Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prom - Be Careful What You Wish For…

I wanted my senior Prom to be memorable. I got my wish, though it wasn’t what I was hoping for.

I was dressed and ready for Prom! Unfortunately, Chris was already half an hour late picking me up. I called his house but his Mom said he left about half an hour ago. It usually takes about half an hour for Chris to drive into Frederick so I thought I should give him a few minutes. In the mean time Giggles calls my house “Why are you still home?! We need to get going!” I explained the situation and she said in a huff “Well, hurry up and get over here. Don’t waist time taking photos at your house. You can take photos at the Prom.” She called every ten minutes with the same attitude. “Maybe he stood you up. Did you ever think of that?” Actually, I had never been stood up before but “No, Chris wouldn’t do that! He knows this is important to me. He wouldn’t be able to show his face again in Frederick if he did that.” I was starting to wonder what happened to him. Now he was an hour late picking me up. Just as I was about to take my dress off and cry in my room the phone rang. It was Chris! Poor guy, his beautiful car broke down on a deserted part of the highway. He had to walk to the nearest city and call for a ride home. He also had to arrange for a tow truck. Before calling the tow truck he called me knowing I must have been freaking out.

New dilemma. Chris now had no car which meant we needed a vehicle. There was no way I was going to Prom in my car, AKA the Bomb. Why the nick name “Bomb”? It ticked and smoked but hey it got me from point A to point B. I talked to my parents. There was a lot of begging, groveling and maybe promises to put a new roof on the house or something equally impossible for me to do. Finally, Dad gave in and said I could take his Ford LTD. Yeah! It was a nice sedan and far better than my car. Problem was, Chris said he wouldn’t drive my parent’s car. GREAT! Not only did I miss showing up in Chris's fab car, I would also have to Drive to my own Prom. I was the Girl! I was suppose to be driven to the Prom by my Date. Ugh! Wait, we could still ride in the limo with the rest of the Angels.

Ok, I call Giggles to let her know what happened to Chris and that I was on my way to pick him up. She said it would take to long and they were NOT going to wait for us if we were late. “The limo is already here! You have 30 minutes! Hurry up!”

I hung up the phone and ran out the door. I drove as fast I could to Chris’s house. Then I realized, I had only been to his house once before. I got a little lost so I had to stop at a payphone to call him for directions. Yes, there I was outside a busy grocery store, on a pay phone, in my Prom dress. Chris told me “Take a deep breath Heather, you are practically around the corner from my house.” Off I went and finally I arrive at his house.

Before I knocked on the door Chris opened it. I was so relieved to see him. He was all ready to go…almost. “Chris, I am so sorry I was frantic on the phone. I know you are doing Ronnie and me a big favor by coming with me…” He cut me off “Let’s get one thing straight before we go any further. I am not doing this as a favor for Ronnie or anyone else. We are going on a date. You and I. This is a real date. Not like Giggles’ date. A real date. Got it?” I was standing on his front door step with my jaw gaping and in complete shock. Was he kidding me? Was he giving me an ultimatum at the very last second? Oh this was so not happening to me.

We were already late, I needed to hurry things along. I smiled at him sweetly and said “Ok, this is a date. We better move it or we will miss it.” With that we racing down the highway. Chris had never been in a car with me before and this was so not the day to introduce him to my crazy woman driving. He white knuckled it all the way back to Frederick. He might have thrown out a few curse words here and there but he survived.

Yeah! We finally made it to Giggles house! Her Mom explained that they left after I called her the last time. I asked her Mom where the restaurant was located and she gave me some round about directions. “Once you get to 355 you should see it off on the right. It’s a very large building.” When we were back in the car Chris said “Isn’t that typical of your friend Giggles?” I looked over at him and gave him an angry stare “This is so not the time for that.” Half an hour later after driving up and down 355 several times we find the restaurant. There was valet parking but I decided to park the car myself. As valets ran after us behind the car Chris said “I don’t think you are allowed to park the car yourself.” To which I said “With the luck we have had already today I am not chancing a valet scratching up my Dad’s car.”

I parked the car and we walked through the enormous entry way. A very elegant older gentleman asked if he could help us. I told him our reservation was under Giggles last name. “I am sorry madam but that table is already full.” I wasn’t listening to him. I saw Giggles and the rest of the crew at a large table and walked right over. Sure enough the table was full. “Hi, we finally made it. Oh you wouldn’t believe all the things that happened so far tonight.” Then I looked around and there were three people at the table I didn’t know. I looked at Giggles and she said “Well, we thought you wouldn’t make it so we invited the limo drivers and one of the driver’s girlfriends.” “Giggles? You mean that you gave away our dinner reservations? On Prom Night?!" Not looking at all concerned she said “We had to have our full party here in order to be seated.”

Chris could see that I was getting upset so he lead me out of the restaurant. We got into the car and started to cry. Surprisingly, Chris was being very optimistic. “It’s ok. We will have dinner somewhere else. Just the two of us. You don’t really want to go back in there and have dinner with Giggles right now, do you?” I shook my head. “Well, come on. Start the car and we will find a restaurant.” We drove around for awhile but all the fancy restaurants required a reservation. Chris decided it was time to stop driving around “Pull in here.” I didn’t see it at first but there was a little Chinese restaurant on the bottom floor of the large office building we parked in front of.

I had never had Chinese food before. The closest I had was at Dao’s Vietnamese birthday dinner when she was 6 yrs old and I was in 7th grade. As we walked into the restaurant Chris could tell I was a little apprehensive. “Look at it as an adventure. All of your friends are eating the same old things they have always had. Stake and chicken. You, on the other hand, are going to be adventurous tonight.” That cheered me up. While the waitress lead Chris to the table I went to the powder room to fix my make up.

When I entered the dinning room I spotted Chris right away at a table next to the window. It was kind of hard not to miss the only person in the room wearing a tuxedo. As I walked past the other tables towards Chris I heard people whispering and gasping. The more they did this the faster I walked. I kept my eyes focused on Chris. As I approached our table he jumped to attention and held out my chair for me. When we were both seated I leaned over the table and whispered “Everyone is staring at us. Why?” Chris laughed softly and leaned across the tabl towards me “They have never seen anyone as beautiful as you before.” That made me laugh. I had forgotten that I was wearing my Prom gown. Still, everyone staring at us was making me a bit nervous. Chris had a solution. He took the two very large, leather bound menus and placed them at the end of the table creating a sort of privacy divider between us and the rest of the customers. We had to lean in over the table a bit but it was fun. Chris was holding both of my hands in his on top of the table “I promise, your Prom is going to be a great night to remember. We are not going to let any of this silliness of preProm affect the rest of the night, right?” I smiled and agreed. At this point I knew I had made the right choice in choosing him to take me to Prom.

Just then someone cleared their throat. We both looked up and there was the waitress staring down at us from above our menu partition. Chris told her we needed a few more minutes. She giggled and walked away. Now came the difficult part, what to order. Chris tried to explain the different dishes to me but I finally gave up. There were just too many choices so I told him to decide. Giving Chris the power to choose something for me, to be in charge…that had never happened before. He was thoroughly enjoying this.

From the list of things he said to the waitress you would have thought he was feeding a small army. The two things I remember most were the wonton soup and the lobster with shrimp sauce. When our food arrived I was a little skeptical but Chris encouraged me to at least try everything. He was right, nothing ventured nothing gained. This was an adventure after all. I really enjoyed the wonton soup which was part of the first course. The salad surprised me “Chris, the dressing tastes like …like peanut butter!” He laughed, you really haven’t lived have you? Did your parents raise you in a bubble? That must be it, you are related to Bubble Boy.”

When the main course came …lobster tail with shrimp sauce. I kept telling myself, be adventurous, be adventurous. The smell was overwhelming. I had never smelled anything that…awful. I looked over at Chris who was enjoying his lobster. “Come on, you have to at least try it Heather.” I took the tiny piece with the chopsticks Chris rigged up for me with the wrapper then covered my nose. Chris laughed at me. “It’s good. Trust me.” I was doubtful but determined so I took a bite. Oh my gosh! What to do! What to do! I started looking around the table and at Chris and the whole room. I needed a place to spit it out! Right NOW! I stood up and Chris pulled me back down “Look at me. Look at me Heather. Are you allergic to shellfish?” I shook my head, No. He grabbed my napkin and placed it over my mouth. “It’s ok, just spit it out.” I didn’t want to spit it out into the napkin but I had to get it out of my mouth. So, I did.

Chris handed me back my napkin and laughed a little “I can’t believe you just did that. It’s lobster.” “I’m sorry Chris. I don’t know why but I didn’t like it. It had this sort of oil in it.” He looked at me like I was crazy “There is no oil in it.” I am telling you I tasted something like an oil and it felt really weird. He looked at me intensely for a few moments then said “I thought you were a Navy Brat. Doesn’t that mean you grew up on the seashores? You have never had lobster before have you? Didn’t you eat seafood?” I thought about it for a minute then realized I had never had real seafood before. The closest to seafood I ever had was fish and chips. Sadly I said “They don’t allow us bubble people to have seafood.” Chris burst out laughing! At least you have a sense of humor about it. Sad that you cannot eat lobster though. Hand it over, we are not letting this go to waste.” He asked me over an over again if there was anything else I wanted to try instead. The bad taste in my mouth wouldn’t go away no matter how much sprite I drank so I was finished with food for the rest of the night.

While we were waiting for the bill a few couples had come over to our table. They bowed and said “Congratulations.” I giggled. “What do you suppose they are congratulating us for?” Chris said “Either they think we just got married or they were impressed that you did so well with your first lobster.”

