Friday, 19 September 2014

I toyed a bit with stalking in my youth


I toyed a bit with stalking in my youth
19 September 2014

It is amazing how certain things fade with time.  How the memories become hazy.  And glossed over with a gentle sheen and shine.

No longer quite as sharp.  Quite as defined.  Quite so accurate…

Grant and I did a spot of spring cleaning over the weekend.  Going through loads and loads of old boxes.  Filled with a whole host of goodies.  Mostly sentimental stuff.  My very first dress and pair of shoes.  My baby blanket.  My kids’ first art works.  Old cards.  Lots of mementoes holding special meaning and significance. 

Others might look at it, and see a bunch of old papers.  Faded with time.  Crumpled.  Looking a bit worn.

But this is not so.  These old, seeming worthless papers, contain magic.  My magic.  More valuable than gold.  At least to me.

Cause amidst the many treasures I found, were all of my love letters to Grant.  So very, very sweet that he kept them.

Pages and pages of heartfelt declarations of undying love.  Absolute adoration.  Blossoming romance.

These date back to the very beginning of my matric year, when I was a brand new seventeen year old.  All bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Optimistic.  Naïve.  Open hearted.  And experiencing my very first true love.  Actually my only true love.  Right in the thick of an abundance of hormones.  Practically seeping out of every pore.  Filled with idealistic dreams of life and love.  Glass half full.  And all of that.

And looking over these letters, one thing became blatantly clear – I WAS A BLOODY STALKER!!!

I cringe just looking at them!  Haven’t even had the heart to read them.  It will be too mortifying.

All needy, and desperate.  Over eager and just so available.  Willing.  Ripe for the picking.  And pick my Grantie did.

I offered myself on a platter.  Heart, body and soul.

Really!  No shame whatsoever!!!

It’s like I had no filter.  Every single corny romantic piece of hogwash I’d ever read by the time I was seventeen, was squeezed into those letters.  In addition, every single romantic movie, or soppy TV ad, somehow featured largely too.

I clearly had a vision in my head of what love looked it.  What it meant.  What it would entail.

Not only did Grantie keep the love letters, he kept every blessed card.

The letters are painful to look at.  Meticulously decorated.  I must have used tons of coloured khoki’s and pens.  Spent hours and hours decorating them colourfully.  In time I was meant to spend studying.  I’m not even arty, and looking back, I must confess to being a bit surprised at the creativity I used.

I’m guessing that if I were to indulge and read them, this is what I would most likely find - loads of lamenting about having to study.  How boring school was.  How hard life treated me.  What a twit my brother was.  How annoying my sister was.  How completely and utterly out of touch and embarrassing my parents were.  How I didn’t have nice clothes.  How outdated and embarrassing our house was.  How mortifyingly odd, uncool, and strange my family was.  Did there really have to be so many of them?  I didn’t get enough pocket money.  Having a curfew was so lame.  Whinging about piano practice and mean teachers. 

On and on and on I droned.  What a bore!

And judging by the amount of letters, and the I’m-so-available-and-desperate drivel I was writing (okay so I did have a quick glance), I’m extremely surprised the boy didn’t run a mile.  Even worse, I sound equally as self-involved as my teenage son.  Confident that I knew more than all of the adults in my world put together.  Moaning about exactly the same stuff he moans about.  Saying the same things.

It’s like a time warp.  Put on repeat.

And all I can think, is that my mom’s biggest wish must’ve come true.  The wheel has turned.

And I’m now the one suffering at teenage hands.  Though to give her her due, she never really looked pained at the time.  But in hindsight, I’m fairly surprised she didn’t turn to drink.

Maybe sometime, I’ll read these letters.  For now I’m too embarrassed.  Not willing to do more than gloss at them.  And take a pic from afar, to show you my decorating prowess.

I’m sure the only missing factor, is the sense of smell.  Have a certain degree of confidence, that these letters, were rather liberally bathed in perfume.  Or mostly likely cheap deodorant.

But how blessed am I not?  I’m sure that many of those painful, and terribly vulnerable wishes, expressed in my letters have indeed come true.

I married that boy.  And I did have his babies.  Exactly the three that I wanted.  I’ve stayed his best friend.  And I still enjoy his company.  We have lasted. 
We live in a little house.  Like a real grown-up, I do grocery shopping and cook supper.  We’ve had us some kids.  We have pets.  We both drive a car, which means that eventually I did get my licence.  We have braai’s in the summer.  And I’ve finally learnt how to crack an egg without breaking it.  We both earn money.  We visit our folks over weekends.  We spend time with our friends.  Some of them still the same people, from way back then.  We pay bills.  I fill in school forms.  I help with homework.  He watches the news on the TV every night, like an adult.  We put in petrol.  We have computers.  I don’t have to practice the piano anymore.  We don’t have a curfew.  We can kiss and hug in front of our parents.  We don’t have to do our own homework anymore.  We lock up when we go out, like the responsible people we’re trying to be.  He has tools in his garage.  I have an electric beater, and know how to work the washing machine.

Basically, I’m living the dream.

This is all I ever wanted.  And I got it.

Trips overseas would’ve been nice.  A fourth baby too.  A big double story house with a pool.  Maybe a holiday cottage.

But I got the best bits.  The core of it all.

Dreams do come true.  And I’ve got the husband, kids and bills to prove it.

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  1. This is the nicest, sweetest blog post - the glass is still half full.
    So proud of how it turned out, Helene.
    The outjie with his @#$% trokkie who came to court you, has cleaned up real nice, and we love him a LOT!

  2. Very sweet - and so positive! And love the letter art!!