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Romancing the Toad

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I’ve been happily married for eleven and a half years. My husband is my best friend. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but it is a safe place where love is unconditional and nobody shoplifts.

My husband never took me on a date using one bicycle, I the scared-witless Shirley to his possibly drunk Laverne. He hasn’t tried sneaking me into a movie theater to save $3.50. His idea of courtship didn’t include exploring abandoned warehouses down by the railroad tracks. He never asked to borrow rent money – which would be paid back once his professional bike racing career took off – and oh, could he borrow some money to fix the bike? The one in storage? At that storage place where he is two months behind on his payment? So they might want to be paid before he can get the bike back? Smooch.

My husband never did or said any of the above. The toads in my romantic past did.

Some were just bad dates. Others were serious boyfriends. I accepted chocolates from the guy who bragged he swiped them from King Soopers. Like many young women, the combination of low self-esteem and a high regard for The Bad Boy made me tolerate being treated poorly. One ex-boyfriend chopped down a tree in the yard of a house where I lived in college. He also chased me down Euclid Avenue in Boulder, on foot, because he loved me.

But he didn’t. Love doesn’t steal, sneak, lie, cheat, endanger, disrespect, or harm.

Some women go their entire lives never learning this lesson, never believing they are worthy of anything better than the ugly. My heart breaks for them. Occasionally, I still catch myself thinking I don’t deserve my good husband. But I do.

Do you have toads in your past?

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  • comment avatar Veronica Mitchell February 13, 2008

    My worst date was not my date’s fault; he was perfectly nice. We went to see a movie after I had eaten an entire pot of homemade black bean soup – the first time I had ever made that recipe. The results were predictable.

  • comment avatar Tim February 13, 2008

    Everyone deserves to have a good partner. Bad boys are just that. Sure they live life on the wild side, but guess what? My experience says people live all areas of their life in the same manner. A guy who lives life on the wild side lives his love life on the wild side too… constantly risking it for the sake of the thrill. He cares more about his thrills than about the woman he’s currently getting them from. If you want a loving relationship, there are plenty of good men out there who are will to take some risks while putting you first.

  • comment avatar Megan February 13, 2008

    Oh, I’ve got some toad tales to tell. When I think of that which I only narrowly missed, I shudder. Never had anyone chase me down the street on foot though, so you definitely have me beat there.

  • comment avatar Annie February 13, 2008

    “Our marriage isn’t perfect, but it is a safe place where love is unconditional and nobody shoplifts.”


    Down with the toads from our past!

  • comment avatar Joanne February 13, 2008

    I haven’t thought about the toads for a long time. But now that you bring it up, yikes! I’d forgotten some incidents that I’m so thankful turned out better than they could have. I’m embarrassed to even say what they were. I was very naive and insecure back then.

  • comment avatar Minnesotamom February 13, 2008

    I turned down a few toads before I found my Prince Charming. I only ever dated two guys seriously, one of them my husband. Toad #1 was a great friend, but a horrible boyfriend.

    One time he made a scavenger hunt for me all over our college campus. It ended with a hidden bouquet of flowers. Very sweet…until I found an email from his friend giving him step-by-step instructions on how to woo me. You’d think he could’ve had SOME creativity of his own if he really cared…

  • comment avatar Lizzy February 14, 2008

    I once was pleasantly surpised to find my front doorstep covered with lovely tulips. Sadly the effect was quickly ruined when my boyfriend proudly stated that he and a few friends had spent the whole night cutting them out of people’s flower gardens while the owners were sleeping. All I could think about was some sweet little grandma waking up to find her lovely flower garden destroyed.


  • comment avatar connie February 14, 2008

    I am in my third marriage. The first one was too fast, the second one was too slow, this one is a give and take, loving relationship. We both have our faults and our trials. But it’s nice to know that no matter how rough life gets, we are there for each other. Some times I feel that it takes some trial and error especially in today’s world, with so many stresses on a relationship. I feel that too many people give up too soon on someone because they expect perfection from another human being. Both male and female are guilty of this. The thing to remember is that both are responsible for the relationship and nobody’s perfect.

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