That Didn’t Take Long

It didn’t take long for the frustration of our hundred mile separation to wreak havoc on my newly minted relationship with Ray.

It’s hard to explain the distance and what it meant in today’s terms.  Today you could Skype, instant message,cell phone,  text, email, all for instant communication with someone at such a distance.  All would be essentially low or no cost things.

But in those days, Ray and I had two choices for communication.  First, letters.  Letters were cheap but took forever.  And once I sent a letter, if the five or six day mark came without a response,  I started getting edgy.  And upset.  And worried.  Which would always inspire the second alternative, phone calls.  Long distance ones.  Back in those days, there weren’t any all in one plans, where you could call and talk for as long as you wanted.  Back in those days, long distance calls were expensive.  They were cheaper after 9pm, so often I would wait by my clock radio in my bedroom, for nine o’clock to strike, and then I would pick up the phone.

Unless of course my sister was talking to her boyfriend, or my mother happened to be talking to someone.  Then it would have to wait, because in those days, each person didn’t have their own personal cell phone like people do now.

Frustration grew as quickly as the weather grew bad.  I couldn’t just hop in my car to go see him, because the snow started to fall and that was the end of my weekend forays west.  And Ray didn’t like my constant need for affirmation that we were still connected, still together, still a couple.  By the time his family visited Detroit for a hockey game the week after Christmas that year, things were already starting to grow sour.  I asked Ray about fifty times if things were OK with us, and he always responded affirmatively.  But gone was the constant hand holding and sneaky kisses when his parents weren’t looking.  I could tell something was different, and I didn’t know what to do about it.

But the one thing I had going for me was that his parents clearly adored me.  They welcomed me to their hockey game and to eat dinner with them afterwards.  I figured that it wouldn’t be so easy for Ray to chuck me to the curb with them on my side.


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