Oh the things I’ve seen

Imagine being only 18 and working your first real job. Now imagine being an 18 year old girl working your first job and approached by a handsome much older man. Yes, that is how my story began.

I was just 2 months from graduating and had just turned 18. I was at the age where I considered myself grown just because another year had rolled by. It had absolutely nothing to do with my understanding of how this roller coaster called life works.

I didn’t know it then, but I was about to get on a ride that forgot to post the warning signs: caution do not ride if you know what is best for you! Instead, as the cart arrived I found myself not even waiting in line. I entered , and no one pulled the emergency brake, no one.

It was April and I was standing at the jewelry counter of my first real job. I was working to pay the insurance on my 1979 Ford Pinto. It was the first car that my parents could afford to by me. It was a whopping $300.00! It doesn’t sound like much, but to them it was more than they wanted to pay. Somehow my mother had managed to get the money out of my dad. I didn’t ask questions, I was just glad I finally ranked up there with my sister. Her first car was a 1979 ford fairmont for which they payed a grand. They said she needed reliable transportation. Funny, I don’t remember that in any of my pleadings for a car. Keep in mind, this is just a teenage kids perception of events. It wasn’t until 6 months later that I would experience life and the harsh realities it had in store.

I had worked for 2 weeks and during that time a nice looking guy had come buy three or four times to purchase jewelry. He had golden blond hair and deep blue eyes. His jaw  line was chiseled with perfection. He had wide thick shoulders and smelled incredible. I am sure that he was wearing Eternity.  He began to circle more frequently. I assumed he was just flirty, the security asked me at one point if I needed them to intervene. The red flag never went up. Not once.

He managed to get the nerve to ask me out. I said yes without hesitation. I did gulp a bit at the prospect of what my parents would think. I mean he was 31, which was much older than anyone my age should be dating.



Being a mom of four, I tend to get teary at the craziest stuff. When I see my kids watching or doing anything amazing it makes me automatically tear up. It can be riding a carousel or baiting a fishing hook, it doesn’t really matter. Last night we went to the neighbors and did fireworks with him and his kids and grand kids.  I think it was the first time that I didn’t tear up. My youngest is now 9 and a half and I suddenly feel the burn of this era of my life ending. That should be enough to make anyone tear up!

I am at that awkward stage in life. I have 4 kids and I spaced them too far apart. I am still a mother to young kids and now beginning the grand parent stage. It is incredibly awkward. I am sad this morning when I think of not having that joyful tearful reaction that I have become as accustomed to as peeing when I laugh or sneeze. It has been a part of me for 22 years and it feels weird to not have that reaction.

There were a lot of kids and people and our dogs were moving all around. I did spend most of the time making sure that everyone was clear of the multiple tiny explosions and sparklers happening all at once. Maybe I was just to busy and preoccupied to take in the joy of the moment. And it was a beautiful moment…

I hope everyone enjoyed the night and was grateful for our freedom.