The Omen

Well, Spring has long since sprung and love is officially in the air. I know this to be true because roughly every 43 seconds or so I receive yet another blurb about a love struck fool who just got engaged, who is about to get engaged or who has fallen so madly and deeply in love that he or she can’t see straight—let alone tolerate another minute without driving to Sears to pick out a shiny, new toaster with Mister or Miss Right. There is but one thing left do: To get engaged, of course—to admit that, “I have fallen and I can’t get up, nor can I possibly function another day on this planet without him (or her) by my side. He (or she) completes me.”

Gak. Spare me the syrupy details. It’s nauseating. Like an overdose of Aunt Jemima. Or Hungry Jack. I honestly wish the sappy nitwits in question would just ditch their silly blinders, at least momentarily, so that they might snap out of that besotted delirium to examine the truth. To step back from the drunken whirlwind of passion and crazed adoration to view reality if only for an instant. To wake up and smell the irrationality.

Lord knows I could have benefited from a smattering of logic the first time around—or from a little red flagish thing to alert me of the idiocy looming just around the bend. Unfortunately, however, the voice of reason had been stifled—battered and beaten into submission by some Aphrodite character. Looking back, I now realize my first husband and I were about as compatible as elbows and asphalt. Throw a rickety skateboard into the mix along with a couple of uncompromising personalities struggling to find balance in their lives and that was us. But without question, one of the most wonderful creatures on earth came about as a direct result of our union—my firstborn. No regrets there. I can’t imagine life without her—despite her oh-so-exasperating wild and woolly streak.

But to this day, I still marvel over the fact that I somehow missed an important signal while mired in the depths of that hopelessly smitten state. A big, yellow CAUTION sign planted squarely on the road of life. An omen meant to warn me of impending doom—not to portend everlasting marital bliss.

To make a long, boring story brief and exceedingly exciting, I was on the cusp of womanhood, preparing to make one of life’s most important decisions—to marry or not to marry the aforementioned fellow. His proposal was romantic enough, I suppose. Chilled champagne and a crackling fire were involved as I recall. But for whatever reason, I stalled—hesitating to respond for weeks, I think. This was perhaps omen #1, a subtle yet telling event that, of course, I dismissed. Omen #2, however, was one of those blatant, hit-me-over-the-head-with-a-fucking-shovel dealies that should have caused me to stop dead in my tracks had I had as much sense as a piece of driftwood. Suffice it to say, I didn’t, so I forged ahead with my plan anyway.

Admittedly, it was a magnificently orchestrated plan—and one that would answer his proposal in grand style. No simple, “Yes, I’ll marry you,” utterance would do. Nope. There had to be bells and whistles. Theatrics galore. I would hire a man to pilot a plane over Beaver Stadium during the legendary ’85 Penn State/Nebraska football game, all the while trailing enormous signage for the record crowd below to witness. “YES, I’LL MARRY YOU, JOHN!!” in bright red lettering would wave and flutter across the skies, proclaiming to thousands that I no longer was in doubt over the issue of marriage. The $150.00 it cost me to say so seemed reasonable given the significance of the event. But it was not to be.

By some strange twist of fate, the silly little plane never appeared. Not so much as a hint of its whirling propeller or the drone of its engine emerged from the cottony clouds that day—despite having glued my eyes and ears there for the duration. I later learned that the stupid thing had broken down sometime in the middle of the game and that the pilot was terribly sorry and fully intended to refund my money.

If ever there was a sign—that was surely it. It turns out that true love, in fact, WAS NOT in the air that day. Too bad I missed that memo.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2007 Melinda L. Wentzel


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