My last NY Adventures post had you follow Mr. Envoy and I on our first trek into Manhattan where we explored the train ride into the city as well as the American Museum of Natural History. If you missed it, you can check it out here!
Mr. Envoy and I were both slightly crabby after leaving the museum, but honestly after that food I can’t think of many people who wouldn’t be. Unfortunately our crabbiness eventually radiated out to each other as we walked across the street and into Central Park.
Looking back now almost a year later, and knowing what we now know, it was definitely more than just bad food that had us upset. For him it was stress over the new job he was about to embark on and frustrations over not being at home relaxing while he can before he started work, and for me it was the fact that he seemed to be so upset about going into the city with me.
Let me make something clear, just in case it’s not. Neither of us are terribly social people. Given the choice between going out or staying home and either playing video games or binge watching something on Netflix, 8.5/10 times staying home will win. Unfortunately though this was one of those rare times when what we wanted to do didn’t match up because I actually wanted to go out and explore this new place we were calling home while he just wanted to stay home.
So there we are, arguing in the middle of Central Park. I couldn’t understand how doing something with me was so hard and how it could make him so upset. Couldn’t he take part of the day away from video games to do something that I wanted to do? Didn’t he have any interest in seeing what was around us and making memories? How could I be the only one that cared about this? I just didn’t get it.
The arguing was stupid. The whole thing was stupid actually. But it had me crying in the middle of Central Park on my first day in NYC. “Gosh, welcome to New York…” I thought as I trudged along the path. I got mad and hurt so I just walked away from him. I needed space, so I looked for somewhere to sit that was away from the prying eyes of people on the pathway wondering why I was crying.
After I found a spot and sat down, stupid thoughts popped into my head. “Is this how it’s going to be?” “Why did I follow him out here?” I’d never felt so alone before in my entire life. I was 3,000 miles from home in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world and the man I had followed out here was not only mad at me but nowhere in sight. Although that last part I had done to myself.
It didn’t take long for him to find me though as I really hadn’t walked that far away. Well that and even though we were upset with each other he hadn’t actually let me out of his sight even though I never saw him. Sneaky Marine.
He came and sat down next to me, wrapped his arms around and me and just held me for a while. After some time had passed he looked at me and wiped my tears away. He apologized for getting so upset, but instead of saying anything I just sat silent. I was mad. I was hurt. I felt like playing video games were more important than making memories with me. It felt like he didn’t care. I just didn’t understand why he couldn’t have even just pretended like he was having fun to make me happy, because I’ve done that for him before. Irrational, I know. But it’s how I felt.
Besides, who’s to say he wouldn’t actually start having fun anyways? I felt like instead of even just trying to have fun, that he instead carried this sour attitude with him into the city, like he was determined not to have a good time.
I told him this and he just sighed and looked at me, shaking his head. He told me that I was wrong, that he didn’t feel like that at all; but in my head with my silly girl emotions running around with little torches and pitchforks ready to burn down the castle I couldn’t see it any other way.
He explained to me something that I had already mentioned to you guys, which is that he was very stressed about what his life was going to be like once he started work. We had heard horror stories about Recruiting Duty while he was going through Basic Recruiter Course at MCRD San Diego. We knew he wouldn’t get holidays off anymore, so no more 72’s or 96’s (3 day or 4 day weekends), and we had heard the hours would be very long. Hell, we had heard that not only would he barely be able to take vacation, but that he’d be lucky to get a weekend off once a month.
Oh yeah, and we’d also heard that there was an extremely high divorce rate for married couples on this duty, and we weren’t even married yet…
So with all of these concerns all he wanted to do was do the things I do when I’m stressed… disappear into another world for a while. He even admitted that I was right and that he could have tried a little harder to have fun, and that maybe if he had the argument wouldn’t have happened. But I’m stubborn and hard headed (don’t forget about those torch and pitchfork wielding emotions running rampant in my head) so I stayed upset for a while and just didn’t say anything. I should have been understanding. I should have accepted his apology. I should have offered up my own apologize.
