|ME, TEN YEARS OLD,|
IN MY SMART ALECK PERIOD--
JEANS, YES, THE GIRL KIND, AND
ONLY WORN ON SATURDAYS.
OUR TINY THREE ROOM HOUSE
IS TO THE RIGHT
In seventh grade, I got glasses, probably six years too late, because I could not see anything at a distance. I wanted to be like the other girls without glasses, but no, I was shy, wore glasses and cardigan sweaters, and skirts. So, I muddled through junior high, being the smart girl, the sweet one, the nice girl--not exactly what I wanted.
During my ninth grade year, I had all four wisdom teeth pulled because they were pushing my teeth forward. This made a few a little crooked, but no one ever in my life mentioned my crooked teeth, so I figured they weren't that bad. However, I asked for braces. I begged for braces, crying my eyes out. No, we could not afford them. In fact, I think only one girl in the entire school had braces, but she was the rich girl. That made me mad because I never knew she had crooked teeth, and believed she only got them to show off.
The Cold War was raging, and I became very fearful of an atomic bomb dropping on our town. It could happen, I told my daddy. Please, I begged him, build us a bomb shelter in the back yard. I'd read about them, so I knew how they were built, and the supplies we were to put down there. No, he said, we can't afford a bomb shelter, but he wouldn't build one even if we could. I loved my daddy with all my heart, but at that time, I hated him. He seemed unreasonable and stubborn about the request, so I decided he didn't love me.
Later in high school, I asked Mother for boys' jeans. It was the beginning era of rock'n'roll, Elvis, and Bill Haley and the Comets. Some girls began to wear boys' jeans rolled up in wide cuffs, saddle oxfords, and their daddy's white shirts hanging out. I wanted that, too, but no, Mother said. You will not wear boy's jeans. You can wear girls' jeans that zip on the side....but no, that was not the point. I wore dresses to school every single day, until the day I graduated.
But what happened concerning those things I wanted?
In the end, I didn't care if I had a bike or not. After that year, a bicycle did not interest me because few others rode bikes, and those few were boys.
Yes, in seventh grade I had glasses and was shy and wore cardigans. but in eighth grade? With the same glasses, and a pink sweater outfit, I was chosen Most Popular. Wow.
As a wise and smarter adult, I realized one day I'd gotten every important thing I wanted with glasses and not so perfect teeth-a handsome, smart husband, a daughter and son, both brilliant, of course, three unique grandsons who are very big now but who still hug me and say, "I love you, Grandmother," and nice homes everywhere we moved.
I'm pretty sure I forgot about that bomb shelter by the next week..or maybe the next day. Mother always told me that I woke up in a new world every morning. I was never sure what she meant by that, except now in my senior years, I think it means I don't hold grudges from the day before, I forget about arguments very quickly, and I'm most often happy.
On the other hand, it might mean that I could never remember what happened the day before.
The boys' jeans? Probably that was a good call on my mother's part. Some girls looked very cute and sexy in their outfits, but I have a feeling I wouldn't have looked so good. I didn't exactly have a straight up and down body like a boy's--and besides...I wore glasses.
I wonder what kind of a person I'd be now if I had been given everything I wanted. Some parents do indulge their children to such an extent that there's little left for the child to want. "Wanting" and "yearning" are character builders. This is my interpretation and conclusion. What is left in this world if we have nothing to work for? To yearn for? To hope for?Writing romance novels has given me a chance to use my well-earned knowledge of the human heart. Our heroine must yearn for her hero, and our hero must work to earn her love. And together, they hope for a happily-ever-after life, even though the road might be a little bumpy.