The bill came and Chris paid the waitress. Just as I was starting to enjoy myself it started to rain. I didn’t have a coat with me and now I had to make a mad dash for the car. My poor dress, my hair and my make up would all be ruined. Then it was Chris to the rescue again “Give me your keys.” I was surprised since he was so adamant about not driving my parents car. “I will bring it around to the door but you need to drive the rest of the way.” I gave him the keys and waited by the front door. As he pulled up I stepped out under the small awning. He jumped out of the car and said “Stop right there. Don’t move!” He ran over to me, took off his tux jacket and turned it inside out. Then he put it over my head and said “Ok, now you can run.” That was incredibly sweet.

While driving back to Frederick Chris said “I know it’s unpleasant but we need to talk about the Prom. We are still going to O.C. with Giggles so we have to tolerate her tonight. We are not giving up a weekend at the beach which I already paid for.” I agreed. I could never stay really mad at my friends. I could see why Giggles did what she did because that is how she is and we were late. She wasn’t trying to be mean on purpose but I thought she could have been a little understanding when she spoke to me at the restaurant.

The Prom was beautiful! It was held at the Peter Pan Inn in Urbana. There was a large ballroom set up with tables, a dance floor and a live band. Outside of the ballroom were beautiful fountains, statues and gardens with small table sets. When we first arrived I looked for “our table” hoping my friends would still save us seat. Chris said not to worry if they didn’t as we would still have a great time. While I was handing over our tickets at the entrance Kay-Kay and Huggles ran over to us. “We are so, so, so sorry about what happened at the restaurant. Giggles told us that you said you couldn’t make it and you were going to meet us later at the Prom. Are you mad at us?” I looked at Chris then I said “Dinner is over. We had a great adventure of our own and it was nice to have dinner alone. Sorry we missed dinner with you but it’s ok. We still had fun.” Everyone smiled, Chris squeezed my hand signifying I said all the right things. With that we were lead to the table with the rest of the crew. Giggles was standing near the table and rushed over to hug me. “I’m so glad you are here! Isn’t this set up fantastic! Lets dance!” She pulled me out to the dance floor before I could even say hello. We Angels danced until we felt like we would drop from exhaustion. Then came a slow dance. Chris didn’t dance much to the fast songs but he made sure not to miss the slow dances. There was one time I was at the table cooling off and a slow song came on. I didn’t know where Chris had disappeared to but I was sure he didn’t run off and leave. I don’t remember who it was that asked me for that slow dance but I agreed. Just as we were heading for the dance floor Chris came back to the table with two drinks. He looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders.

They always seem to play two slow songs in a row but I only danced the first song with that guy and returned to table where Chris was waiting. I thought he would ask me to dance to the second one but he was sulking. “Well, if you are going to sulk I am going to walk around the gardens outside.” Chris retorted back “I guess you told him to meet you outside.” I coyly said “Chris, why don’t you come with me? You haven’t seen the gardens before.” Even that didn’t work. “No, I will be fine sitting here at the table alone.” If he was going to be like that there was nothing I could do so I went to walk around outside by myself.

While looking at the statues and fountains I thought about what I had just done. I shouldn’t have danced with that other guy. I did have a date. I wasn’t interested in that guy at all. I just thought I was being nice by dancing with him. Had I known Chris would be so upset by it I wouldn’t have agreed to dance with that guy. I thought after a little while he would cool off and things would be back to normal. In the mean time I took pictures of the statues and gardens. I thought of how beautiful the night turned out to be. The clouds disappeared, the stars were out and the moon cast a shadow on the fountains that made them seem like something out of a fantasy.

Just then someone walked up behind me and put their arms around me. It was Chris “You have been out here awhile. I wanted to make sure you were ok.” I leaned back against him and said “I am ok. I am sorry about the slow dance. I didn‘t think you would mind.” Chris rocked me back and forth then said “I do mind. I am your date tonight.” I turned around to face him “I am sorry and it wont happen again.” He smiled and said “I’m not letting you out of my sight again.” Then he tapped my nose lightly with his finger. We both laughed and went back inside.

The Prom was winding down. People started leaving for after Prom parties. The band took another break and let the DJ fill in. That is when the inevitable happened. It was the second slow song…I was already on the dance floor with Chris when it started to play…Crazy For You. At first I jerked away from Chris but he pulled me close. I started to cry. Ronnie wasn’t here. It should have been him dancing with me at my Prom to this song. If he had been my date nothing would have gone wrong all night. Everything would have been absolutely perfect.

Chris realized I was crying so he said over and over again “It’s ok. You are ok.” Then he kissed me. On the dance floor. In front of everyone! I pushed him away and ran outside. I didn’t know where to run to. There was no where to run to. Ronnie wasn’t going to magically appear around the corner. I slunk down into one of the garden chairs and cried my heart out. No matter what is going on in my world, when I hear that song I need to be near him. If I cannot be near him when I hear it then it feels like my heart is being ripped out. Then I realized I wasn’t sad, I was angry. I was angry that I wasn’t in Ronnie’s arms. I was angry that Chris was kissing me when I wanted it to be Ronnie kissing me!

Chris came out after me so did the Angels. Chris knelt down beside me saying how sorry he was and that he didn’t mean to upset me. “You were crying. I didn’t know what to do.” Giggles slapped him across the shoulder “She’s engaged you idiot! She doesn’t want you. She is in love with Ronnie!” I realized that Chris stood up to face Giggles. “Chris, don’t. Can everyone just stop fighting. I freaked out a little but I’ll be ok. Yes, I miss Ronnie. There isn’t anything I can do about it. Chris didn’t make Ronnie go into the Army. He didn’t make Ronnie cancel his leave…” Giggles cut me off “What? Ronnie canceled his leave?!” Oh no, I hadn’t planned on telling anyone that he canceled his leave. I only told them he couldn’t come to Prom.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prom and the Plans...with a side of Wishful Thinking

Giggles’ date backed out at the last minute but she came up with a solution, Dave. This guy had graduated from his school a year or so before us and living on his own in a condo close to where Dizzy and Kay-Kay lived. I met him when Giggles took me to his condo where she gave him the money to rent a tux. Dave agreed to go to Prom with Giggles but she was paying for everything, even the dinner and their portion of the limo. Well, when it comes up at the last minute a girl does what she has to do.

Who was I to judge? I didn’t have a “real date” either. Chris was doing Ronnie and I a favor by taking me. I paid for the prom tickets but Chris said he would pay for his tux and dinner. I wanted to go Dutch on dinner but I didn’t press the issue when he insisted on paying for just about everything. He had no control on the prom tickets since he didn’t go to my school. Chris graduated the previous year and apparently didn’t go to his own senior prom.

Giggles and I were planning on going to Prom with guys we were head over heels love with. Due to this we had planned to drive out to Ocean City to watch the sunrise. We even prepaid a weekend at Eve Rock. Now that we were not going with Ronnie and her guy we tried to talk Huggles and Kay-Kay into coming with us instead of inviting our dates. Huggles and Kay-Kay had to work the next day so that idea went out the window. Giggles said it would all work out fine. We will take our dates with us. There were two rooms so the plan was the guys would stay in one room and the girls in the other.

It was Sunday again which meant Ronnie would call tonight. This also meant I had to tell him I was going to O.C. with Giggles, Dave and Chris…for a whole weekend. Would he flip out or would he be ok since Giggles will be there and he knows Chris is a decent guy.

When Ronnie called I was determined to be as chipper as possible. I was still upset that he turned down leave to come home. Nothing I could do about it but make the best of it. “Hi Sweetie! How are you? Is everything going ok over there?” Ronnie was happy to hear my voice, so cheerful. “I’m ok. Everything here is fine. We received off post passes this weekend. Me and some of my buddies went to Munich. It’s really beautiful up there.” Boy, he was pretty chipper himself. Maybe explaining about the weekend in O.C. wouldn’t be as bad as I had expected.

“Heather, I love the pictures you sent. My buddies took pictures of me in Munich so I can send you pictures of what I look like now. I miss you so much. I am looking at a picture of you right now. It’s one of you at Cunningham falls. I really like that bathing suit.” Oh yes, he was definitely in good mood. So I started to talk about Prom “Everyone here is all geared up and ready for Prom this weekend. Chris is going to drive his Austin Healey convertible so we will arrive in style. Giggles and the rest are renting a limo. So what I already paid our part of the limo. We will arrive in his little sports car. Who else will come in that sort of style? She also made reservations at a restaurant all the way out in Rockville. After Prom we are going to O.C. to watch the sunrise.” I sort of lost my enthusiasm thinking he wont be there with me. I sighed “I so wish you were going with us.” Heather, we already went over this.” “I know, I am not mad any more. It just made me think how much I will be missing you.”

Then it hit him, his mood changed from chipper to concern “You are going to watch the sunrise in Ocean City? With who?” “Well, Giggles and I made these plans when we though you and her boyfriend were going to Prom with us. We cannot get our money back for the hotel so we decided to have a weekend in O.C. It’s the same hotel we have booked for senior week so we can check it before hand.” “Heather? Will it be just you and Giggles going to O.C. this weekend?” Short pause. I knew I had to tell him but now I didn’t want to. “Heather? Is Chris going with you and Giggles?” “Yes, Chris will be there too. Don’t worry, Giggles booked two rooms, one for the guys and one for us girls.” This time Ronnie took a moment to pause. “I don’t think this is a good idea. Why do you need to go to O.C. after Prom? You will be there for a whole week very soon.”

Now I was starting to feel guilty. Why? This was my senior Prom and it is suppose to be memorable. The original plan was for Ronnie to go with me to O.C. but that was taken away. Everything else was planned by Giggles, I had no say in most things. I considered myself lucky that I got to even pick out my own dress. “Ronnie, Giggles is going with me and come on, it’s Chris.” After a minute or so Ronnie every so slowly said “I wish you were going with Jim.” Although he couldn’t see me I rolled my eyes. Lots of woulda shoulda coulda and wishful thinking on both ends. In a perfect world Ronnie would be going with me. But I had to put that out of my mind and not say anything about it. Why? Because there was nothing I could do about it.

