Romancing the Toad
posted by: gretchen
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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?