Category Archives: Disappointment

girls on wall
My sisters Betty, Patti and me, back in my pre-crush years. I remember being very proud that my legs had finally grown long enough to cross! Not too successfully, by the look of me.

Crushed!

When I was very small, I was notorious for hating boys.  My eleven-years-older sister once came into the living room and I was running around and around a big chair.  “What are you doing?” she asked. “Chasing boys!” was my answer. My sister was at an age when “chasing boys” meant something else entirely, but she got my drift.

When I was six, a lovely southern lady moved to town who enlivened the entire town.  She taught ballet and acrobatics to the girls and square dancing to everyone age 6 to 76.  This only lasted for a year or two, but twice a month most of the town would gather in the fairgrounds meeting room to do-se-do and alamand left.  I was usually paired with a little boy who was in my first grade class.  One night, after an especially invigorating “trade your partner,” when I was once again hand-in-hand with him, he gave me a big kiss.

I can’t remember my reaction, but I certainly remember his mother’s.  Abandoning her “trade your partner,” she came flying across the dance floor to shake her finger in his face.  “Shame on you, Brian!” she said, “Shame on you!”  (Not his real name.)  She then grabbed him by the upper arm and jerked him off the dance floor to go sit in a chair by the wall.  I was left without a partner and so had to dance with Will Prater, a grown man who was jerky and severe in his movements and who nearly dislocated my shoulder every time he swung me around.

Brian’s mother’s fervor in upbraiding him worked.  He never dated a girl, let alone kissed one, for his entire grade school and high school life.  He did ask me to the prom my sophomore year, but unfortunately I had accepted a date with another boy the night before.  By then I had a pretty big crush on him, fueled by his third grade tauntings of ‘Mayor’s daughter, mayor’s daughter,” when my dad was, indeed, mayor of the town, as well as a lifetime of torments in study hall, where he would break my pencils or pass me notes upbraiding me for scoring higher than he did on chemistry tests .  In my town, teasing was foreplay, but unfortunately in this case, the foreplay led to nothing, since he never repeated his offer of a date, in spite of his dad’s best efforts.

By my junior year, I was dating a boy from out of town.  “What are you doing dating that White River boy?” chided Brian’s dad every time I ran into him on the street or in our little town’s one  general store where I had gone to run an errand for my mom or to buy penny candy or a bag of Russian peanuts (our name for sunflower seeds.) “There are plenty of good boys right here in your own town!”

I knew he meant his own son, and had I not been in the throes of first lust with that “White River boy,” that would have been fine with me, as my longtime crush had continued.  But, alas, Brian never heeded his dad’s hints, either, until my sophomore year in college when, both home for the summer from college in different states, he finally asked me out. There is no crush like the one where contact is long delayed. I remember one very hot and heavy kissing session before we both went back to our separate lives.

We both married older people with children.  Both became swamped in our own lives.  I see him now and then at school reunions and of course crushes rarely survive a combination of reality and the passage of years.  But everyone needs a first crush, and perhaps he doesn’t remember that I might have been his, but he has the distinction of being mine.  I wonder if he would be surprised.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Crush.” Who was your first childhood crush? What would you say to that person if you saw him/her again?<

NaPoWriMo, Day 3: In the Market

I had a reading to go to this morning, where I read both “At 67” and “Once Upon a Lime in Mexico,” but you heard them both here first!  “At 67” will also be published in Ojo del Lago, Mexico’s largest English Language newspaper/magazine, which is both in print and online.  Before I left at 9:30 for the reading, I got part of today’s blog post finished and I completed it in the Walmart parking lot, where I’d gone to do a bit of shopping.  Dreading the stop-and-go Semana Santa traffic, I decided to finish it so it would be ready for posting when I got home,  which it is and I am!!!  So, here goes.

I’ve been trying to combine the NaPoWriMo and the WordPress prompts each day. The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a “fourteener” poem where each line consists of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven.) This form is also called a ballad.

