I hated Ronnie and Donnie, and I didn't even know them. I was jealous of them for knowing my momma when she was young and fun. I don't remember momma running around flying kites and playing with me. Since Ronnie and Donnie were such a thorn in my side it seems odd to me that my life has led along those paths.
My first official boyfriend was a boy I met when I started to school at Valley Point. We rode the school bus together. I remember watching him talk and laugh and flash his big beautiful smile and I was smitten. He liked me. He talked to me and was so sweet and funny that I couldn't help falling for him.
When Moma got wind of my little crush, she made a big deal about it. I don't remember if I wanted to give Ronnie a present for Christmas or Valentine, or if Moma suggested it, but I started giving Ronnie presents. I became so predictable that Ronnie started giving me cards and small gifts in return. This went on for two years and some kids began to tease me for having a crush on Ronnie. I realized that I was being silly and nobody else was giving people gifts like that. I quit giving Ronnie gifts and tried to hide my feelings. I started wondering if Ronnie really wanted to give me those gifts or if his mother was making him give me something so I wouldn't get my feelings hurt. I didn't want a pity gift.
By the time we were in high school, Ronnie appeared to have forgotten about me, but I didn't forget about him. I watched him and saw that he was growing up to be a handsome and friendly young man. Although I had many other crushes in between I still had a soft spot in my heart for him because he was so sweet. When he started dating a classmate, I thought she wasn't worthy of him.
My second crush was Joel, the fleet-foot runner. We were in the first grade together. I didn't give him presents but I did like to sit close to him and talk to him. Moma said she came to pick me up from class one day and looked in the little window in the door. She said I was sitting in a tiny little wooden chair leaning it back and talking up a storm to my classmates. She said my panties were shining. So much for modesty. And, so much for thinking I was shy in the first grade. It sounds like I was the class tease.
I usually tried to keep my feelings to myself but I would develop these huge crushes every spring. By the time I was in the third grade I developed a huge crush on a friend named Chris. He was cute with big dark eyes and dark hair. He lived near my cousin's and I got to see him when I visited them. He was a couple of days older than me and we started competing with one another.
One time we decide to have a foot race. Since we were in town we had paved streets to run on. My cousins lived on Jones street but there was a little used road that went up a hill nearby. Chris and I were going to race each other down the paved road. Donna and Butch were supposed to judge the winner.
We started running down the hill, picking up speed, and couldn't slow down. Suddenly, a car came up Jones street and saw us kids racing into the road. Instead of slamming on his breaks, he swerved towards us and stopped in the middle of the road. Chris swerved one way, and I swerved the other. I ran into the undergrowth at the corner of the road and grabbed the concrete street sign. (Remember those?)
I was huffing and puffing and my heart was beating like a drum. I looked at the man in the car and he smiled at me, then reversed his car, and drove on up the road. He scared the crap out of us to teach us a lesson, I guess. Chris and I were lucky we weren't run over. Chris and I liked each other until I went to camp that summer. When I came back he told he that he met a girl at the swimming pool and she was skinny. Thanks for that little zing. I wasn't fat. I was just, sort of, chubby.
When you're young you can't imagine where your life will lead. Along the way I've had lots of bumps and bruises but my life has led me in a circle. I ended up with a Donnie, after all. My Donnie is a sweetie, too. He may be getting old and crotchety sometimes but he can't hold a candle to me. Bless his heart, he has to put up with me. That would make anybody crotchety.
I have a good and kind husband who thinks I am crazy sometimes but he still loves me. I know because he told me so. That counts for something. Half the time he doesn't have a clue what I am talking about, and the other half of the time he can't hear what I am saying. He's always worked around machinery and his hearing isn't real good. Either that, or he's just ignoring me. Hey! Men. You have to watch them.