Chad Deal 6:58 p.m., May 21
I still remember the day, Thanksgiving 2005. It was the first time I had ever hit a woman. That obstinate bitch, intent on pushing me over the edge, needling, jabbing me. Knowing just what buttons to push, instantly transformed into a remorseful kind loving person intent on pleasing me. I started crying. I didn't want her to reward me for doing the worst thing I had ever done.
Then I realized, she had probably spent her childhood watching her father beat her mother. Thinking that is how adults express their love for one another she never believed that I cared for her until that day.
So what was I supposed to do? It took her months of tortuous abuse to get what she wanted. I couldn't go on beating her. Surely she would have found someone who would beat her worse than I could even imagine. Or maybe I was wrong. Maybe he would beat her better than I could. Maybe he would do it because he loves her more than I do.
I just turned 50. I thought that by now I would understand women. I would at least know what they want and maybe even why. Seven years have gone by, and though I still can't bring myself to express my love in a way that she understands, I think that she has some idea of how I feel. I know better than to enter a relationship thinking that I can change someone to fit me. Maybe I'm just not good at choosing the right partner. Or maybe we don't choose the people we love. Maybe it's not something we choose. Maybe it's something we feel. 50 years old and I still don't know my ass from a hole in the ground.