What was going on in your neighborhood, your town, your country, and the world during the time period you’ve decided to write about? You can do a little research to refresh your memory. Make a list of the ways that these larger events affected your life.
It was 1982 and the oil was flowing from the North Slop of Alaska. My husband, Dick was the supervisor of one of the two major oil companies, a knowledgeable, well- respected guy, earning a six-figure salary. He took a jet to work, working seven days on, seven days off.
My real estate career was booming with all the new arrivals to work in the oil fields and the pipeline. I worked long hours, occasionally taking a day off to entertain, or go on a two-day fishing or hunting trip with Dick. We both were in our early forties, full of vim and vigor, and we loved our work. Life was wonderful.
The oil is flowing and the conversations were about money and the next big deal. It was very much like the Gold Rush days, new money and lots of us chasing the lifestyle of the rich and the famous. We attended grand dinner parties, Cocktail gatherings, and social soirees.
There were four formal gala balls a year.
We also hosted wonderful set down dinners parties in our home. We all brought out our best china and Waterford crystal. Liquor cabinets were stocked with everything your could possibly want to drink. The was absolutely no drinking allowed on the work site, but there was plenty done during the off times in town.
Dick is a very shy and private person, and this lifestyle was far from the Alaskan Native lifestyle at the Catholic orphanage on the lower Yukon river, were he grew up. Having a couple of drinks helped him feel more at ease at social functions.
I was born in the deep south and well trained in the art of Socialbutterflyism. My life with Dick was everything I had dreamed it would be as a young girl back in Alabama, although, in my dreams, my prince charming was not an Alaskan Eskimo.
As we each got more caught up in the hustle and bustle of living in the fast lane, we lost track of each other. Our special hunting and fishing trips, being close to nature fell by the wayside. I began to be concerned when I found him drinking alone at home, and he was drinking more often. I realized that our relationship was unraveling and I was growing increasingly more distraught. I had become obsessed with trying to make him see what is drinking was doing to our marriage.
Sometimes when we went out for a special dinner and dancing, he would be very carful with how much he drink, and we would have the most wonderful romantic evening. I didn’t understand why he couldn’t drink like that all the time.
I gave up my lucrative real estate job, thinking that would help, but the drinking went from bad to worse.
I felt like I was living in the Twilight Zone. I poured expensive bottles of liquor down the toilet, threatened to kill myself, and cried my eyes out, as our lives and marriage further deteriorated. When I thought that he had had enough to drink I would ask him to not drink anymore, he would slur the words, you don’t give a good Goddam about me, all you care about is the money I bring in. The next morning I would ask him why he got drunk and tell him what he had said to me the night before and he would say, as he slid his coffee cup across the table onto the floor, I drink because you nag me! All you do is Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Leave me alone! A few days later he would tell me how sorry he was and we would make up, until the next time. There is no more making up and no passion in our marriage. I do take special care to make sure that we keep up a good front, and I pay close attention to how much he is drinking when we are at social events, I complain of a stomachache and excuse us, and once we are back home, he can drink to oblivion. None of our family and only a couple of our friends know that he… maybe I should say, that I have a problem with his drinking… and we are two pitiful people living a dismal life.
I had not a clue of anything else going in my town of Anchorage, must less the world. This was my small world.