He finally said “I can’t make this decision for you. I am trusting you to make the right choices and Giggles to make sure nothing happens to you. Sunrise, the beach and you…even Chris is a guy ya know.” I couldn’t help myself. I laughed! Heartily! “Sometimes you say the funniest things! Chris? Really? Now that’s funny!” Ronnie didn’t think so. “Alright, just be careful and don’t get in to trouble. Remember, I love you.” “Ronnie, I love you so much.” Then we talked about Graduation. I already knew he couldn’t come home for it so we didn’t talk much about it. Just more warnings to stay out of trouble, especially in O.C. All I could think about was the fun and running on the beach I could have had with Ronnie. Everything would have been wonderful if he could come with us.

Then I thought it would be a great idea to skip O.C. and spend that week in Germany with him instead. Again, another hopeful wish comes crashing down. I didn’t have a passport and Ronnie would be in the field all that week. Geesh! Nothing was working out the way I wanted. There was one good thing coming up. The next time Ronnie came home I will have already graduated and we could get married! We would finally be together! I could go back to Germany with him! The next time I saw him there would be no more goodbyes. Now that was definitely something to look forward to! That made for some very sweet dreams for me that night.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Earring Eatter …Friends With The Best Intentions

Ok my friends did try to cheer me up but lets face it we were teenage girls. I already found the love of my life but my friends were still searching. Some you might say were “on the hunt.” One friend in particular was very boy crazy. I agreed to hang out with her a few nights a week, just the two of us. Hanging out meant driving around the circuit through downtown and stopping in at McDonalds on one end and the FSK Mall Fun Factory on the other end. And yes, you were expected to dress up for this. You had to look “hot”. I settled for comfortable and cute. When Giggles came by to pick me up her whole face went sour as she said “Is THAT what you’re wearing?” Sure, I’m not out to impress anyone. Ok, I agreed to at least put on some make up and earrings so she wouldn’t be embarrassed by my not so “hot” attire.

One night while we were cruising around town Giggles saw a guy she had met before. She pulled over and the guys, yes I said guys, decided to join us in her car. Giggles drove around to some deserted train tracks between the mall and Urbana. The guy Giggles liked sat up front with her which left his buddy and me in the back seat. Giggles and the front seat guy were steaming up the windows and I was really getting uncomfortable so I decided it was time to get out of the car. They were just making out but still, I thought they needed some privacy. The back seat guy also got out of the car. He tried making some small talk which I didn’t mind just talking with him while we killed time waiting for our friends to come up for air. Then he GRABBED ME! He PUSHED me up against the car and... started kissing me! He was at least 6 feet tall and a few years older than me. I couldn’t get his face off of me! I even kicked him in the legs a few times but he wouldn’t let me go! He even slobbered all over my ears! I was completely grossed out! I screamed!

Giggles threw open the front passenger door and demanded to know what was going on! I was wiping the drool off of my ears when I realized something. “He…He ATE my earring! He.. He! He’s Gross!” From then on he was known as the Earring Eater. Giggles laughed! “He ate your earring?!” He called me a big baby and said “When you grow up maybe you can handle a man.” With that Giggles knew it was time to head home. Well, time to drop me off at home so she and Mr. Front Seat guy could have some time alone without the “the fussy children.” I didn’t want to get back in the car with him next to me but Giggles rolled her eyes and said it would only be for a few minutes.

We were in the car only a few minutes when the Earring Eater was all over me again! This guy was slobbering all over me AGAIN and all the elbows to the chest were not stopping him. I was so mad I could have spit nails! Giggles was obviously angry but instead of helping me she angrily smacked her rear view mirror so she wouldn’t see what was happening. Later she said it was my fault. My fault?! “You’re engaged! You should know better!” What happened to being my friend? Help was obviously required. If I had any one of my guy pals with me…well, that guy would have had to crawl back to town.

Yes, I should have know better. This was not the first time she wanted to meet a guy but didn’t want to go alone. She would bring me along and surprise me with this “chance meeting.” The guy would just happen to bring one or two of his friends. Sure, sometimes they hit on me but I quickly put an end to it by explaining that I was engaged. Usually it wasn’t long before the ‘friend’ was trying to get Giggles’ guy to take him home.

This last time with the Earring Eater, things just went too far. He didn’t care that I was engaged. My friend was boy crazy and I was guilty by association only. Sure, guys sees two girls together and figure they must both act the same way. I decided it was best NOT to go anywhere with Giggles. Instead I went out with my other friends. Eventually, she caught on that we were going out without her quite often. She passed me a note in school asking why we were not including her. I wrote her a note back saying that I didn’t think it was a good idea since she pushes me into awkward situations. She didn’t like my note at all. (curse words have been bleeped ** out)

Look, I’m sorry okay, but you have your facts all wrong. I do not “push” you into situations. The only time I know of is with Doug and Brian’s friend. I’m sorry about that. But flirting with all those guys is not wrong. You were exactly like me before you met Ronnie. You & I both know that your forever with Ronnie. It’s just lately I’ve been feeling left out. The last three times you, Kay-Kay and Dizzy-D went out, I was sitting home. You never bothered to call to see if I wanted to go. I know that flirting with Mike or whoever is not going to hurt because I know you love Ronnie and you want to just meet guys on friendly terms. I’m sorry if you think I was pushing you into anything, I didn’t do it intentionally. I feel so insecure right now. I’m hoping that one of the guys I meet by flirting will turn out to be as nice as Ronnie is to you. Do you understand what I’m trying to get at? You are one of my best friends. Someone I can cry with, laugh with and fight with. Give me another chance. I guess I won’t try as hard to impress anyone. I know your mad at me now, it seems like I always f**k up someway, but try to see it my way. Be open-minded. Love ya Always,
P.S. Friends again? write back

Hi Cuddles,
How are you? I’m pretty good. So what have you been doing? Sounds like you guys had fun last night. I don’t think I’m going on Sunday. First, you’ll have a loaded car, second, Jim’s working, 3rd - I don’t have any money to spend and since I’m going to Players Sunday night, I should do my homework that I’m 3 weeks behind in. I hope you don’t mind, but I really think I should do my homework. I’m starting to worry about my grades. Do you know if Rhonda’s here today? No one has seen her oh, remember that pass you gave me, well, I got snagged for hooking 4th pd Thursday. S**t, now I’ll probably get an 1 hr detention. That freaking sucks. So whats on your agenda for tonight? I get off at 7:00. Do you want to do something? Well, I’ve gotta go. I’ll see ya 3rd.
Love lots,

Yes, she was very boy crazy and sometimes it lead to undesired results for herself as well. I think she finally learned that putting out on the first or second date was not how to keep a guy. She thought, like many girls that if a couple does this then they are both saying they are in love. So not true about most teenage boys. Before anyone passes judgment on one of my best friends, think about it. There are a great many girls, even today who think this way. Giggles did learn this valuable lesson but wished she had learned it long before she wrote the following note.

Dear Cuddles,
I was so upset last night. I feel like a slut. There’s no excuse for what he did to me and I’ll never forgive him. Thought we’d really have something going but maybe it’s just as well that we didn’t. This is it. I’ve been stepped on all my life and I’m freaken tired of it. I’m not letting the guys get the best of me anymore - In a matter of speaking! (Ha! Ha!) I’m not getting serious with anyone. Not Duane, Kyle or even Troy. I’m so sick of it! Your so lucky you have Ron. I know he’d never do anything to hurt you. Please do me a favor. Call up Randy tonight [phone number deleted] about 10:00 and say I hope your satisfied. You’ve got Mary really upset. I think you should call her. Oh please! B***h him out and make him feel about 2 inches. Don’t let him know I asked you to do that. Please!
Love ya,
P.S. Please! Do it for me!

As it is the way with best friends all was forgiven. We were back to hanging out together, with the rest of the Angels. Giggles was right we could disagree and even fight with each other but that didn’t mean we were no longer friends. We always seemed to work out our differences and the gang was all back together.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Guy Pal Chris

I met Chris at Players at the begining of my Junior year in high school, long before meeting Ronnie. I liked Chris because he always seemed so confident and set on what was right and what wasn’t. We never really went out on a date but there was a time we thought about dating. That lasted all of five minutes. Chris wasn’t breaking any of my rules. He was older than I, he didn’t go to my school, wasn’t friends of my brothers, and we didn’t go to the same church. We didn’t even live in the same county. We liked each other but in a different way than anyone I had ever considered dating. It was sort of odd. We would dance together to fast and slow songs. He was definitely fun to be around. But something just wasn’t right, for dating that is. No matter what we were doing I never felt like I wanted to kiss him and he seemed to feel the same way. We were totally PG towards each other.

I did go to his house once. We talked for a little while and he told me exactly how silly of a little girl I was. At one point we ended up on his parents living room floor in a tickle fight. I told him to stop since tickle fights usually end badly. I cannot control my muscles when I am being tickled! They move involuntary. Chris got a black eye. He complained to his mom and she said “Well, you should have been talking nicely on the couch instead of trying to tickle her to death.” She turned and smiled at me. I had to laugh! She was on my side. When she left the room he looked over at me with a pack of frozen peas over his eye. I stuck my tongue out at him and giggled “Told ya so. You were warned.”

We were never a boyfriend/girlfriend match. More like rivalry relatives. We played devils advocate with each other all the time. It was FUN! We always laughed when one of us had made our point, no matter which one it was or how ridiculous the “winning" point was.

When I told Chris that Ronnie and I were engaged he actually laughed. He really thought I was kidding. Chris thinking it was a joke actually made tears well up in my eyes. He then knew I wasn’t kidding. Solemnly, he said “Is there anyway you can get out of it without hurting him too much?” I looked down at the ground and shook my head. I didn’t want to get out of it. I was happy to be Ronnie’s fiancé. I knew I wanted to marry him and spend the rest of my life with him. How could Chris be like this when it was so important and real? I was very disappointed in Chris’s reaction. Did I expect him to be thrilled? No. I just didn’t expect him to go right to breaking it off immediately.

