This week I’m pulling entries from my diary and telling stories that make me laugh, squirm, and wonder how any of us survive childhood.
I still have the note that my first boyfriend, Tim, sent me in the 3rd grade, “Will you go out with me? Circle Yes or No”, the note from my friend Kenny in Jr. High asking what the answer to #7 was, and even notes drafted and never sent, a sign that I’d
chickened out rethought my strategy at the last minute.
The first two notes in this diary are from Timmy, my 6th grade boyfriend (not to be confused with nine year-old Tim above, whom you’ll meet another day).
Within two weeks of being back at boarding school, little Susie had landed her a man. Timmy Henriques was a doll. He had a gorgeous head of hair, chocolate-brown eyes, and dimples. He was also a good foot shorter than I but I was not going to let that stand in the way because TRUE LOVE doesn’t notice those differences. I remember when he asked me out. We were sitting on the swings at recess and he just sort blurted out that he’d like to “go out” with me and what girl can resist that sort of directness? I blushed, said “yes”, and swung a little higher. That was it; we were a couple.
We weren’t really allowed to have dating relationships at school. The rules precluded any male and female from being within a foot of each other, handholding was strictly forbidden, and you could get expelled for kissing. Even though we all, for the most part, obeyed the rules about physical contact
except for when I didn’t, it didn’t stop us from being secret boyfriend and girlfriend with someone every other week.
Oh, life with Timmy was wonderful. We played together at recess, endured the teasing of friends (jealous, all jealous), walked together on our forced Saturday hiking excursions (which for a non-outdoorsy person like yours truly were akin to Back to Bataan), and passed notes in nightly study hall.
According to the diary, I sent Timmy a note and can only infer that I grilled him about why he asked me out. Was it my good looks? My charm? The sassy way I wore my wraparound skirt with the clunky Dr. Scholl’s?
Forget about you. Tell me all about me, me, me!
Note 1 from Timmy said that he asked me out because he liked me and thought I was cute and nice and he told me to write him more notes. Well, that’s all the encouragement I needed. The next entry references the two-page missive I sent him and the very next day, he sent me not one, but two notes, carefully catalogued and expressing strong sentiments that I’m sure I’d already declared.
When you’re young, not truly knowing the person who asked you out yesterday isn’t a hindrance to passionate declarations of love.
And just as quickly as we’d found love, it started waning.
What could have sparked such a lover’s tiff so soon in our relationship? Well, poor Timmy made the mistake of commenting on a dorm-mom’s underwear drying on the clothesline and I got horribly offended because it WAS JUST NOT RIGHT TO SAY “GIRDLE” IN FRONT OF A LADY.
So I dutifully and emphatically noted he was wrong and on a morally dubious path to perdition.
And engaged in a little self-congratulations for finishing my assignments.
But then, the sadness. As it turns out, I didn’t have a chance to break up with Timmy because he broke up with me first. And it had nothing to do with the fact he had a psycho girlfriend on his hands, but everything to do with Kathy Owen, the reason for my life-long inherent suspicion of blondes. Beautiful Kathy Owen with her Farrah Fawcett hair and ridiculous curves who, by the mere fact of being a little older and more stunningly gorgeous than the rest of us, could boss us around and announce who she would deign to date, snap her fingers and the boys would come running.
But I wasn’t bitter about it.
And it didn’t help that she sent me this note where she rubbed it in my face and had the nerve to throw God in the midst of her condescension.
Missionary kids know how to infuse everything with THE WORD OF THE LORD and turn it into a holy moment.
So there it was, the promising beginning and the flaming end of Timmy Henriques and I, all in the span of two and a half pages.
And plenty of fiery references to stuck up blonde girls for days to come.
To be continued….
Have a nice day.