The month of February has a wonderful tradition in the middle of it, Valentine’s Day. With that in mind, I thought I would set aside this month for marriage topics, or perhaps more than this month – who knows.
Mary, my dear wife of almost 37 years, (As a customs agent once told us when we were attempting to return to the USA, “Wow, you guys are REALLY married.”) and I had been driving through the night after I worked a long evening shift. We traveled most of the way on four-lane divided highways and then found a brand new “expressway” en route to the eastern shore, our destination. Assuming all expressways are four lanes of divided traffic, I headed east casually attempting to pass the car in front of me when suddenly realizing we had headlights aiming straight for us. Wondering out loud what this idiot driver was doing, I quickly merged back into the right hand lane.
Now I couldn’t just run anyone off the road, in my late night stupor, I ran a Maryland state patrolmen off the road (literally). With lights flashing we pulled over only to have a two foot long and very bright flashlight pointed in my wife’s direction. I will never forget the troopers first words, “Ma’am, do you trust driving with this… (uncomfortable pause here)…man?”
What would my new bride of one year say in answer to this question? He might as well have been asking, “Ma’am, do you trust anything this moron does or says?” We were newlyweds, still adjusting, still learning the idiosyncrasies of each other and establishing our trust levels. The question this intimidating officer of the law imposed was deeper than my driving skills. What would she say? How would she respond as I sat in my car shaking with fear? Mary looked at me, then looked at him and said, “Yes sir, I do.” “Get out of the car!” were his first words to me.
After walking the white line, touching my finger to my nose with my eyes closed hearing this man’s angry words over and over, sitting in the back seat of his well equipped cruiser and a hefty ticket forthcoming, I was a happy, happy man. My wife, my best friend said she trusted me even after almost killing her in a head on collision.