I at least expected a little tiny bit of encouragement from Chris. He thought Ronnie was a great guy and actually had a good effect on me. Then he said “We are all so young. You don’t know what you are giving up. How can you settle on getting married now? There is so much you need to do before you decide to get married, to anyone.” Chris knew I was hurting from his reaction due to the silent tears that were starting to fall down my cheeks. He took a deep breath then hugged me. “Well, if it’s what you want… Ok, you always want your way.” I had buried my teary face against his chest but he held my chin and pushed it up so he could see my face. Looking down at me and half laughing he said “What am I going to do with you? You are such a brat, use to getting your way. Ronnie is a great guy. He is lucky to have you.” I smiled and hugged him back.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How Was Your First Kiss?

Hey everyone! There is a kissing contest going on!

To see the rules and such see Scribbit.

My post for First Kiss is from…you guessed it the “Crazy For You Post Transitions.”


After that night at Players Ronnie deiced to ask me out on a date. Not meeting up somewhere, or running into each other. An actual date where he would pick me up, take me out and then bring me home. I was excited and a little nervous. I didn’t really know this guy and he was going to take me “somewhere?”

During our first few dates, well several of our first dates I was a little unsure about going out with someone I barely knew but I really liked him. To make myself feel more at ease I recruited a chaperone, Giggles. She was more than happy to come along. She loved being included. She let us hold hands and such but kept Ronnie in check. Ok, she kept us both in check and made sure everything was PG rated. She even sat between us in the car. As she said later “You would have so freaked out if it wasn’t.” She was right.

That first night when Ronnie came to pick me up I don’t think he realized that he had to meet my parents before they would allow me to leave with him. My Mom laughed but there was real meaning in her words “Do you think we could let a stranger drive off with our little girl?” He survived. It wasn’t really all that bad considering what other guys had sat through before. My parents liked him right away but they wanted to put a little bit of fear in him.

As I walked up to the passenger side of Ronnie’s car quickly steered me to the Driver’s side. As he opened the door he explaining that his passenger door doesn’t shut right so he doesn’t open it. His car had a front bench seat so it was manageable for me to just slide over. Ronnie quickly got in the car and apologized over and over about the passenger door. He slid in so fast I thought he did this on purpose since I had not reached the other side of the seat yet. Maybe he did it so I would be sitting closer to him. Later on I found out he was telling the truth about the passenger door and admitted that he slid in before I could go any further so I would be closer to him. The engine had real power to it which meant I had to hold on to his arm so I wouldn’t slid around on the seat! We were off to pick up Giggles’ at her house.

At the end of each night, Ronnie always dropped Giggles off first then took me straight home. I don’t know if it was Giggles’ influence and constant warning of “If you hurt her we will hunt you down” or he just had some gentlemanly inclinations but after nearly two weeks of dating every night he still hadn’t kiss me. I was starting to get a complex. Ok, I have told guys before they were not going to kiss me on the first few dates but this was more than two weeks of seeing him every night. Maybe he didn’t want to kiss me?! I confided in my girl friends. “What? He hasn’t even kissed you yet? Like ever? What’s up with that?” or “Oh honey, maybe there is something wrong with him. He seems really nice though.” “Maybe he’s just shy.” What ever the reason was I still wanted to go out with him. We always had a great time and he made me feel wonderful and special even without kissing me. He made my heart pitter patter. All he had to do was look at me and I would smile, giggle a little then feel my cheeks growing pink. I was definitely smitten.

One night while standing at my front door I was expecting a hug but he placed his left hand on the side of my face, I smiled up at him knowing I had a wonderful time just being with him. He, ever so slowly ran his fingers down my neck. My head tilted up unconsciously and just as I was about to giggle from the tickling effect of his gentle fingers, he kissed me. He said something in a sort of whisper but I couldn’t make out what it was. My knees went completely weak and I slunk into his arms. I think I whispered “Oh my” and “W-o-w” It was all I could manage to say. I couldn’t even stand up on my own two feet. I looked up dreamily into his eyes and saw he was completely at ease. He finally propped me up on my own legs and I sort of swayed to and fro for a minute before I some what regained my composure. I remember running my fingers through my hair and saying something like “Um, uh, yeah, I think I should be going now.” I almost walked right in to my Mother’s flower bed instead of the door. He quickly redirected me to the doorway and I said “Um, ok. Well, then. I will see you later.” or something like that. I closed the front door behind me and leaned against it while smiling and taking deep breaths. “Wow.”

One month passed by, Ronnie and I saw each other as much as was humanly possible. If we weren’t together we were at school, work or sleeping. We called each other every single day. We talked so long that my mother started placing a kitchen timer by the phone “Fifteen minutes young lady.” It didn’t take her long to realize I was pushing the timer back a few times. My siblings and even my Dad were trying to talk Mom into getting me my own “Ronnie line” (aka my own phone line).

After many dates with our chaperone Ronnie said “I like Giggles and all but don’t you think we have reached a point where her duties might not be so necessary? Come on, don’t you trust me?” Giggles later asked me where we three were heading that night? I had to break the news to her. Ronnie and I were going to start going out on dates …alone. She was bummed but understood.

Ronnie's Car was a Plymouth Duster.


Update outside of the Crazy For You fest…guess what? I was so nostalgic I decided I had to see the Angles again. What started out as a small get together…well, lets just say one friend told two friends and they told two friends….

It has only been two weeks and the list went from 5 people to 30! I even had a few phone calls! It has turned into more of a high school reunion than a small get together. The party is in a few months so who knows how many people will be coming. The more the merrier right?

There was one email I thought odd. There was this guy in high school who always scared me. He growled at me in the hallways and always made me jump. Turns out he is a pretty sweet guy. Apparently after high school he was good friends with all the other Angels and I had NO idea!

I am really happy with the list of people coming. If more show up that is great too. We are going to have such a blast!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Prom ...Stag or Date?

When Ronnie called to say he declined his leave…Deep breaths! Deep, Deep Breaths! I wasn’t suppose to upset him in anyway because he was so far away. I had to keep my chin up and suck up what I was feeling. I am sure he felt enough from the periods of silence to know I was not happy about it. Ronnie knew when it came down to it I would always follow his lead. What he says goes. He was the boss and it always made sense latter but boy did I want my way.

“Heather, I know Prom is coming up. Call Jim, I am sure he will take you.” I know he wanted me to think of something in the near future to look forward to but that was so not what I wanted to hear. I wanted Ronnie to take me to Prom! In my mind I was thinking - sure, my fiancé who said he was going to take me decided it wasn’t worth coming home for. No guy in my high school would ask me to Prom since I have been telling everyone for a whole year that I have a fiancé and how much we love each other. Thank goodness we have Jim on call for any dating situation that would require my fiancé!

Oh well, at least Ronnie wasn’t depressed any more and once again he was right. If he came home in April for one week I would be so close to graduating that it would be insane to leave school now. We couldn’t get married in one week. It would take more than a week to talk our parents into it. If he came home and we didn’t get married there was the issue of having to say goodbye, again. I didn’t know if I could go through it again. If he came home I would want to leave with him no matter what. So I sucked it up and dealt with the great disappointment.

With that settled I eventually call Jim but guess what? “Heather, I would love to take you but I have already agreed to go to four other proms and I’m not even in high school any more.” I could have begged him or Ronnie could have called him but that was degrading. I could have told the high school Gossip that I didn’t have a date for the prom and I was mad at my fiancé. Had I gone that route I would have had a date from my high school that very same day. No, not sounding conceded. Just a fact that one of my rules was about to be broken would set off the hope of all my rules being broken. All through high school, rules or no rules, there were guys who never gave up asking. Still, I couldn’t go to prom with someone from my school. I was upset with Ronnie but I felt the need to keep my rules for my own reasons. The rules were in place before I met Ronnie and they were there for good reason.

The next Sunday Ronnie called and I explained that Jim was busy that night and every night that month doing prom duty. “We thought you would be here so he didn’t keep the date open. We didn’t think he had to.” Ok I was getting a pissy but I toned it down after he apologized a few times. I figured he knew best and I would have to figure this out. Yes, it was my Senior Prom and I might have to go stag. I wasn’t worried about showing up and people thinking I couldn’t get a date. I was worried about going with my friends and being the odd one out. When slow songs came on I would be standing by the punch bowl or worse hiding out in the bathroom away from guys who came with dates. Again, not being conceded, my guy pals would have been there with dates and no one at the table when I knew there were guys from our school who wanted to go out with me…seeing me alone at my own prom. I would have looked like a sitting duck. That was a bit much for me to think of. Ok, maybe I was being conceded. Surely none of my guy pals would have been the type to leave their dates to dance with me. That would have been a huge dent in their shinny armor in my eyes.

That night at Players everyone was talking about the up coming Prom. The Angels were all chattering about their dresses, dates and possible dates for those who had not made definite plans yet. I already purchased the perfect dress at Lerner a few months ago and it was absolutely perfect for the theme - Night In The Old South. My mother had altered it to fit me already. The only thing I needed was a hoop skirt to go underneath it. Giggles was working at a store at the FSK mall where they still had a few small enough for me.

I mentioned that I might not go since Ronnie wasn’t coming home. Now all my Guy Pals knew I needed a date for Prom or I would have to go stag. Again, going stage was not a real problem but I didn’t want to feel like a burden to anyone. It was my Senior Prom and I should feel like a princess. So there I was at Players with Guy Pals who were not from my school and not friends with my brothers. Even Todd was somewhat considered a Guy Pal but not fully. There was something about Todd that wasn’t exactly genuine when he promised to be good. He did behave himself and it was sort of nice to have a completion weight lifter and body builder on my side when guys got out of hand at Players. After Ronnie left for Germany Todd started to come to Players on a regular basis. I wouldn’t dance with him. I still didn’t trust him that much. He offered to take me to Prom and even the Angels said I should consider it but still, I didn’t trust him enough. If I went to Prom with Todd, Ronnie would have gone into a rage.

