Russell was like me in many ways, studious, smart, and very driven, no, I should say, extremely driven, to succeed after he got his MBA, determined to make a million dollars by the time he reached thirty. I hadn’t ever really dated many guys so I guessed that was a good thing, like all guys were like that. But he was nice and treated me with respect. He was the first guy I ever kissed. I think I was the first woman he ever kissed and it was awkward, very awkward. But I felt safe with him because we were the same.
We got on well together, spending as much time with each other as we could, considering our huge study loads. I went with him a few times to his family’s farm. His parents, like mine seemed to be conservative. The first time I met them, his mother ran me through the wringer with her questions, frightening me. She seemed pushy and overwhelming and I didn’t like her at all. His brother Donny came across as a pompous ass, but his sister, Karen, seemed sweet, but very shy. With Russell being the youngest, it surprised me that both siblings still lived at home. Russell explained that Donny, the oldest, worked on the farm and Karen worked for the local implement dealer. Russell explained that, being there were few if any places for a single person to rent in the small town, she still camped out with her parents.
I think we both felt that this might be the best we could do, so we decided to get married, making both sets of parents happy, seeing we were both marrying well educated partners and should get on quite well in our lives.
There wasn’t any pre-marital sex. I wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. When I got up the courage to ask my mother, she just scoffed and said it was just the woman’s duty to satisfy her husband’s needs and dropped the subject. I knew about sex to a degree, but had no idea about the mechanics of it all so I found two books explaining men, women, and sex. I thought the whole thing rather strange, exposing yourself like that, but it was supposed to be pleasurable . . . that remained to be seen. It all sounded disgusting.
I made the Law Revue and would graduate fourth in my class. Several prestigious law firms, two in Des Moines, one each in Minneapolis and Kansas City, and one in Cedar Rapids were recruiting me. But Russell wanted to go to Chicago even though I was all ready to take the Iowa Bar since I would have liked to stay in the state. But he was offered a great position at a financial bank and he scoffed at wanting to stay in Iowa and not wanting to go to either Missouri or Minnesota. So Chicago it was. My opportunities were dismissed and I thought that was the way things were supposed to be between husband and wife. I began to study for the Illinois Bar.
Our wedding date was set for the end of June so we could get settled in Chicago before and have a weeks honeymoon before he went to work. I would try to find some sort of position somewhere. Russell’s new employer gave him a nice signing package and a great beginning salary so we were able to nicely afford the honeymoon trip and a nice apartment in pricey downtown Chicago.
While he was on top of the world with his new work, I was not, being apprehensive about my future, what I might find, where I might end up.