Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Married Theodore Roosevelt!

I was in the third grade, Mrs. Tipton's room, when fate smacked me right between the eyes. I was married to Theodore Roosevelt for about a week during a history pagaent where the kids were either portraying famous people or married to one - they were either presidents, war heroes, or current astronauts - the year was 1969.
I stuck my hand into the fishbowl and drew out a name - Theodore Roosevelt! I could NOT have been more upset. I thought he was fat, had really big teeth, and he looked old and I was sure he was boring - - - WOW, what I learned.
1969 was a banner year for me really - I changed the spelling of my name from JUDY to JUDE, I stopped matching my socks and I finally gave up my real life boyfriend Mike Willis, a boy I had been play-dating for five years. We were married to, but it was for real. My sister Linda married us, performing the ceremony in the tent out in our backyard - up in the treehouse...what made it official was the kiss. That's right - right on the mouth! I was 5 he was 4. Not a bad union - we remained married from 1967 to 1969 and for our age that has to speak volumes! Mike drew Emily Dickinson and I was jealous - I wanted to be her and she was taken by Mike - so I got the divorce. Not too soon either - within a few minutes of his marrying Emily Dickinson I was getting hitched to old "four eyes" and learning all about the 26th President of the United States.
When the time came for us to do our little show in front of all the parents and siblings who were forced to walk to the school on a hot autumn evening - I was wearing a long dress with fake lace up to my nose and a big brimmed hat - My mother was calling me Edith, because in REAL life Teddy, as she called him, was married to Edith Carow and they had 5 kids, and Edith also raised Alice Lee Jr., a daughter my "husband" had fathered with his first wife Alice - before she died on Valentine's day just hours after giving birth.
I stood on the stage in all of my disgust and I said all the lines perfectly - just like I had rehearsed them 1,000,000 times. "I married Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore became the 26th President of the United States after being elected to the office of Vice President following the assassination of William McKinley in September 1901. My husband was known for his grand speeches, his big smile, and the way he handled diplomatic affairs. My husband won the Nobel Peace Prize, but what I think is best about my husband is that he signed Oklahoma into statehood on November 16, 1907."
It wasn't until many years later that I realized just how extremely lucky I was to be married to a man who had achieved so much in only one lifetime. I think I would actually marry the man today if he were to actually ask me. He and I have the same drive, the same basic political views - and certainly the same dogmatic attitude; stubborn, forceful, opinionated, persistant, but fiercely loyal, dedicated, humbled by God's majestic powers - mesmerized by true love and the power behind it. Theodore (as I call him) and I are both Scorpios, followers of Christ, and strong believers in the rights of the commoner - millionaires tend to overlook the little man, he did not.
Yes, I would marry my husband Theodore again - the White House would still be busting loose with wild and domestic animals, our children would still be spoiled completely rotten, and we would spend days, weeks, and months in log cabins, hotels, and bungalows - writing. Just writing. Did you know that Theodore wrote 36 books, more than 5,000,000 words - and....well, of course you knew that. You probably love him too. There is one thing I would scold my dear love about - only perhaps one thing...WHAT THE HELL was he thinking when he asked Brooks Brothers to make 100% wool uniforms for the 1st Volunteer Army in 1898 during the Spanish American War? It was JULY in CUBA! Silly man.
Yes, I would marry him again.

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