Lavender Marriage

My mother’s parents were not passionate people. Kind, hardworking, good people, but not passionate about each other. Theirs was a marriage of convenience that lasted more than fifty years, and did develop into love – well before I was born – but it was not the sort of marriage that my other grandparents had, still frisky after a lifetime together. Both my Nanny and my Poppo, though they were devoted to one another, had already met and lost the loves of their lives by the time they met.

Unusual Partnerships, Romantic Friendship, Lavender Marriage, Marriage of ConveniencePoppo was a farm boy, from a large family. He had hopped a train – quite literally – at sixteen, to come live with his sister Mildred in Tacoma. When the war came, he was married to a ravishing woman. When he spoke about her at all – which was rare – it was brief, and simple. “You should’ve seen her – she should’ve been in the pictures.” He volunteered for the service, and was gone for years.

She was waiting for him, in the airport, when he got home from the war. She was eight months pregnant, and he walked right past her.

Unusual Marriages, Non-Conventional Marriage, Lavender Marriage, BeardMy Nanny, on the other hand, was a glamorous woman, especially when she was young. During the depression, as the daughter of the only grocer in town, her parents were still able to spoil her rotten. She met a man every bit as glamorous as she was, and she fell in love, and hard.

WWII-Era Lavender Marriage, Marriage of Convenience, Beard, Romantic Friendship

Wayne was always dapper, always immaculately groomed and dressed. He had a lot in common with my Nanny: they both loved dancing, and flowers – and men.

It was a different sort of convenience, and a different sort of arrangement. Here was the passion that she lacked in her latter marriage, and the sex just wasn’t important to her. They traveled together, they went out nearly every night, they wined and dined and danced – lord, how she loved to dance. They enjoyed all the benefits of being young and in love, and to the world, that’s just what they were. They didn’t need to know Wayne’s little secret.

Unusual Marriages, Non-Conventional Marriage, Lavender Marriage, Beard

He was a pilot, in the war, and his plane was shot down. Nanny refused to believe that he was dead for years; she kept writing the government, the air corps, and anyone she could think of to try to find him. Eventually, she was forced to admit that he was gone.

When I came out of the closet, Nanny never batted an eye, being far more familiar with “the homosexuals” than her children knew. She gave me a ring, silver and opal and heart-shaped, that had belonged to Wayne, and a photograph, to keep his memory alive, and to carry on in the traditions of my remarkable family.

About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
This entry was posted in Drama, Musings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Lavender Marriage

  1. jendgates says:

    How beautiful. Thank you, Tyler.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      Thank YOU. I was nervous about this, because Wayne has family still alive, but this was the story as told to me, and it gives me hope. I’m planning on giving Ex-Husband that ring, someday.

  2. selkielady says:

    I’m wiping away tears. This is such an amazing story. ❤ *hugs*

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      Oh! Thank you! This is supposed to be a positive story. Of course, that might be why you cried. To tell the truth, cried a little when I learned it, to.

  3. I have goosebumps. And nothing but love for your family. NOTHING BUT LOVE.

  4. Lizzie says:

    Truly a touching and amazing story with enough heartbreak for several lifetimes and an utterly triumphant ending. What wonderful and resilient people they were!

  5. ekgo says:

    Dammit to hell. I’ve been waiting for this one because you’ve been hinting at it for, like, 2 or 3 posts I’ve read (so far) and here it is and I’m still really far away but don’t want to read out of sequence! And I’m done housesitting so I am back to the internet free evenings and…well, crud. At least I have something to look forward to, right? Though, I tend to always look forward to your next post. But still. Crud. So far away. Must…read…faster.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      Oh, dear – I’m not exactly certain what you feel I was hinting at. This may not be a grand culmination at all. Perhaps if you told me what the foreshadowing is heading towards, I can write a post to address it. Hooray!

      • ekgo says:

        Nono, you’ve said twice that you were going to address Lavender marriages. Yes, vague, but my interest was still piqued and here it is, the long-awaited (well, not that long, technically) post addressing lavender marriage!

  6. Jo says:

    I know the feeling you’re going for with Grant Wood’s painting — are you aware he’s painted daughter and father?! Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      I was *not* aware of that. Huh. Well, “American Gothic” is still a sort of shorthand for the sort of thing I mean.

  7. selkielady says:

    I keep reading this over and over and over… and I cry each time. ❤

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      ❤ It's a positive story really, though isn't it? I like to think it is – Love is never smooth, and while I see it work out in classic American Movie Fashion all around me, in my experience, and those of the bulk of my relations, it's never smooth, it's never conventional. We don't have to fit into all of those neat little boxes; each experience is unique.

      I understand your urge to cry, my dear. This story? This story is how things were, for the bulk of history. So it goes. If it helps at all, I really want to give Wayne's ring to Ex-husband when I see him this spring, in Munich.

Have something to say, darling? Don't be shy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s