He took me to my senior ball with a dress I made. He was a little out of
place being 5 years older and I the only Asian.
He continued to live at home after his university graduation and starting
work to be near me and to save money. There was, however, the draft. His
student deferment ended on his January graduation. The wedding was not until
June when I graduated. The draft could swoop down like it did on my older brother
Rickie and take him away before our wedding or after. The war in Vietnam
required draftee fodder. Losing Ricki 2 years earlier was a crisis in our
family which seared the danger of the draft in my mind. While he said we would
marry regardless, his being in the army was not the security promised. His
draft status initially kept our scheduled marriage uncertain, my future vague the
engagement not assured.
Then in January 1968, just after his graduation, his student deferment statues changed to ll-A, a technical civilian deferment due to his employment as an engineer at Lockheed in Sunnyvale. It was the good job promised with no draft risk. With my scheduled graduation and his “good job” my fate was sealed. I was taken, promised, engaged; my marriage scheduled on high school graduation. My future set, an 18 year old bride.
While I paid my way at home, my parents and siblings often
"borrowed". I hid my savings in my secret bank, a carved out niche in
the sheet rock above and inside my bedroom closet door. No matter how hard they
searched my safe was never discovered. I suspect it is still intact if the
current occupant even knows it's there.
My fiancé also supported his parents and endured his father's raids for
drinking but had a real bank account, his money safe. Our nest eggs grew even
while helping our parents instead of them supporting us as we prepared for the
wedding. He didn't want to be his Dad and I was determined not to be Mom, a
breeding, hotel housekeeper stuck with a womanizer.
I wanted a successful husband who went to work in the morning and didn't drive away in the evening, a home we owned with a white picket fence in a nice neighborhood and 2 kids. In return I would be a super wife and mom even though I didn't think of it that way. It was just a vague assumption.