When Love's Not Enough Part 3
No Regrets ...
The kitchen was the heart of the home with the latest in technology and a homemaker’s dream. There were wicker stools for the breakfast nook, and an outside flowerbox that fit snuggly on the window sill. Joseph II had given Marian free reign in designing their dream home and she had her own sewing room where she could create all kinds of decorative items for her home. Everything that Marian did was centered around the home and making Joseph II happy.
“This is what being married was all about.” Thought Joe to himself. “This is exactly what I am going to have with Bridget.” Just then Marian entered the room.
“Mom, do you ever regret giving up your career for dad?” Joe asked looking for confirmation.
“Never Joey, not for one minute do I regret my decision.” Marian started. “When I met your father it was love at first sight. Tall and very good looking he had an air about him that won my heart. Although you aren’t as tall, you are the spitting image of him. I suppose you took part of your height from me.” Finished the petite woman who was barely over five feet tall.
“C’mon ma, I am a lot taller than five feet.” Joe kidded.
“Joseph Henry Harrington III you are five feet seven inches—not exactly a giant are you?” His mother joked back. It was such a loving family. His father adored his mother. Joe remembered when he was small how his dad would always bring flowers, or candy, or some small token to show Marian how much he appreciated her being his wife. Then he would take Joe on camping trips and other manly type things leaving his mother to manage things alone while Joseph II and the other men enjoyed themselves with no restrictions or obligations. However, it was unknown to Joey that at those times Marian wielded away the hours in sheer self-indulgent.
For example, if the men were gone for as long as a week, Marian would take that opportunity to gather a few of her friends and have a Lady’s Holiday. There happened to be a few other women like Marian who sacrificed their careers for their husbands. These women would get together and shop, gossip, and just enjoy being in each other’s company. In fact the women looked forward to their men’s outings. With the generous allowances provided by their workaholic husbands, the women would get facials, furs, and drive their Bens or Jags to various boutiques around town. Marian was secure in the knowledge that when her husband returned things would once again return to normalcy with her preparing wonderful meals and keeping an immaculate house.
Twice a week, when Joseph II would schedule his late working hours, Marian would have her Women’s Auxiliary meetings where they would plan different events for their families. Since the auxiliary consisted of middle-aged women with adult children, the plans centered around places they could go as joint couples. Even the men looked forward to these annual occasions.
During one such outing, the event was turned into a European Holiday. Four Weeks in Four Countries was the theme of that particular project. One week was spent in each country. Just long enough to visit the sights and sounds of each destination and sample some of the cuisine. Marian found an exciting new French recipe while her best bud Jennifer created a “knock your socks off” goulash.
Stepping Up His Game Plan ...
It was this background that Joey would eventually bring into his marriage to Bridget. Joey and Bridget have been dating for six months. It has been a whirlwind affair. Joe takes her to restaurants all over town and the outskirts of Collinsville. He captivates Bridget with his charm and suave mannerism. Joey is in his environment when he is able to manipulate the evening. At Maxine’s Place Joey is well known and always given VIP treatment. The Maître D’ welcomes him as he enters the room and provides him with a choice table.
“Mr. Harrington, I welcome you and your lovely escort to Maxine’s Place. Please follow me to this table reserved especially for you. Mademoiselle, may I take your wrap?” Carlton asks.
“That won’t be necessary, Carlton ... I will take care of Ms. Hathaway’s needs; you just bring us a menu.” Joe says flippantly.
Bridget doesn’t miss the obvious hurt in the older gentleman’s eyes, but Joe is obvious to everything, but his own person needs and that of Bridget’s.
“Thank you anyway, Carlton ... I really appreciate the offer. I always enjoy being here.” Bridget adds smiling.
“It is always a pleasure to serve you Ms. Hathaway; you are a beautiful jewel in my establishment.” Carlton says taking Bridget’s hand and giving it a gentle rub with his lips.
“Just get that menu, Carlton; okay?” Joe states in a dismissing manner. Bridget doesn’t miss Carlton’s polite bow but murmuring something under his breath “El stupid ...”
The evening goes on without any further incident. Carlton never returns to the table but sends one of his assistance to personally supervise the comforts of Joe and Bridget. Carlton is a very old friend of Joseph Harrington II otherwise he would never put up with Joe’s insolence.
One autumn-like day in early September, Joe is ready to propose. It is a romantic evening when they both have arranged to the weekend off. A little bistro called Café International is home to exotic cuisines from France, Mexico, The Virgin Islands, The Caribbean and Italy. After a delicious meal, Joe asked for after dinner mints.
Joe is so secure of the outcome that he has in his pocket the ring. It is a platinum based flawless solitaire diamond ring worth a half million dollars. Mr. Joseph Harrington II’s connections have allowed him to purchase the ring for pennies on the dollar—no questions asked. The ring is pushed through Customs along with trinkets and costume jewelry through an import/export merchant.
As the waitress hands Bridget the tray to choose her mints, Bridget notices a small round box about the size of a ring holder. She is stunned when she opens the box and it displays the flawless 2 carat blue diamond solitaire. Joe speaks softly, taking the ring from her hand and sliding it on her finger.
“Joe, I don’t know what to say? This is all so sudden? We’ve only known each other for six months.” Bridget is at a loss for words. The brilliant diamond seems to be hypnotic. She can’t take her eyes from it.
“All you have to say is one word and that will seal the deal.” Joe states satisfied with his choice of words.
“Joe … I…” Bridget is groping for what to say.
“Do you love me, Bridget?” Joe is slowly starting to lose some of his self-assured confidence. This is not going exactly as he has foreseen.
“Of course, I love you.” Bridget replies.
“Then there is only one logical response.” Joe drives his point home.
“But it takes time to put together a wedding.” Bridget is stalling and Joe recognizes it.
“You can have 9 months to put it together Bridget. And, make it the social event of the season. I want to invite all my important clients, and have it publicized in the newspapers. This is going to be great, honey!” Joe continues his rhetoric about how grand-scale the ceremony should be even without officially waiting for Bridget to consent. Bridget interrupts.
“Joe, you seem to have this all thought out.” Bridget begins to get a feeling of slight suffocation.
“Of course I have darling. You’ll see this is the best investment you could ever make.” Joe rambles.
“You make this sound like a merger, Joe.” Bridget hears warning bells.
“I love you Bridget and I want us to be married. I will do everything in my power to make you the happiest woman alive. I will build you a beautiful home … heck, I’ll build you a castle if you want it. You will never have to work another day in your life.” Joe states triumphantly.
To Be Continued ...
When Love's Not Enough Part 4
- When Love's Not Enough Part 4
Mr. Harrington gives Bridget a brief look into the world of his son Joey Harrington. The picture he paints is one of indulgence, selfishness and luxury. However, Mr. Harrington doesn't realize that he is putting the first nails in the "marriage coffi
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS