was settled.  During the next four or five hours, we both tasted and re-tasted the beginning of absence from each other.  We had been exasperated with each other and thought we would find relief but we found desolation.  We were sad and getting sadder.  It took no more than those four or five hours for us to realize that we were wedded and, exasperated or not, we needed to stay that way.  We still have tons of disagreements and but less serious and less frequent arguments but it is now 50 years and we realize that the showdown in Quebec City showed us we are together until death parts us.

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