A Love Story

I would like to tell you a love story.


I got divorced at 29. It was relatively amicable. Bitter, but I’m no crazy ex, so besides some anger there wasn’t any burned houses or sugared gas tanks. I moved to Florida from Alabama peacefully & wanted to be left alone (of course, I didn’t get that wish for about a year) but I digress. It was easy. It felt like I’d lived in Florida my whole life. I was home.

After a few months in Daytona, I decided to try a dating app although I felt like they were beneath me. Meeting people organically is not easy though. I met a few guys & in general, decided that men repulse me now more than ever & as a whole, Daytona’s stock in men was absolute trash. There was the guy who was using photos from a whole different decade so when I met him I was unsure if it was even the same person. There was the guy who talked about how hilarious he was & how everyone told him to do stand up comedy but he was the quietest, most boring human I’d ever met who never got even a chuckle out of me. There was the fucking insane freak from the Daytona Hyundai dealership who I actually DID meet organically that scared the living hell out of me when he refused to leave my condo building. And then there was the one who I actually expressed interest in who told me “don’t get attached, I’m just looking for a distraction from my shitty life” – he dropped off the face of the planet for 4 days only to come back & admit his ex-wife had him locked up over the weekend because he threw a toy during an argument that belonged to his kid & it nearly hit her. I mean, I guess I respect the honesty but respectfully…no.

Once in Fort Lauderdale I thought my luck would change. Surely being so close to Miami would bring me some luck. Instead, once again I got catfished. I got cyber harassed. And I got ghosted. Again. I got to thinkin’ “Man I must really be awful” so I decided…no’mo. I’ll be a crazy Schnsuzer lady & that’s it for me in this life. 

Then one day, as you well know, I got a random add on my socials. Clinton David. Or as I knew him at the time…Nightmare 😂 His Snapchat handle. I’ve never changed it. He’d found me on the dating app but couldn’t take the chance of waiting around for me to swipe right for him. I spent some time talking to this mystery man, which turned into all day. After nearly a week of canceled dates, we finally met for our first one at Rustic Inn in Fort Lauderdale. I almost didn’t go. I was coached into going by my friend Allison who told me it could be something great or I might just meet someone who could be a friend and at the very least, I should go for the free food. My crashpad roommates did my makeup, I wore Candy Yum Yum by MAC, and I needed an accessory so I found a choker in my car that I’d bought for $1. He still had earrings & a chin strappy beard thing. I don’t believe in love at first sight but I do believe in amazing first dates & it was the best I’d ever had. He ordered peel & eat shrimp…I didn’t know how to peel them so he taught me. He ordered crab…I didn’t know how to crack them so he taught me. But night’s end, I’d flung crab across the room while trying to work the little tools & had butter & juices running down my arms like an animal…and he didn’t care! We had so much fun that I passed on my rule of “Don’t Get In Cars With Strange Boys” & I got into this strange boy’s BMW & rode to the beach with him to continue this awesome date (my roommates were tracking my location anyways). We really did have the best time. He was a perfect gentleman. 

I remember getting back to the crashpad that night & one of my roommates was asleep in her bunk. She heard me come in & sleepily asked me how my date went. I was genuinely shocked to hear myself say “It was perfect!” So I figured it was only a matter of time before this guy also ghosted me because I’m actually ugly or boring or maybe it’s because during most of the date I had a visible booger I didn’t know about until I went to wash the crab off my hands. I didn’t know the exact reason but surely this guy wouldn’t really be into me.

Oh but he was. Not long after this first date, I stayed at his apartment (judge me, I stayed in a house with 9 other girls at the time so he couldn’t visit me where I “lived”. I also figured if he was crazy & decided to murder me, he had a roommate who I hoped would be a helpful witness so my parents would have closure on what had happened to me) – he had dinner ready, a bottle of wine, little chocolate mousse cakes, and a dozen roses for me. We would watch Christmas movies in our jammies & eat pizza in bed. He put up a Christmas tree in his room for me even though at the time, he could not have cared less about Christmas. He bought me the Harry Potter DVD gift set & after much coaxing, watched them all with me. I would come in from long trips & he would have a hot bath ran for me with a single candle lit & he would sit ,pretty much in the dark, on the edge of the tub & rub my feet while talking to me about my trip.

