Ugly ducklings. Proms and formal dances. Boyfriends. Heartbreak.
Why do these things always go hand-in-hand? And why do we always seem to have photographs to remind us?
Miss Britt the Magnificent (because she is) had to go and write a couple of moving posts that got me thinking about these oftentimes painful reminisces that truly (although we have no way of knowing it at the time) have a way of shaping who we, as women, become. How we view the world. How we raise our daughters. And how we help our daughters and nieces and granddaughters and friends mend the awful wounds that never really disappear. Wounds that scar our hearts… but with a layer of protection.
So, Miss Britt. You made me head to my attic yet again to turn the pages of my life… this time as the girl approaching womanhood. The girl who can, to this day, pull me into the vortex of what I was, and what I was thinking. Yes, the photos come to life.
May 1968. I made that dress. You can’t see them, but the fabric had little yellow daisies embroidered all over it. My sewing machine was in my 60’s style finished basement right next to my dad’s desk. I would sew. My dad would do paperwork. We would talk. This is where joy mingles with heartache. Those hours and hours that I spent sewing, and talking, are still the most wonderful memories of my teenaged years. We talked about “boys.” My dad happened to love the “boy” I was dating at the time. I think I loved him, too. He was kind and generous and very cute. He drove. But soon after the night of this very prom, he dumped me for some wilder times with his friends. Shattered my heart is more like it. I moped around for a few weeks, knowing that my life was over… and then I did something to make him, yes, jealous. I began dating someone he hated. Yes. That was the perfect thing to do. Problem is… this guy was scandalously older than me. 3 years older. My parents were not happy. But I wouldn’t be dissuaded.
Jump to May 1969. Same fireplace. Same drapes. Even the same artificial flowers. But, yes. I had evolved. No more sweet little embroidered daisies. My new guy was too cool for all that cuteness. And he not only drove, but he drove a totally cool sports car. He actually kind-of told me what I should wear. And I listened. I sewed this little fashion statement, too… still talking away with my dad in our finished 60’s style basement. My dad had grown accustomed to this new guy, but was wary. And he said so.
Well, my dad was right. This guy took my heart, stomped on it, shoved it in a deep dark well, slammed the lid, covered the lid with a boulder, planted a thicket of briars, and then set them on fire. I remember staying in bed, under my covers, for 2 full weeks. My dad and mom attempted to bring me food… and kind, loving words. But my life was over. I would never, ever have a boyfriend that cool again. I would never, ever have any boyfriend again, for that matter. And my former boyfriend (who, yes… I still thought I was in love with) was not jealous at all and had moved on to the most popular girl in school.
These photos were telling me these stories… all the pain. All the angst. All the crushing blows to the soul and spirit. But these photos also made me smile at that girl. Because she did pull herself up and out… and she learned life’s most valuable lessons from those two boys and those two heartbreaks. She proceeded a bit more cautiously in the “love” department. But she would go on to win the love lottery…
Barry. Audrey. Jane. Keith. Adam. Taylor. Maddie. Andrew. Jake. William. Alexander. Benjamin. Henry. Dylan. Rydie and Seth.
Now, you may be asking why I didn’t name these two very important boys. Well, you never know who’s reading your blog. But one for sure, if he’s reading this… here’s my song to you:
“You’re so vain, you probably think this blog post is about you…”
But you know what? These boys gave me more wisdom than the Encyclopedia Brittanica. And come to think of it, MISS-BRITT-anica… your wisdom and wit and true, deep beauty will help shape the girls of the world. Thank you for this…
Now everyone, please share your “Behind the Picture” heartbreak or heart-soaring stories. Come on, you can do it!