Blogging in E minor
Usually just a bunch of silly crap.

How I Met My Muse, Part IX: Denouement?

December 1979

It was the last day before Christmas break, and I was looking forward to having a few weeks off school despite the inevitable weirdness that would ensue over the holidays. My parents were no longer living under the same roof, and I would have to celebrate Christmas with each of them separately, just like all the other divorced kids.

            I was putting my stuff away at the end of art class, when I noticed Maria approaching. It’s been quite a while since SHE has made her way to the back of the room, I thought. To my surprise, she stopped beside me.

            We had hardly spoken since that awkward, heartbreaking moment at my locker two months earlier. Maria had since started seeing another guy, a drummer who was in our science class. Initially, I was jealous, until I realized that I had set this chain of events in motion myself, having mercilessly and most rudely dumped her. She had the right to be happy, and said drummer was trying so hard to win her affections. Good for them!

            Maria placed a small box with a bow on it in front of me. “I had gotten this for you a while back. I still want you to have this. Merry Christmas,” she said, as she walked off returned to her seat in the front of the class.

            I opened it to find a necklace, a choker really, consisting of a leather strap with a large ceramic bead in the front. Immediately, I recalled a moment months earlier when she had measured my neck with her hands. At the time, I was in the habit of wearing a simple suede lace, tied in a knot, as a necklace. She found this odd, and I supposed she had went out and got me a “real” necklace in the days leading up to the meltdown.

            After class, we found ourselves alone by the art lockers in the isolated hallway outside of the room.

            “Maria,” I said apprehensively, “Thank you for the necklace. That was really nice.” OMG, I was actually speaking to her, I thought, wondering if such a thing were ALLOWED. For lack of anything else to say, I continued: “I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything.”

            “That’s okay,” she said with a smile, actually making eye contact. “I wanted you to have it.”

            “Well, thank you. Uh, have a Merry Christmas.”

            “You too.”

            With that, I walked away. It was nice talking to her again.

            That would be the last time we would speak for a great many years. Shortly after Christmas break, I would succeed in my ambitions to get kicked out of school. From Maria’s perspective, as she would later share, I had abruptly and entirely fallen off the face of the Earth.

 

May 2010

My daughter, Bernadette, looked absolutely phenomenal, all fixed up for her 8th Grade Social. She wore a white dress with brown floral prints with a little teal sweater covering her shoulders in tasteful modesty. Her rare appearance in heels gave her a grown-up look.

            She was giddy as my wife and I snapped pictures in the front yard. We surprised her with a corsage that her mother had picked up on short notice. My wife took pictures as I slid it over Bernadette’s delicate, tiny wrist. Then Bernie’s grandmother showed up to participate in the send off. Our little girl looked absolutely gorgeous for her Big Dance, and we were all so proud!

            Of course, this was a big deal. The 8th Grade Social had been the subject of many conversations since the start of the school year. As far back as October, the entire class and their families had entered upon an agreement regarding the various academic and disciplinary requirements necessary to earn the privilege of attending. As the Big Day approached, the girls were all a-giggle with talk about what they were going to wear.

            For Bernadette, this was an especially important occasion. A few months earlier, she had been accepted into a private, all-girls Catholic high school. Soon she would be taking leave of her cohort, kids whom she had known since 2nd grade, and meeting new people. This was like their Last Hurrah in many ways.

            When we dropped Bernadette off at the hall where the dance was held, we were impressed with the degree of supervision present. Teachers and administrators were on full alert making sure everybody who was there was supposed to be there and ensuring that once students entered the ballroom, they did not leave. We were confident that there would be no shenanigans this evening as we departed.

            Yes, things have surely changed since we were kids. Perhaps we are a little wiser than our parents with regard to the pitfalls facing teenagers these days, having ourselves grown up in the post-modern world. Like every generation before, we hope that we can steer our kids clear of some of the more devastating mistakes we had made. Perhaps by applying a combination of Old World values and New World savvy, we can do a tad bit better this time around.

            In Bernadette’s case, we hope that she will take full advantage of the opportunities before her. I had cluelessly pissed away a first-rate education as well as the second-rate education that followed. It took years to get it together.

            But in her case, we think we did things right. She was involved in the decision making process from the get-go, even having a chance to attend the schools for a day to “try them on.” Bernie was going to the school of her choice because she (we) worked very hard to get in.

 

            When my wife and I returned to pick her up, Bernadette’s principal told me: “It’s safe to say she had a good time. She danced all night long!”

            Bernadette told us how most of the girls refused to dance with any of the boys, rejecting their frequent requests. Then she mentioned Jerry, the boy who had given her the silver chain for Christmas. “All he did was stare at me all night!” she complained.

            I could picture Jerry in his little suit, looking on at the object of his puppy-love crush, still enamored and wanting to approach Bernie. But he had been hurt once already, having been mercilessly and most rudely dumped. It still hurt. And he saw the girls shooting the boys down like clay pigeons on a busy, public firing range. No thank you!

            For a moment, I found myself pitying the home team. It took guts to approach the girls, yet, the boys were met with ice-cold rejection on this most long-anticipated of nights. In about 10 years, the same girls will be complaining how too many men are too shy to make a move. How female of them! I thought.

            Admittedly, I had been secretly pulling for poor Jerry, but it just didn’t pan out for the little guy.

            Then it occurred to me that Bernadette wasn’t allowed to have boyfriends! Kids her age lack the skills necessary to deal with relationships with the opposite sex. They awkwardly fumble around with things they don’t understand and emotionally stomp all over each other in the process. By the time they are ready to have viable relationships, they are already messed up in the head.

            Perhaps it was for the best that everything worked out as it did. After all, Bernadette is still daddy’s little girl!

The End

and Happy Birthday Stargirl!

click for Outro Music

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3 Responses to “How I Met My Muse, Part IX: Denouement?”

  1. Bravo! ::standing ovation:: Speshully loved the outro music 🙂

    mwah!

  2. AWSOME! Good job. I find myself feeling like this just happened and I feel so bad for Stargirl…makes me cry for all the young girls. Happy Birthday Stargirl! Hope you have a great one!!!

  3. No one should be a teenager today ~ it should just be not allowed ~ heh

    And thanks Cherryl ~ the actual bee-daay was fun and filled with a lot Chinese food ~ yummers


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