| Few men truly comprehend how the phrase "knight in shining
armor" translates to a woman. The romantic
concept of a handsome man riding upon a white steed in a costume of bright
shining armor evokes and image of strength, proteciveness, sexuality,
and all the things that cause a female heart to go pitter-pat.
It's a powerful image to any woman.
Then, there's me.
Granted, I do have some shining characteristics.
In fact, should you have the time, I would be more than happy to enumerate
them for you--all two or three of them. However, the bottom line
is that I am pretty much a regular guy with rather ordinary looks and am
only capeable of providing a very normal middle-classed and rather run-of-the-mill
Furthermore, I'm a mid-fiftiesh, divorced
guy with a receding hair line and too many stories to tell about my perceived
In truth, I am a "knight in tarnished armor."
| Yes, I admit it.
During the thirty-plus years of my marriage,
I made my fair share of mistakes. Hell, let's be honest. They
were downright idiotic and stupid. What in the world I was thinking
For example, why in the world did God bathe some men in
gallons of testosterone when still in their mother's wombs, while other
guys only received a sponge bath? I was one of those who got more
than my fair share of male sex drive.
As a result, I found myself feeling more than abandoned when our series
of four children began to arrive on the
Now, anyone should be able to understand that a young
wife who is besieged by one hungry mouth after another, not to mention
years of changing diapers, just might be a little too tired to always be
on stage when her husband wants her to perform. All I can say in my own
defense is that I was still more than verile and truly interested in proving
it regardless of the fact that she was only interested in that wonderful
feeling when a pooped out head hits a fluffy pillow. So, she went
to sleep while I lay there in total cluelessness, convinced that she had
forgotten that there had been a time (not so long ago) when we would make
love into the wee hours of the morning.
Then there is the matter of how it was that I simply wanted
to stay home, veg out, and ease into my recliner every night after getting
home from work. As for her, she wanted to get out of the house and
simply go somewhere; anywhere, as long as she could escape the mundane
and hum-drum routine of her every day housewife existence.
Hey, I was tired from working all day.
Conversely, she was in a constant state of cabin fever.
Being able to get out and do something other than keep house, do the cooking,
and constantly respond to the needs of all those little mouths to feed
was understandable. I tried. However, for some reason, taking
her to an all-you-can-eat buffet on Friday night and then to church
on Sunday wasn't enough. What in the world did she expect out of
First of all, I didn't have any extra money for such things
and, secondly, I was too pooped from my job, anyhow. I mean, give
me a break already. Thirdly, I just wanted to stay home and take
it easy. After all, I had earned it, not to mention the fact that
she always knew that I would bring home the bacon.
Hey, you can't get blood out of a turnip!
| Well, she did what most women do when married to a swell
guy like me.
Of course, it took me awhile to figure out that I was
now on my own. By that, I mean that the connection between us had
deteriorated. At first, I enjoyed the space. However, as time
went by, it became noticebly obvious that I was watching Star Trek alone
every night and also spending a lot of time with myself. She was
sound asleep before I ever hit the bed.
There was less and less of it. When it did happen,
it simply dragged on for the longest time. Once special evenings
filled with amazing passion became mundane moments of boring resignation.
At least, that's the way I felt. She did, too.
It became a case of "too little, too late."
As our forties began to take hold, the
little mouths were now grown big enough to get part-time jobs.
Extra spending money began to pop up in our checking account.
I became a romantic.
In fact, I was downright awesome.
Reserving a nice hotel or motel room for a few evenings,
along with taking her to a first-class restaurant made up the stuff of
our special times together. The bottle of wine, two long stemmed
glasses, and a carefully picked out gift for her became standard fare.
Buying her an expensive fancy dress made me feel good
about myself. Doing nice things
for her just to say "I love you" started to come easy.
There was just one problem.
It was too little.
There was one more problem.
It was too late.
| Most men have no concept of how it is that women ponder
things in their hearts forever.
Old hurts never heal completely. Offenses from long ago linger in
their minds a lot longer. Memories of bad moments float around in
their souls like haunting ghosts.
Ask a guy what he ate yesterday and he has no idea.
Ask a woman to tell you about any hurtful moment in their
lives and she will tell you the date, the place, the person, what he was
wearing, and exactly what he said--with feeling.
My wife was no different.
When it became painfully obvious that my new romanticism
had little long-lasting effect and that our marriage was slowling winding
its way down the proverbial tube, I was clueless.
Star Trek was on again.
She fell asleep every night during the 11 p.m. news broadcast
showing on the small screen television in our bedroom.
I fattened up on night time snacks.
She went off and did whatever.
Being tired of each other made us both more tired.
We were both exhausted from each other.
Still, I tried to keep the faith--so did she.
We designed and built a new house. It was
neither large or spacious but it was nice, new, and built just the way
that we wanted. However, on the day we moved in, she stood next to
me and, instead of rejoicing in the realization of our accomplishment,
she prophetically announced that we would not be there for very long.
Less than two years later, we separated.
That was just four years ago.
Last week, I noted that it was exactly one year
since our divorce.
All the king's horses and all the king's men and all the
and self-help books and countless hours of trying to work out our issues
with each other could not put our marriage back together again.
I miss her.
We were best friends, buddies, lovers, and shared
the same dreams and goals for our lives. Her best gift was her natural
ability to mother our four children. Mine was as a protector, provider,
and proud father. We were a team.
Still, the best of relationships are constantly
affected by change. Nothing is static. Nothing remains the
same for very long. Life has a way of forcing every loving, caring
couple to face the reality that each one changes in his or her own way.
I became less conservative.
She became more conservative.
In the end, we both failed each other.
Since then, I've worked very hard to overcome both the
loss of my one-time best friend in the whole world and my own shortcomings.
I've continued to read the books, have gone
to a counselor, and have dealt with my personal demons.
I've stretched, grown, matured, and am a much better person
for all of it.
Someday a sweet middle-aged princess who is doing battle
with the dragons of her own life, will look over the horizon to see a shadow
of a figure riding toward her on his steed.
As he comes closer, she will begin to realize that the
rider's armor is tarnished, his sword is dull, and his shield is covered
| However, he will be her rescuer and she will
be treated as the queen of his life forevermore.
It will be me.
Her knight in tarnished armor.
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