Today's post for the October Memoir and Backstory Blogfest Challenge is a re-post by Jon Egan.
He writes about a 24-year-old self.
Does the Superbowl MVP even say that anymore after the game?
I said it twenty-some years ago to my older sister and followed it up with, “Can I take Cain?” my then five- year-old nephew. After a couple of days pondering the question, she said yes, but with multiple conditions.
1. I needed to buy a wrist-chain thingy that had to connect us at all times except whilst we were in our hotel room.
2. I had to promise not to let him go on any of the scary rides.
3. I had to promise not to keep him awake too late.
Well, the list went on, and on, and on, and on. She was pretty much freaked out about the whole thing, but said she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t allow him to go with me.
I was twenty four, had already been married, and was going through a bit of a nasty divorce (it was all her fault, believe me I was such an angel!), so I’d decided to take the trip to just chill out. Bringing my little mate Cain would serve three purposes
1. He’d have a blast.
2. He’d be a great distraction for me.
3. How much trouble can a bloke get into while babysitting a five-year-old for a month in a scary foreign country. (All we knew about America back then was, muggings, murders, and mayhem everywhere --- except Disneyland.) Plus there’d be no way I’d get involved with any members of the fairer sex with a child in tow.
So with all my bases covered, we flew out of Perth on Boxing Day 1989, and my life has never been the same since. I met my wife Patty, who was staying at the Disneyland Hotel for a dental convention. Four days later I asked her to marry me. (Little tip here, cute, adorable, little five year old Aussie kids, with the cute, adorable, little Aussie accents are far more attractive to the opposite sex than the cutest, adorablest, littlest puppy dogs you’ve ever seen!) Our first date was of course, Disneyland. First meal together was a cheeseburger at the Hungry Bear Restaurant. We didn’t eat a bite and barely got any real conversation in because Cain, you know, the cute, adorable, little five-year-old kept placing napkins on Patty’s head stating that she was going to marry his cute, adorable Uncle Jon. Too bad they didn’t have digital camera’s or iPhones back then. I’d have some pretty cute, adorable pictures to post here.
Hungry Bear Restaurant at Disneyland, site of Jon's first date with wife Patty.
They have these things called annual passes that get you in the park multiple times for a pretty good deal, instead of paying for thirteen separate entries. (Yep, I did that.) We were out there for a month. Cain got to decide what we’d do for the first two weeks and I got the last two. His choice every morning when we’d wake up and look across the parking lot to Disneyland was, of course, Disneyland. I put my foot down after the first nine days and told him, “No Disneyland today.” So we ended up at Knotts Berry Farm instead.
Another thing would be that (did anyone ever watch “Green Card,” with Gerard Depardieu… the French actor with the big nose!) The INS really does take you into separate rooms and asks questions like, “Which drawer does she keep her underwear in? What side of the bed does she sleep on? What high school did she attend?” so be prepared.
What else have I learned, oh I know, other drivers get kinda mad when you forget that Americans drive on the wrong side of the road.
A little advice based on another thing I learned here, is that, in Australia (should you ever choose to visit), mixing sweet stuff with savory stuff on the same plate, you know, bacon and eggs, with pancakes and syrup, is almost a capital offence in Oz, and could land you in the pokey.
I’ve learned that being married to the same person for over twenty years is actually not the equivalent of being sentenced to a life term. It’s been an amazing journey so far. It’s been extremely challenging (mostly for Patty…sheesh I’m a handful at times), and extremely fulfilling. It’s been a lot of hard work. She’s nursed me through more surgeries than I really want to recall, and I’ve held her hand and played nursemaid (you should see my nurses costume, oy vey) to her, while we spent seven unsuccessful years in the hands of infertility specialists. There have definitely been times where one or the other of us could have chosen the easy way out and simply walked away from issues, but I’m very proud that we choose every day to remain Mr. and Mrs. Egan.
|Mr. and Mrs. Jon Egan|
1. It’s closer than Florida.
2. It’s where I met Patty.
3. And it’s definitely where I got to become the happiest man on earth.