That moment I knew, for any life-changing event, can be a powerful force of self-realization that can change ones life and shoot it into a completely different trajectory.
While attempting to pinpoint the exact "moment I knew" I realized that there were far more "moments I should have known". Some of those highlights include:
-My forced participation at a weekend long wine "tasting" event.
-A mother in-law forgiving me for... Killing Her Lord.
-My best friend being banned from our apartment because he farted in our kitchen.
-I should have known when our DVD collection consisted of the entire boxed set of the National Broadcasting Company's "Friends" and every item in Pauley Shores' canon of work.
-Our ownership of more than one inspirational book that began with the phrase "chicken soup," yet contained no recipes.
Individually, these warning signs were just moments that meshed into the fabric that was the daily life of a young married couple trying to figure it all out.
But if I had to boil it down to one precise moment it would be that night in January that involved an argument about an interactive board game called Apples to Apples.
It was a Sunday. It was 8pm. My brother was visiting from Boston and a friend had come over. Lately, things had been especially tense between the two of us. There were arguments about money, I felt an overwhelming amount of pressure regarding my career and her biological clock seemed to be ticking louder and louder with each passing episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8, you know, the usual stresses of a 25-year-old struggling comedian. In all honesty, we were living day-to-day trying to live as peacefully as possible. It was eggshell walking at its finest.
All had been going relatively smoothly that fateful night until she erupted in a fit of, what I can only describe as Apples to Apples induced competitive rage. For the uninitiated, Apples to Apples, is a game where one selects a card from their hand that best describes the preselected noun, thus comparing apples to apples. I was accused, as well as my friend, in complete sincerity, of creating a mass conspiracy to have her lose and creating an unfair and unbalanced party game environment. I realized I was living in crazy town. To be honest I don't really remember the details of what was said. I just remember my chest feeling incredibly heavy. I knew that someday something like this would occur and all I could do was watch like a very real violent torpedo of truth. My peacekeeping instincts were useless, totally blunt. My only real memory of that night was when I saw my 15-year-old brother, crying, really shaken. He just gave me a hug and said, "I don't know how you can do it". It is easy to vilify someone, but with the help of many well trained mental health providers and a few of those Chicken Soup for The Soul books, I now realize that what happened that night was inevitable and she had reached her breaking point.
But at that time, in that combat zone of intense conflict, I still didn't have that "moment."
The moment I knew came directly after the dust had settled. Sanity had returned. The person I had married reemerged and for the first time I realized that I had married someone I cared for deeply, someone I considered a close, if not best, friend, but not someone I was going to be able to spend the rest of my life with. And that was the moment I knew.