Ray-Ray offered to take me but his armor was starting to slip. Yes, I cried a lot and complained a lot about Ronnie being away in Germany but I wasn’t about to go there. Ray-Ray seemed to be waiting for the other shoe to drop and maybe I would break off our engagement. I didn’t need that in a Prom date.

Patrick even jokingly said “I would take you to Prom but it is beneath me to take an upper classman to Prom.” Back in 10th grade when I first met Patrick he asked me, in a back door fashion, if I would ever consider dating an underclassman. I laughed loudly and said I couldn’t because I was near the bottom of the high school food chain as it was. I didn’t realize he was actually asking if I would ever consider going out with him until he was walking away. Nicky came up to me and explained that Patrick had been working up the courage to ask me out. I felt so bad. A few weeks later he was happy with us just being friends. He had a date with a really cute girl. I loved it when Patrick talked to me about his dates and who he liked in between girlfriends.

Back to My Senior Prom. I finally came to the conclusion that Chris would be the best choice. Ronnie and I both trusted Chris. He was so nice and in control of himself. Any time Chris danced with me at Players I never had to worry about him behaving badly. He always kept his hands and eyes where even a Priest would approve. There was one draw back with Chris. He had this way of coming up with the most profound thoughts. You never saw it coming, he would just say what he thought and exactly what his thoughts were. He was open honesty on steroids. He and Giggles had one thing in common, they were both quick to bring in reality when you were hoping for the best. Giggles and Chris were too much alike so they crashed like huge marching band cymbals! Oh how I wish I had a tape recorder when the two of them had enough of each other and went on for 15 minutes or so. No political debate to date could top their exchange of words once they got in to it. To listen to them argue the point of what q-tips were actually made of was completely hysterical!

Next step was to ask Ronnie if it was ok for Chris to take me to Prom. I dreaded it but at the same time I felt Ronnie owed me a date for Prom since he was passing on my Prom. Still, I didn’t want to ask him. I didn’t want to even mention it when we were on the phone. He asked me about Prom… “Who all is going to Prom?” “All the Angels are going. Oh, my dress is finished. Mom fixed it up perfect. I need to get a hoop and find gloves small enough for my arms.” “What? Small enough for your arms?” I was a bit embarrassed but I replied “My dress has 1 inch straps. It even has a cute ruffle across the front but nothing on my arms. You know how I feel about my arms. I need long gloves that fit and go past my elbow.” Ronnie laughed and said “Your arms are perfect. I wish I could have them around me.” That made me feel warm all over. I was thinking of my arms around him and him holding me. Then he burst my warm fuzzy feeling with “Who are you going to Prom with?” Huh? Did he know about the discussions at Players? Oh how I hoped he didn’t! I didn’t want him to worry. Then I started to think Giggles must have told him. Before I could muster up how upset I was with Giggles, Ronnie said “Someone has to take you. You... you cannot go stag to your Senior Prom.” Wow, he actually understood. Apparently, he had a little chat with his Mom and she said how unfair it was to ask me to go stag or even skip my prom. He was so relieved that Chris was my choice and readily agreed.

This hurdle was cleared. There was another one but I chickened out of telling him. It would have to wait until the next phone call. Maybe right before Prom. First, I had to come up with a way to tell him gently so he wouldn’t blow a fuse.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

My Soldier's Spirits Lifted

Phone calls from Ronnie remained the same until he started to receive packages of home items and actual letters from us. He started to cheer up a bit but was doubtful about coming home any time soon. When he arrived in Germany he did talk to someone in command who was worried about his performance or lack of enthusiasm. Ronnie wasn’t slacking off or anything but he was not giving it his all and it was noticed. After their little chat he advised Ronnie to put in for leave. It was explained that it was a first come first serve basis and those who had served more time in Germany were given preference. Ronnie seemed really happy about filling out his paperwork for leave. Finally! He had something to look forward to!

Back here in the states I was still going to school and Players, when I felt up to it. I tried to go to Players as much as I could. There was something about being there, where I met Ronnie and hearing the songs we danced to. I had my friends with me to keep my spirits up. Some nights I just didn’t want to go. I wanted to go to bed as soon as possible. The more I slept the less I was awake which to me meant less time awake thinking about Ronnie. If I dreamed too much about Ronnie then I knew I had to get out and about.

As the weather warmed up more parties were happening. I wanted to go to the parties since there was alcohol. If I drank an hour or so before going to bed I slept better. No dreaming. Of course I was young and didn’t know when to say when so I tested my limits and eventually I was worrying about both Ronnie and had to deal with hangovers.

I was grouchy all the time. My work was sloppier than it had ever been and I cared very little about anything. There was one party were I was pretty smashed. I remember Rick (aka Alter boy) was trying to kiss me and actually chased me all around the house and outside. I fell, he picked me up then tried one more time to kiss me. I had had it with him so I punched him! Right on the jaw! I had never punched anyone before in my life. He hit the outside wall of the house and slid down to the ground. “What did you do THAT for?” Staring down at him I said “I don’t want to be kissed by anyone! GOT IT?!” Then I went back inside and to tell my ride it was time to go home.

The Angels decided something had to be done about my partying. Sure they were at the same parties I was, they usually drove me but sometimes I would stay longer…and longer and catch a ride with one of the older girls. The one thing they said that snapped me out of it “If you don’t get your act together now you wont graduate this year.” At first I thought, who cares? Ronnie is in Germany. Then they said “The sooner you graduate the sooner you two can get married and actually be together.” That did it. Now my concentration was on graduating and getting to Ronnie ASAP! Sure, I went to parties but I didn’t say without the Angels. We went, mingled a little, had a few drinks then went home.

Prom was coming and Ronnie’s phone calls were so much more chipper. Then he dropped a bit of bomb on me. His leave was approved but it was only for one week not two. He declined the leave and asked to wait until he had a few more weeks. WHAT?! A week at home and he said No?! He was now calling overseas, not just long distance so I couldn’t just hang up on him but I wanted to! Three months of depression for the both of us and five months since we had seen each other and he says No?!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Loosing Touch and Loosing It

Since I did not hear from Ronnie for a week after the phone call about his orders I called his recruiter, Sergeant Powell. Before his orders for Germany came in he was expecting to come home for Recruiter Aide duty. He knew where he wanted to buy a townhouse and had so many things planned out. He really didn’t think he would go to Germany. After all he didn’t receive orders for Germany when his roommates did.

Apparently, Ronnie’s orders were delayed while the recruiter and commander fought over where Ronnie would best serve. It was finally decided that the need in Germany was greater than the need for recruiters in our area. Shortly after Ronnie was deployed to Germany Sergeant Powell left the recruiters office. Not only did I loose Ronnie but the only local military personnel with some sort of link between us.

There was a replacement for Sergeant Powell and he didn’t like me coming into the office at all. This particular recruiter’s office was not just for the Army but all branches of the service. Some of the other military recruiters in the office told the “new guy” that I was a regular visitor and a civilian which meant I should be shown some respect. To the “new guy” I was just wasting their time. Needless to say I stopped going into their office. Once in a while I would see the Marine recruiter outside the mall on my way in or out of work. He always asked about Ronnie and how we were handling things. He told me to keep my chin up, gave advise and always a smile. Even that little bit of support went a long way in my book. Eventually he too was transferred somewhere else.

After Sergeant Powell and the Marine were transferred and I hadn’t heard from Ronnie, I lost it. One night I called the number we had for the A School and asked for the number for the commander. I actually called and left the commander a very angry, crying, screaming and somewhat threatening message. The threatening part was to call his superiors all the way up to the President and tell them to fire him or at least bust him down to private. This falls under the definition of fully distraught and delusional. At the time you could actually call the operator (by dialing "0" not 411) and get a number to the White House (if you knew which department to ask for). Of course it wasn't the President but they sounded very official when they answered the phone (no voice mail) during my late night phone call. The commander did not just laugh this off. He called me back the next day and in full drill sergeant manner told me off.

I did finally hear from Ronnie. There are many rules in the military. One is that if you do not hear from your soldier someone will make sure they contact the family or the base will do it for them while they are facing some sort of punishment. After feeling like a complete fool for calling his previous commander and the White House I found out it did some good. Ronnie was willing to forgo the punishment but he wanted to call me instead of his parents. His new commander agreed after Ronnie assured him that his Mom and I always talked after he called. (I would never recommend doing what I did. I wish someone would have been willing to tell me what the rules were and how to contact the right people. I would have let Ronnie's parents make the right calls to the right people but after Sgt. Powell was gone we lost any links as to what to do.)

He was physically ok but he was a bit depressed. We had everything figured out and then the rug was pulled out from under us. I was raised as a military brat and I sort of expected some things to not go as planned but I was still taken aback by it all. I was all sunshine and happiness on the phone but nothing seemed to be getting through to lift his spirits. I remember he told me about the protestors “They come out by the fences dressed in black hooded cloaks with their faces painted like skulls. Someone yells bomb then they all fall down. It makes you feel sorry for them the first few times you see it. We have to take classes to deal with this too. The times there are no protestors it’s hours of marching around watching worms crawl out of the ground. Heather, that’s all I do now.”

I told him over and over again how much I loved him and even asked if he still had the photo from the Cozy. Now, I was very hesitant to send that photo out through the mail when he was in A School. I wrapped it up in paper and in a separate envelope. I even made him promise never to show it to another living soul. For me to mention that photo was a huge deal. Ronnie only said “Yeah, I brought it with me.” He was so down and there was nothing I could do to help him. I was completely helpless! I hated that feeling! I asked him if there was anything he needed and he sadly muttered “just you.” I blushed a bit and said “Well, you already have me. Forever even. Remember Germany isn’t forever.” Solemnly, He gave me the APO address to send mail and a list of things to tell his Mom not to send since they were not allowed. When we got off the phone I felt like someone had just given me a sedative. Like the phone call didn’t really happen. It was just a dull dream and soon Ronnie would really call.