No topic was given, so I took a WordPress Prompt and went to a friend’s book and turned to page 11 and took the 11th word, which was “Should,”  and started a poem entitled “She Should.”  I later changed the title and the first line, so the words that started the poem no longer are part of it. The purpose of a prompt is to start, not serve as an end-all. So, here is my ballad.  Please let me know what you think.

In the Market

Her mother tells her not to talk to strangers in the streets–
to count on all her kin to provide everyone she meets.
But this man has such lovely eyes, so what could be the harm?
And she’s not often left to stray this far from father’s farm.
When he walks by, she gives a smile and looks him in the eye.
He looks away, but his shy smile still gives away the guy.
She drops her basket, but he still continues on his way.
It’s only then that she decides that this one must be gay.

The store where she is going is not so very far,
and yet she takes the longest way that leads there from her car.
Although it should be blocks away, instead it is two miles.
She only has this route and back to practice all her wiles.
Whenever gentlemen of note meet her questing glance,
Her winsome smile becomes a grin, her walk becomes a prance.
Some of the men seem to be shocked. The others move away.
She’s sure it is just married men she meets this market day.

But finally, one man in plaid does not avoid her glance.
She smiles at him invitingly, afraid she’ll lose her chance.
She sees him turn as she walks by and follow in her wake.
It seems she’s finally hooked one. It was a piece of cake.
When she arrives and goes into the store, he follows her.
It’s just so he can meet her, of this she’s fairly sure.
Aisle after aisle she meets his gaze by boldly looking up
while he pretends he’s looking for food on which to sup.

Pork and beans he passes up, chili and green beans.
He adjusts his shoulders and hitches up his jeans.
She knows that he’s not used to this. He’s not so debonair.
He will not meet her flirty glance or even her bold stare;
and yet she sees him peeking when it seems that she’s not looking.
It’s clear enough to her that something’s definitely cooking.
She’s been around the livestock so she knows the signs and causes,
yet a bull just gets right to it and a rooster never pauses.

The action quickens in the aisle where the bread shelves start.
She finally takes the upper hand and swerves into his cart.
The metal baskets scrape and crash and make an awful din.
She does not mind that people gawk. She finally has an in!
He blushes when she talks to him, and she is sure he nearly
takes her hand and flirts as he says, “Pardon,” very clearly.
He turns and walks her down the aisle. It is a date, almost.
Side by side they stroll until parted by a post

that splits the aisle in two and makes them part, then join again.
Though she is small and portly, and he is tall and thin,
they make a handsome couple. She can see their wedding stills.
She will pick the gown and flowers. He will pay the bills.
When they approach the registers, he tells her to go first.
They chat as the checker works. It almost seems rehearsed.

He asks about her family and certainly seems rapt.
The lives of mother, father, brother, sister clearly mapped.
Details others might find boring are engagingly related
and all the while his pupils stay entirely dilated.
He puts his thumb right through a peach, then grabs up a red apple,
and tells her that he’s noticed her in front of him in chapel,
sitting by her sister and wearing a blue hat.
Her sister’s hat was yellow.  He is sure of that.

When she asks him home to supper, he says, “Yes,” in nothing flat.
He talks to all her relatives and even holds the cat.
When her annoying sister talks and talks and talks,
he responds politely–he never even balks.
He finally admits that he’s engineered their meeting,
but still the news of it does not set her heart to beating.
Now it is family legend, the story of this mister,
with an unexpected ending. He was there to meet her sister!

 https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/three-letter-words/

Torn Love

Since today was still another free topic, I have chosen to take the Poets and Writers weekly prompt which is: The Flip Side—This week, think of something that has happened to you recently that was stressful, traumatic, or unpleasant. Write a poem about this event as you experienced it, regardless of anyone else’s perspectives or feelings on what occurred. Then rewrite the poem from the perspective of someone else involved in the situation. This new poem may not reflect the truth, but sometimes it’s important to remind ourselves that everything has a flip side.

I

Torn Love

Still standing close,
each on our own side of this terrible rending,
how can we see things so differently?
This little flap of skin
you keep pulling open
wants to close.

