Dinner with my wives
Mrs. Herlocker, meet Mrs. Herlocker! (Or Ms. Herlocker, meet Dr. Herlocker… whatever.)
I have gotten married twice. I like being married. Credit for that goes to the wonderful women I’ve been married to: Linda (married 1989, divorced 1990) and Deb (married 2000, still going strong). Each was my best friend when I married her; Deb is still very much so, and with Linda I’ve stayed in touch over the years, easier lately through social media. Linda kept my last name (otherwise we kept the stuff we had when we came into the marriage) while picking up her PhD years later, so she’s actually Doctor Herlocker.
Deb & I live in central PA, while Linda lives in central FL, so we don’t exactly get together over the weekends or anything. We had a shot at meeting up in 2000, but circumstances intervened, alas. This year, we are on a trip to Orlando to meet up with our California nephew for a weeklong visit to Disneyworld and Universal Studios, so we scheduled a dinner with Linda before our nephew arrived.
I had a feeling things would go well when our plane started to land in Orlando, and Deb said, “We didn’t set up a time for dinner with Linda.”
“I can just text her,” says I.
“You have her cell?”
So we land, get permission to take our phones off airplane mode, and the first email to pop up is from my ex, with her cell number and proposed dinner time. I show it to Deb. “Yep,” says my wife, “she’s a keeper!”
When we met up in the hotel lobby, Linda greeted Deb with a booming, “I’d know you anywhere!” and gave her a bear hug, like (Deb’s phrase) they were two best friends who hadn’t seen each other for twenty years. (I got a big hug, too. Not that I was keeping score.)
Deb and Linda have much in common:
- Both PKs (preacher’s kids; Linda’s dad was United Methodist, Deb’s dad was Presbyterian);
- Both work in higher education (Linda is Dean of Students at Valencia College, Deb is the executive assistant to the president of Millersville University);
- Both are incredibly bright;
- Both love their jobs and work hard at them;
- Both took care of their mothers at end of life (Linda for several years when her mom developed Alzheimer’s, Deb currently since her mom developed metastatic ovarian cancer);
- Both have odd senses of humor and wanted to marry me (yes, this is a single bullet).
We had dinner and talked about family; about the whacky world of post-secondary education and the challenges it faces today; about what we’ve been up to the last couple decades (some things, it turns out, don’t get shared fully on social media and email).
There were occasional eye-rolls shared between the two women when talking about me, like when I mentioned that I had compared Deb’s packing style to Linda’s the first time we traveled somewhere as a couple (Linda jumped to Deb’s defense, for some reason).
Afterwards Deb said, “It was like making a new sister-in-law. She’s a wonderful person and I wish we had more time together.”
I love my wife, and I love my ex-wife, and I love their similarities and their differences (sexual orientation being a non-minor one, from my perspective). And I find it wonderful that my wives can get together any time like old friends.