I called Ronnie’s Mom and told her about the phone call. We were both worried about him. His Dad said not to worry. Ronnie would be fine. He needed time to adjust. His Mom and I both cried. Why was the Army making him like this. This wasn’t how he was.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I Remember the Anthrax Investigation

Most of the US remembers the Anthrax Investigation and the effects it had.

In regards to unconventional punctuation please see Whiskey Marie

With all the new news on the Anthrax Investigation I have to say I remember it. At first I was trying to think of the lighter side like (**) I wonder if they found Ronnie's ring up near that pond where they found the 'containment box'. Then I started to wonder if that guy was up there testing and performing his experiments while all of us were up there. (**) I mean, it wasn't just kids from my high school who went up there but all the local high schools hung out on that mountain. That freaked me out>! I am sure it also upset more than just me(>)! How long did this go on? When did it start and when exactly did it end? That information was not available.

I was in Frederick at the time of the onset of the investigation. I had worked for a few government employers previously and still kept in touch with past co-workers. It was always (**) what's the word I am looking for? Not fear but concern. No one thought they would be a target but you wondered if you would accidentally be infected. My goodness, you couldn't even bring in powdered donuts to ANY office without someone wondering what that white powder was on someone's desk or anywhere in the office(<)! Come to think of it I haven't even seen a white powdered donut since then (<)! Even my own children (eldest two) who were in Elementary school at the time don't eat powdered donuts. Most likely that has nothing to do with the anthrax investigation. The fact is my children love chocolate(>)!

What do I remember about the investigation? I remember going into Ft. Detrick was more difficult. Even though I had military stickers on my car, I had to stop at the gate, fill out a form and let them see my driver's license & registration. I really missed the days that the guards would see my car, salute at me then I went on my merry way to the PX, Commissary, pool, ball field or where ever. (<<<)

I also remember seeing the moving vans & black SUVs parked outside the apartment of on of the scientists as they raided the place. I had no idea he lived just outside of the gates. Talk about minimal commute to work, huh? Literally, it was just outside the gates. Even after they raided & took everything they thought was important out of the apartment the black SUVs staid in that parking lot for weeks. I do not remember which scientist it was but I do remember seeing him on TV and a few times outside of his apartment (from my car on the road waiting in line to get on the base). He seemed genuinely upset about the intrusion. On TV he was upset but when I saw him in front of his apartment while they carried various items out of his house he seemed (**) his body language and his voice made it seem like he was standing & holding his tounge as if to say (**) I know you have to do this but it is a mistake(**). You will eventually know this.(**)

His neighbors were camped out on lawn chairs watching the whole thing. Of course there were news teams there but not as many as you would have expected. Maybe two or three vans. I didn't know wether to feel sorry for him or upset with him. From what I remembered what we heard on the TV there was a scientist who was responsible for sending out samples of anthrax to any college or student that asked for it. Maybe it was him, maybe it was one of the other scientists. Seeing those black SUVs parked there for so long did give me chills each time I passed by & saw them.

Well, I would like to say this. If you found Ronnie's class ring let me know! I promise I had nothing to do with the anthrax thing (**) It was a high school girls letting off steam & vomit kind of thing. If you found it, I would really like to have that class ring back(>)!

P.S. I am not trying to make light of the what happened to all those affected by the Anthrax scare. I was affected but I choose to not look at the (I have no words for that) part of it. It was difficult enough for all of us here in the US (**) Americans and others(**) and overseas when 911 happened, the Anthrax and the after effects. I also remember how everyone in the US and several other countries did rally afterwards.

Ask Me Anything

Ok, judging from the activity in my blog over the past couple of days a few of you are searching for something. I sincerely appreciate the activity and that you find my blog interesting. Here is my email address (…go ahead. Ask me anything. Well, just don’t ask me the diameter of the sun. I use to know it but that little tidbit of information has slipped away from me. You can Google to get that answer.

If you don't want to email you can always post your questions in the comments area.

Hope your day is going well. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Monday, August 04, 2008

When Millitary Orders Come...

My parents and I went back and forth on my trip to visit Ronnie for his graduation from A School. Why couldn’t they understand how important it was for me to be there for Ronnie? How much I wanted to see his graduation and be there for him? “We are not letting you drive half way across the country. You are too young. There are too many things that could go wrong and Murphy’s Law seems to follow you around lately.” I ran out of gas on my way to work. An older girl, for some reason, was super jealous of me so she let the air out of two of my tires, threw ice on my windshield, took my wiper blades and I cannot remember what else. When I had my tires rotated they forgot to reconnect something with the breaks…I drove to work with NO breaks! Some how I managed to break a piston too. They also reminded me that the last time Ronnie came back the Army flew him home so I would likely beat me home. Add to that the time it takes to drive to Oklahoma and the fact they wouldn’t let me take off school that Friday and following Monday. So, I couldn’t go to his graduation. I was back to being in a bad funk. Ronnie was disappointed but he backed up my parents. Although he really wanted to see me he didn’t want to worry about me driving so far and missing school.

After Ronnie’s graduation I received a phone call from the base brought me to my knees.

I came home from work that night and my Mom said Mrs. Leadore wanted me to call her as soon as I came home. Oh how I hated missing phone calls from Ronnie. I guess he called her and she has heard some news from him. I called her back and she seemed a little weepy but that was sort of usual for both of us after we heard from Ronnie. We missed him so much. Right away she asked “Did Ronnie call you today?” “I just came home from work. I don’t know if he called. Mom only said that you called.” She asked me “Do you have the phone number for the base?” “I can find it if you need it. Is he ok?” “No, no I don’t need the number. You need to call him.” She wasn’t telling me much and the more she talked the closer she was to sobbing. I was getting worried “Is he ok? Is something wrong?” She couldn’t help herself. She started sobbing “I …I …can’t tell you. I …promised. He’s…he wants… You need to call him.” Now I was really worried. “I can’t call him long distance. My parents wont let me. “What happened?! Is he Ok?” She blew her nose and said through her sobs that she would call him and tell him I was home. Then he could call me. I pleaded with her “Just tell me is he Ok?” “Heather, I don’t know. I cannot tell you. I promised.”

I didn’t know what to do. My Mom heard me on the phone and she asked if Ronnie was ok. I told her I didn’t know. All I knew was something happened and his Mom didn’t know if he was ok. I was waiting for him to call. I usually took his phone calls upstairs in my room but I couldn’t move away from the kitchen phone I just used. I was worried. I didn’t know what had happened. I couldn’t let go of the phone. My Mom sat at the kitchen table while I paced back and forth within the distance that the phone cord would allow.

The phone rang and I picked it up immediately “Ronnie! Are you OK?!” It wasn’t Ronnie. “Hey Heather nice to talk to you too. It’s Clint. Can I talk to your brother.” “NO! Call back tomorrow!” and I hung up the phone. My Mom looked at me “Clint called.”

The next time the phone rang I picked it up just as quickly but before I could say anything I heard his voice “Is Heather there?” He sounded so calm I stopped pacing. “Ronnie! Are you Ok? Are you hurt? What happened? Your Mom was crying but she wouldn’t tell me anything.” I started crying. “Heather, I need to you to calm down. No I didn’t get hurt. Something happened today. I need to …” Then Ronnie started crying. “Hold on Ok?” Ronnie crying was a huge deal. Something is terribly wrong. I wished I could reach out and hold him, kiss him, tell him it was going to be ok. Anything to make him feel better.

In a choked up voice he said “I got my orders today.” {silence} Not knowing what to say I said “Ok.” Maybe he is so happy about coming home for Recruiter duty that he can’t stand it? “Heather, they are sending me to Germany! Did you talk to Sgt. Powell?” “What? Yes, I talked to Powell. He said he called.” “They are sending me to Germany. What did he say to them?” “Ronnie, I don’t know what he said. He wanted you here. Remember, he told us.” This time it was my turn to shhhh him. “Ronnie. Honey? Sweetie?” He gave out a sobbing “Yeah, I’m here.” “We already have a plan right? When you come home we will get married. Then I can go with you.” This made him angry “YOU DON”T UNDERSTAND!” Again I tried to calm him down “Ok, its ok. Tell me.” I could hear him breathing then finally he said “I leave tomorrow.” “Ok, how long will you be home?” Now he was yelling and crying “NO! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!” I stopped talking so I could listen. He took a few deep breaths then said “They cancelled all leave. We can’t even get an off post pass. I leave for Germany tomorrow, tomorrow.” I heard what he said but he must be too upset to think straight “No, you get leave to come home before you go overseas. Remember, Powell told us...” He interrupted me “All I know is that I have to leave for Germany. Germany Heather! Tomorrow. They won’t even give us time to get civies from home.” He pauses again. “Remember when we travel we are suppose to wear our uniforms? On this trip we are ordered to wear civies and hats so we don’t stand out.” I was trying to take in all he was saying but it couldn’t be true.

My mind was racing. There had to be something we could do. Someone we could call to fix this! “Heather? Heather? Are you there?” Weakly I said “I’m here.” “Heather, I wont be able to see you before I go. We can’t get married before I go. It‘s a hardship tour. I have to be there for 2 to 3 years!” He meant it. This was real. I fell to my knees on the kitchen floor and held my hand over my mouth. No, no. That couldn’t be true.

My Mom pushed one of the kitchen chairs over and lifted me up in it while I clenched the phone in my hands. I lost it. I couldn’t stop myself from sobbing loudly. She put her arms around me and tried to rock me back and forth. “They are sending him far AWAY! THREE YEARS AWAY!!” I could hear Ronnie still talking so I pushed Mom away and put the phone back to my ear. “Heather?” I managed a few words “I’m still here.” He said “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry! I don’t know what to do…I don’t know what to do.” That phrase ‘to do’ there had to be something. I took a few deep breaths then said “Ronnie, we will figure out something. What did your Mom and Dad say?” Ronnie said “Dad called a few people but he says I have to go. I signed up for the Army. Mom is worried I wont have warm enough clothes.” He half laughed “She is packing up a box for me now. I don’t even have an address yet and she is packing me a box of winter clothes.”

