I was recently cleaning out the guest room closet looking for something I was positive I had stored there when I came across some long forgotten boxes. Inside was a treasure trove of pictures from my high school days, most importantly the letters that Chris had written to me while we were dating and the hundreds of letters that he and I exchanged while he was in Vietnam. Oh, I'm so glad that I found those! Even though I cannot bear to re-read them I don't want to lose them.
Among the photos and letters was this very faded picture of me at 16, all dressed up for my Junior Prom. Very Mad Men don't you think? I loved that dress. I can still remember the way it felt when I slipped it on. The beautiful turquoise silk chiffon, the taffeta under skirt, the shoes dyed to match, hair carefully done up in a flip. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the boy but he drove a Hudson and the dance was at the Sheraton Hotel. Because I attended an all girls school it fell to me to ask him to the prom and I was a nervous wreck in case he said no. I was very shy in those days.
There was also one example of my writing from those long ago times. I used to write all the time when I was a kid filling dozens of notebooks with stories and poems but this is the only thing I've ever found so far from that that time. Titled "A Piece of Nonsense" I found it slightly unnerving since it's a prediction of what I then imagined I would be like when I reached old age. In fact when I reached 68, one year away from my present age. I have no idea how old I was when I wrote this. Those of you who know me personally can judge for yourselves, just how accurate was my teenage prediction about my old age.
A Piece of Nonsense
When I am old and grey and sixty eight I'll be very tiny and have little faded blue eyes. I'll dress as any little old lady should. In conservative house dresses with a tiny flower pattern. How I wish I had lived in the 19th century when old ladies were very greatly respected, if only because they had reached such unbelievable maturity. I've always been a romantic. I've always wanted to live when young ladies wore long gowns and weren't allowed to "put up" their hair until their coming out party when they were eighteen.
Can't you see me as I would have been? Very small, with hair down to my waist and dressed in a pale yellow gown with lace at the hem. Somehow my romantic self appeals to me much more than my modern self.
But, I if lived then how could I have taken off my shoes and walked barefoot on the warm sidewalk or cool grass? These, after all are the things I love to do so I suppose I really wouldn't want to change my place in time. It is uniquely my place, my niche in time.
I was very young remember, as we all were then, unexposed to much of the harshness that teenagers these days see everyday. Have you ever had a chance to revisit your much younger self? What did you find?
Until next time,