But I didn’t.
I’m not good at apologizing to people I’m close to when I’m upset. It’s a behavior I picked up from my mom when I was growing up, and unfortunately it’s not a behavior I’ve outgrown. So we sat there in silence.
After a while Mr. Envoy eventually took out his cellphone and started looking at something. Time passed with more silence between the two of us as he did something on his phone and I sat there being hard-headed and upset; finally though he showed me what he had been doing on his phone. He had pulled up a map of Central Park and was trying to look at places in the park that were near us to go look at.
He was trying, just like I’d asked. So now it was my turn.
He looked at me and smiled, the way he always does when we have stupid little arguments and I get so upset. It’s the smile that tells me how much he loves me, despite the fact that both of us are being ridiculous; it’s the smile that tells me that everything is going to be okay. So we looked at his phone together. I saw Belvedere Castle on the map, which sounded like a neat place to see so we started walking east into the park.
We ended up on West Drive near The Lake, and yes I swear that’s really what it’s called. Now that things had started to relax between us we finally began to appreciate the beauty that was all around us. How strange it was to see tall buildings in the distance while being surrounded by such beautiful nature – all the while knowing that you’re in the middle of a huge, sprawling city.
The walk through Central Park was soothing. We held hands even though it was hot and sticky out (stupid humidity…) and we people watched. People watching is one of my favorite things to do when in areas with lots of strangers, one of the better habits I picked up from my mom, and let me tell you Central Park did not disappoint. We saw runners and bikers galore, people walking their dogs, and people sunbathing in bikinis – which by the way, blew my mind… I’ve never seen someone wear a bikini to the park to sunbathe, but I guess when you live in the middle of a city this is normal?
People of New York City, or even just people living in big cities, is this normal?! I need to know. Seriously.
My favorite thing I saw though was this ballerina just casually strolling through central park in her toe shoes like it’s no big deal. I danced for 9 years growing up, so I explained to Mr. Envoy that she was probably just trying to break in new toe shoes, which although I never progressed to pointe in my ballet classes I know is a pain in the rear. Her poor toes…
Eventually we took a turn that led us to the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park. The theater still puts on marionette shows for the public, and is “home to one of the last public marionette companies in the United States” (CentralParkNYC.org).
Not knowing that we could have actually gone inside the building (oops!) we continued down the path we were on and came across the Shakespeare Garden, which is right next to the Swedish Cottage. The garden is 4-acres and is dedicated to it’s namesake, William Shakespeare. It’s filled with both flowers and plants that he mentioned in his works as well as bronze plaques with quotes from him.
Mr. Envoy and I strolled through the garden taking in all the beauty of the flowers and plants that surrounded us. This place was so very peaceful, which was something I think the both of us really needed after our earlier argument.
We weren’t the only ones enjoying the serenity that the garden had to offer. There were wooden benches throughout the park where locals were lounging either enjoying a good book or even a quick nap in the sun. Some people were photographing the flowers with their big fancy cameras, maybe for a little blog like mine or for a fancy magazine. It’s New York City after all, so it could be either. Or both. There was even a couple there meeting with their wedding planner for their dream wedding in the garden. I bet their wedding, whenever it is (or was, we did make this trip last July after all) will be gorgeous. And expensive. But hey, if you have the money then why not I guess?
Central Park holds so many hidden gems, so I’m really glad that we stumbled across Shakespeare Garden on our way to Belvedere Castle. I can honestly say it’s the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen, even to this day.
And a quick thank you to Mr. Envoy for not getting too upset with me for posting about our argument that day. It was not only therapeutic for me to write about it, but I’m hoping that it will help me to learn from my mistakes and grow in our relationship, especially now that we’re married.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more of my NY Adventure posts! Mr. Envoy and I head to Belvedere Castle next! :)
<3 and harp strings,