It suddenly occurred to me that all the international flights I had heard of ,from my relatives visiting us, they went out of New York. That was our fix! I could meet him at the airport and we could get married while they waited for their flight!! I was sure I could convince his Mom to drive me up there. She was just as upset about him leaving as I was. If he was married before he left the Army would have to take that into consideration. You cannot be married and go on a hardship tour. If they didn’t let him stay then we could save up the dependant allowance and fly me over there to be with him when I graduated.

Ronnie was still half crying and talking. Excited that I had figured out a plan I said “Ronnie. Shhh. What are your travel plans?! If they fly you out of New York maybe your Mom and I could meet you up there! We could get married in the airport before you leave!” He stopped for a moment to think then asked me to hold on. “We have a military hop. We wont even be inside the airport.” After a few minutes he said “Heather, its late and other guys need to use the phone so I have to go. I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! Wait for me. Please still wait for me!” It was my last few minutes on the phone with him until I didn’t know when… “Ronnie. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! We will figure it out. Don’t worry. We will figure it out.” Before he hung up he said “Heather. I need you. Call my Mom she needs you too. I love you.” Then he hung up.

I was still holding the phone to my ear listening to the dial tone when my Mom took the phone away from me. She held me by the shoulders and asked if I was ok. I told her I wasn’t ok and I needed some air. I went for a drive with the radio blaring. This couldn’t really be happening. I know I should have called Mrs. Leadore right away but I needed to think. We needed to do something! There had to be something we could do! I was driving around aimlessly then I found myself at the mall where the recruiter station was. The mall was closed. Sgt. Powell wasn’t in his office. I parked my car anyway then got out and walked up to the mall doors. I peered in just incase I could see anything inside. Nothing.

I went back to my car and cried and yelled and cried and beat my hands against the steering wheel. My visor flipped down and I could see myself in the mirror. I didn’t like what I saw. I looked down and my hands were suddenly on my lap twisting together over and over again. There had to be something we could do. Sitting here in my car crying was not accomplishing anything.

On the drive home the tears that were falling down my face stopped. I needed to fix this. I needed help. I needed to talk to someone. My parents were both anxiously waiting my return. “Are you ok? You know he is in the Army. The military can do what they want with him because he belongs to them for the next few years.” I asked if there was anyone we could call to change his orders. I explained about the recruiter and everything. My Dad said “It’s not like they are sending him off to war and he is in the infantry. Be thankful. If you really want a life together you need to get use to this.”

Ronnie said for me to call his Mom so I called her. I figured she was still up too. We talked for an hour or so trying to figure out what to do but came up with nothing that was legal. Sgt. Powell had given me a card with his home number written on the back of it but I couldn’t find it. I spent most of the night looking for it. Somewhere between 2 am and 4 am I fell asleep on top of my covers with my clothes on.

The next day I had to go to school. My Mom was not about to let me stay home from school. My life had just been ripped apart and I still had to go to school?

That song from the Ramones... I Wanna Be Sedated was all I could think of.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Back To Base and More Love Letters from My Soldier

55 Jan 86
Dearest Heather,
How is my sweet, wonderful, and beautiful fiancé. I Love You! I hope you are doing just fine. I miss you so much! I can’t wait to see you again, probably at the end of January. Today was a pretty slow day. All we did was lay around and sleep then about 3 o’clock our drill sergeant came in with a football and asked us if we wanted to play. We had a great time. It was really fun. The drill sergeant even played with us. We start back up to school tomorro. We will go to what they call the cage, that’s where we get told all the top secret information about missile. I got my top secret clearance. All we do now is play my buddies radio really loud and clown around the barracks. I hope you didn’t have too much fun at Players tonight. I remembered you said something about going on the phone today. It feels so good to hear your voice. I wish I could hear it all the time. If you notice I am out of tan envelopes and on my last 4 pieces of tan paper. It’s a good thing Gina got me some more stationary for Christmas. I will sure use it a lot.

You’ll never guess what I heard on the radio tonight…Give up. Well you probably guess it. Your right! I heard ‘Crazy For You’ twice and ‘I Miss You’ once. I had tears in my eyes while listening to these songs. I miss you so much! I’ll Always be Crazily (is that a word) in Love with You!

You are the only one I want and the only one I need. I really glad you told your parents about our future plans. I am also glad that they approve of me. I want you to know that I will always Love You no matter where I am at. Heather You are my Fiancé and someday (April 1, 1989) You will be my wife and I your Husband. Nothing will ever change my mind. I am yours forever. You are mine forever. I LOVE YOU!!

I got one of my friends with an instant camera to take some pictures of me. I have enclosed them with this letter. I want you to have these pictures to see what I do most of the time, write letters to you and lay around and think about us. If you want you can give my Mom one of the group shots of me and my two buddies. I would like you to show her all of the pictures thought so all my family can get an idea how our barracks look. If she is jealous you can give her one of me if you want. I will try to have some more taken, O.K.! All of the pictures were taken in our room. The other two guys in the pictures with me are my roommates and the other Prep School Candidates (West Point). The pictures with just me in them shows what my part of the room looks like. If you notice I need to do laundry. So what do you think of the room. Pretty nice, huh. Not Army looking. In the one picture me and Clint are showing off, being camera hams. This one was especially for you. Clint and Scott say Hi too. The red Porsche in the one picture is the car we might have someday.

I can’t wait to come home. I think I would make a good recruiter. I know a lot of people that need a steady job. I also know a guy who needs to spend some time at home with his Fiancé . Well I better get going O.K. I write more real soon. Also I’ll try to have some more pictures taken. I Miss You! LOVE YOU NOW, FOREVER & ALWAYS,


P.S. I can’t wait till 1989!!!

I was back at school and a bit more upbeat than I thought I would be. Ronnie was always right. Everything would work out. We had just spent two weeks together and he would come home at the end of January when he graduated from A School. Then we would find out where he was going…home to Frederick or where ever the Army sent him. If for some reason he wasn’t stationed in Frederick we would have time to get married and we now knew everything that had to be taken care of to get married in a hurry.

16 Jan 86
To My Only Love, Heather [not giving out my middle name]
How are you doing? I’m doing just fine. I finally got your pictures today. They are just fantastic! I Love them! You look so good in all of those pictures. I really like the one from the COZY, you know which one. You look really, really sexy in that picture. I LOVE YOU! I wish I could see you like that every night. Of couse, someday I will. The pictures that you took at the airport were really good too. You look especially good in those pictures. I Love your smile! It make me feel so good to see you smile and be happy. I can’t wait to see the pictures we had taken at Monkey Wards. I know you’ll look good in those too. I LOVE YOU NOW FOREVER AND ALWAYS!!

Love Ya,

Ha! Ha! I fooled you. I’m back. You don’t think I could say goodbye so soon do you. I got at least 2 or 3 more pages left.

Heather, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!! [drawings of three hearts]!! I’m in a pretty good mood today after talking to you last night and finding out all of this good news. I’m really glad to most likely be going home for Recruiter Aide. I’ll be able to see you a whole lot! My two friends are going to Germany. You know, Scott and Clinton. Did you talk to SGT. Powell yet and tell him our orders came in and I’m not going to Germany. Also did you tell him to call the Battery (B) and talk to my Commander. If not tell him to call soon. It would help a lot. Thanks, my love! It would be really neat to see you come down for graduation. I would love it, but remember it is a long drive and possibly a lot of money. If you did come down for graduation and I get stationed in Frederick for Recruiter duty; there would be two things that could happen: 1. I have travel time and could drive home with you. That would be great! 2. I would have to take a plane back and therefore beat you to Frederick. That wouldn’t be so good. Well it looks like I better find out what is going on so we can hurry up and make our plans. If you come out here for graduation I would want you to take my car because it seems like it could make the long trip a lot better. It also wouldn’t take away your Moms car for a couple of days. Also if you brought my car, I could drive back.

We have a dress greens inspection on Saturday by the Colonel. Then we are authorized our off post pass. We go to the field on the 21st for 2 nights and 3 days. We will erect the missile and practice or pretend we’re firing it. We are allowed to take pictures on these field exercises. I’m going to try to take some of me and the missile and send you some, O.K. I LOVE YOU [heart] !!!!!!

I also got your other letter today. The one that you typed. I got to tell you, that was a nicely typed letter. No mistakes at all. I enjoyed reading it. You said that sometimes you find yourself being pulled in two directions. One says let go and the other says hold on. I hope that your stronger part, to hold on, takes over and eliminates the part that wants to let go. I know I love you and I know I’m going to marry you and I know I’m not going to let you go no matter what. I only have one feeling in me and that is to keep you forever! Even though it does hurt to say goodbye all the time, it would hurt more to leave you. So I just look at the future and see what is to come - A long happy life with my future wife Heather [middle and last name]!!!

That was a very interesting dream you had about us at Players. I want you to be positive sure that someone does love you. I do. I want to marry you. I will never leave you. The past that we both had will never repeat itself. I will be your last love and you will be my last love. I will love you and you only til the end of time. Please don’t worry about things changing between us. Nothing will come between us, we are bonded like the seal of super glue. We will never be parted from each other, ever. I miss you a whole lot. It would hurt me so much to leave you so I never will. I never want to. I want to marry you and have a family with you and spend the rest of my life with you. I LOVE YOU!! I so glad your parents know of our future plans. I’m glad that you might be able to visit me wherever I go. That would be great. I’ll get to bed now, wish you were here. I’ll probably most likely see ya at the end of the month. Talk to SGT Powell, O.K. I miss you so much! I Need You!!


