Tuesday, October 21, 2008

...apologies to Dan Fogelberg ...

So ...

When I was in high school -- junior year -- I sat next to this beautiful girl in two of my classes. She was smart and sweet and pretty ... and unlike every other girl I had known up to that point who matched that description, she noticed me. She would occasionally even speak to me. I thought, "one day I'll summon enough courage to 'throw some g' her way { that is hopelessly out-dated slang for 'ask her out on a date' ... I think}. Actually I should have said 'if' not 'when' because back in those days I was so shy that it was literally painful ... I'm sayin' -- it was pathological!

Well, junior prom time rolled around and I really wanted to ask her, even attempted to do it a couple of times {imagine an '80's inner-city version of George McFly ... "hey girl, with yo' fine self, you just might be my density -- uh -- I mean, destiny"}. I just couldn't keep my head out of my shell long enough to get the words out, so I never asked her.

Now, for some reason, the prom was held on a Thursday night and the people who attended had a blanket excuse from morning classes the next day. So that Friday it was just me and a few scattered members of the chess team and the physics club wandering the halls telling ourselves that the really cool kids were too cool to go to a prom. But when I walked into my second period computer class who was there but HER! "You didn't go to the prom either," she asked me. Don't think I managed to say anything in response ... but I must have managed to shake my head or something. "Well we should have gone together, then." So after I regained consciousness {kidding, I only almost passed out} something strange began to happen. We began to talk, or I should say she did. During the course of that 45 minutes I felt my shyness begin to release its grip on me. We had the wonderful conversation about I don't know what --apparently she really liked to talk and I sure liked listening to her. I left that class thinking that we might just become friends and if we became friends then we might become something more than that and then ... well you know the stops on that train of thought -- senior prom, marriage, house in the suburbs, etc. etc. But after lunch the prom goers arrived and I began to recede again. For the rest of that year and the next Sheila continued to be very nice to me but my overwhelming shyness and her immense popularity put an end to all my pipe dreams.

So, yesterday, I was in the second-hand store {to which I have become shamefully addicted} and who do I run into but Sheila! The makings of a tacky love song were all there -- to quote one, "just for a moment I was back at school and felt that old familiar pain," the pathological shyness I mean. For a few minutes I was that skinny, goggle-eyed 17 year-old McFly doppelganger. When I told Shemetra about it later that evening she said, "Please tell me you didn't punk out and walk away without saying anything" {not a shred of jealousy -- Mammacita is the COOLEST}. I was proud to say that I had NOT. "Excuse me," I had said, "are you Sheila?" Of course, I knew she was ... she hadn't changed a bit {and I'm not exaggerating ... sister still has it goin' on}. I don't think she really remembered me, but that's okay. We had a nice conversation about spouses and jobs and how we had both somehow managed to miss all the reunions { "just like we missed the prom" ... should have said it but I didn't. Snap!}.

Now, I'd be lying if I tried to say that the thought didn't cross my mind ... you know the thought ... "what would have happened back then if I had only ..." And, hard on the heels of that thought came the next one ... "what would happen now if I ..." But it was easy to dismiss the whole notion as ridiculous -- I love my wife {who's got it goin' on and on} and I respect my old friend Sheila {also happily married} so our nice conversation stayed nice and cordial and brief. No tacky love song theme music playing in the background -- just a "so nice to see you" and a "you too" and that was that.

Besides, what would a brother look like "throwin' G" in Morgie's with a wedding ring on his finger and an armful of second-hand sweaters and shirts?!

7 comments:

VallyP said...

Hi Van, Just popped in here from Sue's blog, and loved your story about your school dream girl. Isn't it nice when you hook up with people later in life, and you can just think.."yes, that was good, but life is also good now" and put it in its proper place. Friendships can often be more enduring anyway. Lovely story though, and thanks for sharing it!

~VanO~ said...

Oh thank YOU for visiting and reading it. You are so right about friendships.

VallyP said...

By the way Van, you might not be interested in my blogs of course, but if you are, my daily blog is called Vereeniging. One of the others is a private one I do for myself, and the other is a book I'm writing, so neither of these has much of incidental interest, but Vereeniging is where I add stuff about my every day activities. I live on a barge in Rotterdam the Netherlands, and I love blogging and visiting other people's blogs, so it's really good to find you too. I thought blogging was dying, so i'm really happy to find someone who keeps at it ;-)

I love Suesjoy and her blog. She is really precious, so any friend of hers must be too...

~VanO~ said...

I share your sentiments about blogging and about darlin' Suexx. I am interested in both your blogs ... I've actually toyed with th idea of writing a book in the blogosphere myself so that is pretty cool. I love meeting new and interesting people -- even virtually -- and I am glad we "met." I will absolutely check out you blogs!!

Anjoli said...

Oh!
Ah...
::sigh::

Val is the COOLEST!
Do check out her blog(s).


What a wonderful world.........

I am so teary now.
Awesome post,Van.
You are such a dear.
Keep on BLOGGIN!!!!!!
xxxxxxxxx

Anjoli said...

oops!
i was logged in as Anjoli!!!
urgh!!!!!!!!!!

xxxxress

Anjoli said...

huh?