It was disgusting.

But it was pretty perfect. 

I have never felt loved the way Clinton made me feel. I don’t think anyone ever did. I may have been tolerated at best, absolutely despised at worst. But not anymore…I had someone who when I would pull in, would walk outside to help me with my luggage (there’s something most guys would feel is weird…the fact I’d show up with 3 pieces of luggage for sleepovers!) & would smile the biggest, cheesiest grin while waving to me like a maniac. Like that clip of Forrest Gump waving to Lieutenant Dan from his shrimp boat. I would think to myself “What is this guy’s deal? Why the hell does he like me so much?!”** Ahhh, trauma. It has been 5 years & I’m still unlearning so many trauma responses from my first marriage. Emotional trauma is a real mother fucker.

Life has brought us so far since then. We broke up for a few months in 2018 & it was actually one of the more painful things I’d been through. I cried daily. I was more hurt without him than when I got divorced & had my whole life altered. A few months later he was in his terrible accident. I’ve never left him since much to the disapproval of some folks who ,in the words of my beloved Britney Spears, can kiss my lily white Southern Louisiana ass. I’m from Kentucky but still. We went from living in Boca Raton to staying in Texas on and off during his recovery to Orlando to our current home, location withheld. We do something fun every day we’re together. He has never left me hanging if I need him. Take my dad to the doctor? Done. Air in my tires? K. Take Emma to the groomer? “I’ll remind them to give her the kissy lips haircut that we like!” He would beat anyone’s ass for me & he is always on my side. I’ve never felt like my partner wouldn’t defend me. And I try to do the same for him. I’ve definitely almost attacked an old man who made a nasty remark about Clinton in a wheelchair one day when I was visiting him in Texas. Seatbelt came flying off, my door swung open, and I was off. However, Clinton grabbed me and pulled me back into the car so I just yelled at said old man from the window instead. I love differently than Clinton. His is very soft & traditional…mine is harder. I’m not mushy – this blog is about as mushy as you’re gonna get & it’s sprinkled with sarcasm & humor because that’s how I am in reality. I’ve never wanted to be a princess-in-love type – ironically, Clinton calls me his queen all the time & I fucking hate that too. It’s almost like I’m too serious for love but not really. I just like it on my terms. Beating up a dude in defense of my man is me showing love.

We were never gonna get married but here we are. 4 years in, he asked in Savannah, Georgia while in Forsyth Park. I never thought I’d see the day but it came! I remember people going “It’s about time!!” and being shocked because originally we were never getting married at all! That was laid out from the get go. Living in sin? K, sounds fun. Gettin’ hitched? No thank you. I still think we did it right by waiting so long. Couples who get married within ,like, a year are weird. No damn wonder divorce is so common.

Speaking of divorce. I had my cards read in New Orleans a few days ago on my last trip & the card reader had some interesting things to say. The card reader ,Jonathan, held my hand & with closed eyes he asked me “Divorced once, yes?” I usually don’t give these folks any information to feed on but the man asked me a question so I had to respond “…yes” & with his eyes still closed he said “Well you don’t have to worry about that ever again. No more divorce. No drama here. You can breathe easy in this relationship”

He’s right. I do breathe easy in this relationship. This has been the best time of my life. I will say, Jonathan was shocked to find out I’m a Virgo & Clinton’s a Gemini & we’re actually living in harmony but I think that’s enough to shock anybody if you know the both of us. 

We are down to 46 days & on our 5th anniversary we will be married.

– Autumn

**Sometimes I still think to myself “why the hell does he like me so much?!”

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