This is how cancers start—
this worrying and worrying of an old injury.
My darling. Leave it alone
and let us heal.
This is only a biopsy
of our changed love affair.

If it is cut out of us,
it will be by your decision;
and no number of late-night arguments
will ever change that fact.
What you need to remember
the next morning,
you will remember.

If it were up to me,
we would still be friends,
but if you need an enemy
to console you in your actions,
I guess I must be that too.
I always was a figment
of your imagination.
Believe that
if it makes this easier for you.

II

Cicatrix

I know better than you
what lies buried under
my healed-over self.

The raised part of me
grown to protect the wound
creates this distance
that I once warned you of.

I need to thicken that part of me
where part of you remains,
and if for this time you gasp for air,
it is my thick skin growing over you,
like an orb spider winding you in my web

until you become
the one in me hidden so deep
that even you
believe you’ve disappeared.

You Want Us to Write about What???

The Prompt: Voice Work—Your blog is about to be recorded into an audiobook. If you could choose anyone — from your grandma to Samuel L. Jackson — to narrate your posts, who would it be?

You Want Us To Write About What???

This prompt is simply for the birds.
It can be answered with two words!
The worth of it, I’m just not buyin,’
so I’ll just tell you that Meg Ryan
Is the one that I’d have voice
my blog if I were given the choice.
My reasons, though, are somewhat murky.
Perhaps, because her voice is quirky
with humor and variety
that seems to exclude piety.
However, I think this won’t be.
I doubt I could afford her fee!

Interlude

Disclaimer Notice:  This is a work of fiction, not of fact!!!!

Interlude

I have been dieting for months and I’m in fine fettle. I can see the admiring looks of several men as I enter the restaurant, along with the slightly irritated stares of their wives or girlfriends. I’m fresh from the beauty parlor: newly coiffed, manicured and pedicured, wearing a size smaller than I wore a month ago and several sizes smaller than a year ago. Feeling buff, I slide into a booth, fanning both hands over the smooth surface of the Formica table top, admiring my French manicure.

He enters the restaurant shortly after I do. Taking the long way around the aisle that runs between the tables in the center and the booths along the four sides, he scans the faces of diners with a curiosity that signals an interest in life. He is tall and intelligent-looking with a quirky doorknocker beard and mustache and a Hawaiian shirt—all elements of his appearance that call out for notice. I do not disappoint.

I watch him as he draws nearer, but drop my eyes as he approaches my booth. So it is that I am surprised when he stops in front of me and says, “May I ask you what you name is?”

I bring my eyes up to meet his. Is this the Cinderella story I’ve been waiting for my whole life? Quickly, my mind fills in the prior details. He noticed me on the road and followed me here. Or, he was driving by when he saw me enter the restaurant and, on a whim, seized the day and came in search of me. Or, this is an old and long-forgotten flame, someone from my past—a college or high school friend I haven’t seen for twenty years.

Without asking why or giving a smart answer, for once I merely answer the question. “Judy. Judy Dykstra-Brown,” I purr in a humorous, slightly sexy voice, not once looking away from his clear hazel eyes.

He does not disappoint. “I’ve been looking for you,” he says.

“I’ve been looking for you, too—for a very long time,” I answer in my best low flirtatious tone.

He reaches out toward me, and I extend my hand toward him as well; but in place of his own hand, he places something soft and warm in my palm.

“You must have dropped your wallet in the foyer,” he says to me, “You’re lucky that the right person found it.” He turns then and walks across the room to sit down at a table with a lovely woman in a white sundress and two darling tanned children. They are like a commercial for a Hawaiian vacation.

I open the wallet to see that all the money is intact, the driver’s license just slightly askew from where he must have withdrawn it to see the picture of its owner, and my mind replays his final words to me.  “You’re lucky.”

“Welcome to Perkins!” The waitress interrupts my thoughts in a perky voice, living up to the name of her place of employment. I take the menu she proffers and order humble pie.

The Prompt: Greetings, Stranger—You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?