April 1st 1985 & 1989?
TLA Ron Loves Heather TLA


Sergeant Powell was great about keeping in touch with me. I stopped by to chat with him on my way in to work as it was in the same mall as Montgomery Wards. If he didn’t see me or hear from me for a few days he called my house to check in with me. It was funny when my Dad answered the phone “She is already signed up with Naval Academy. She isn’t interested in the Army.” He was always surprised that I was so willing to talk to an Army recruiter. Each time I had to explain it was Powell, Ronnie’s Recruiter.

I remember one visit where Dizzy-D went with me on my day off. We were shopping for dresses and I had become so accustomed to being in their office it was like being in someone’s living room. I was sitting on one of the desks swinging my feet and looking down at the floor while I chattered on about the latest news from Ronnie. Sergeant Powell was filing papers a few feet away and he said “I loose more guys because of sweet little girls like you. You are the ‘All American Girl’ the ‘Girl Next Door’. If you had been one of those others…that only wants to get married, get away from their parents, well those usually drop off quick. Thank you for sticking with this. He needs you more than he is letting on.”

More than he was letting on? Well, maybe it was the fact that I only passed on some information. I didn’t pass on the mushy stuff to Sergeant Powell. I didn’t even let my friends read all the letters Ronnie sent. Aside from Ronnie’s phone calls and letters Sergeant Powell was my only other link to what was possibly going on with Ronnie in Oklahoma. Any information he could pass on or any questions he could answer were another way for me connect to Ronnie. Any link with Ronnie was greatly appreciated. I need it. I need it so much.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Military Wedding?

Christmas was celebrated at my family's house on Christmas Eve at midnight so I could enjoy Christmas Day at Ronnie's house. I did have to wait until he called to say they were awake and everything. I would like to say I was bright eyed and bushy tailed but I was reluctant to wake after such a late night of opening presents at home. Ronnie understood and called me again around lunch time. I came over as soon as I was ready. All of my gifts were wrapped perfectly, after all I wasn't the best gift wrapper Wards had ever known for nothing.

I can remember exactly what I gave his parents ....a speaker phone "Now Ronnie can call and speak to all of you at once!" This was a HUGE deal! Everyone wanted to HEAR him when he called and his phone calls home were few and far between. He usually only called his family when he couldn’t reach me. I wanted more than anything for him to call me but sometimes I felt he was neglecting his family. Even when he called his family they had to pass on information they had heard because we didn't really have speaker phones or anything much like them at the time.

I even bought one for myself so my family could hear his voice. I was so enthralled with his voice I wanted my family to know just how much and experience it with me. I had mine installed off the kitchen phone. This way everyone in the whole house would KNOW I was on the phone with Ronnie! I didn’t use it very much as our conversations always lead to mushy stuff.

Christmas night I was at Ronnie's house with his family. It was wonderful. He was so happy to have his family, best friends and me all under one roof. There were a few times I had to remind him that we were not alone. We only kissed lightly on the lips when others were around which was something new for us. He got out of hand a few I had to remind him we were in his parents house. Ok, Players was a different story. This was his territory, he didn’t have to prove anything to anyone and he knew it. There were a few times he pulled me behind closed doors and only managed to kiss me once or twice before I said "Open that door young man" or his Mom came around and said the same thing. It was a bit funny to his Mom and I but Ronnie didn't seem to think so. "You will be my wife soon and that won't work. Everyone will have to get use to it sooner or later."

When he said that to his mother, she said "As long as you are under my roof mister." I had to laugh! My parents would have said the same thing! And then some, because I was a their precious princess. The Leadore’s house was a Ranch style, ours was a two story so upstairs where the bedrooms were was off limits and anyone trying to make their way up. Any guy trying that at our house…well they would have been shot. There was a loaded shot gun in the closet at the bottom of the stairs. My Dad's spoken policy was "Shoot first and ask questions latter." My Dad never fired that shot gun, not even when he went hunting. He did make a habit of cleaning it when I introduced a guy who wanted to go out on a date with me. Surprisingly, not one guy ever left without going on the first date with me but there were several one and only dates.

Each day that passed we volleyed back and forth. Ronnie wanted us to get married as soon as he stepped off the plane and I wanted to at least finish college. Things changed since that night at the Cozy. I felt we had to get married as soon as possible. On the days I was thinking we had to get married that day Ronnie would say "Your parents would never forgive me if you didn't graduate high school." I eventually came up with a plan. We would get married, he would go back to finish A School and I would finish high school. In the mean time all the proper military forms would be filled out and we would be together no matter where they sent him. He didn’t like that plan “What if I come back here for Recruiter Aide? We will be married, you living with your parents and me at the base. When we are married we WILL live under OUR own roof, together.” The thought of us being married and living in the same house while I went to high school just seemed so wrong…to both of us. Could you imagine if I was sick, who would write my note to the attendance office? My parents or my husband? Weird.

Then there were days when Ronnie said "I can't live without you. We need to get married before I leave." Usually I was a little brat on those days. “Well, you didn’t want to when I suggested it and I’M the GIRL! Do you know how difficult it is to be the GIRL and say something like that? Why is it a bad idea when I say it but not when you say it?“ We always seemed to be on opposites on any given day ..."your parents would never forgive me if I made you give up your diploma" and I was telling him they would forgive so long as our parents were invited to the wedding. We didn't need permission. We wanted approval. He wanted my parents approval. "They need to know that I can take care of you and your Dad was in service before. You know what it is like. I want us to have that townhouse. I want us to have that car and you don't have to do anything." I told him over and over again "I don't want things, I want you. I want to be with you. We can work together to get those things." Ronnie would come back with "You are not making this decision on your own, I want you to have things and so do your parents. We are not negotiating this." I have to admit I was use to getting my way. Ronnie saying there was no "negotiating" was the end of the line and I didn't like it but I knew he meant it. I pitched a little girlie pouting fit about it but he would budge. Again, another first for me. If I pouted or said "or else" I usually got my way with everyone except Ronnie. He only let me get my way if it was the right decision or it didn’t effect the rest of our lives. My goodness, I have to say young was I?!

I was a real brat but I felt I had every right to be. We already made love and we were not married yet. I was going to give up the two nominations I had to the Naval Academy so why wouldn’t he give a little bit over ‘things’? That’s right, I not only had a letter of nomination from our local Congress woman but I also had one from President Ronald Regan who can only give out a few per year. Ronnie didn’t really want me to go to the Academy since that would mean four years at the Academy and four years of service. With him in the Army and me in the Navy we wouldn’t see much of each other. My Dad was very proud I was accepted but he was also worried. Women in the Academy wasn’t exactly new but they went through more than what the Navy put on them.

Ronnie and were both on the same side and in agreement on New Years Eve. We had everything planned, so we thought. The brides maids (Lefty's Angles) would wear their prom dresses from the last prom, the ushers would wear the suits they have and Ronnie would rent a tux. I tried and tried to explain how wonderful it would be to get married in his dress greens but he wouldn't budge on that. IN turn I wouldn't budge on my dress. I did look at several shops but the least expensive was a 20s flapper dress and I wanted something in the lines of wedding dresses from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Since it was after Christmas and there was the Cozy party, we had both spent a great deal of our money. We still had our own car insurance to pay. I had a check coming for around $70. The facts were we would have enough to pay for everything in a month or so but not enough to get married right away.

Then there was the obstacle of telling our parents. We could just elope but I Promised we would tell his Mom! I wanted a nice wedding too, with my friends and both of our families. I had it all planned out with his approval before. The biggest obstacle we faced was my graduation. It wasn't just my parents but his as well "she has to finish school first." Both of our friends (especially mine), his parents, the faculty at my school, turning down two nominations to the Naval Academy - and me a Navy Chief's daughter. Ronnie had already graduated from high school and now making his own way in the world. The focus was now on me, what I had to give up and what no one wanted me to give up.

Well, we had our work cut out for us be we pushed forward. Ronnie and I went to his Catholic church only to find out they wouldn't marry us unless I converted. We only had a few days. I would have done anything to marry him at that point but time was of the essence since he was leaving in just a few days. My church would marry us but we had to take a two week marriage course. We finally decided on the chapel on base, Ft. Detrick. The pastor there would marry us and even told me about the sword and saber squad (they were supplied with a rifle squad but it would the same as a saber squad). I was a little afraid of being swatted on the butt. Apparently, when the married couple reaches the end of the arch the swards/rifles are crossed to stop them and the soldier on the bride’s side swats her on the butt and says “Welcome to the Army!” I thought they meant he swats me with a sward or rifle not his hand. He also told Ronnie and I that we needed a local marriage license.

We talked to his recruiter who made it sound like it was a done deal that Ronnie would come back to Frederick as a Recruiter's Aide. From the recruiter it sounded like one phone call to the commander would make it all happen. Ronnie believed him but I had my doubts. It wasn't anything personal, I had lived as a military brat all my life. You could be living in one city one day and have to move to the next day then go back to the same city the same day or go across country. Nothing wrong with that because you are use to it, you are a military brat, that is the way it is. Or you could be stationed and live in the same place for years. That is the military. Random as necessary. Ronnie believed what he was told...set in stone. To me I heard a possibility not a promise. IF the military, any branch, promises you anything, get it witting and frame in on the wall. (Government of any sort not just the military - I still have a personal, hand written letter of apology from the IRS framed)

My parents were very proud of the way I handled Ronnie's initial departure. They didn't know I agreed to marry him...our engagement was one sided ...only his family knew about it. My parents would have stopped any and all letters from him had they known. They thought he was a phase...they were waiting it out. My parents knew I was very serious about Ronnie but they hoped the distance from him would be good for me, i.e. I would get over him. I didn't have to tell Ronnie about how my parents felt about my future...he knew. I was expected to discover a cure for cancer or at least be on the house of senate as a speaker of some sort. At the very least I could make a good go of the "square" combat ship. Before Ronnie came home I had great dreams and expectations of myself. So did my family and even my friends. I gave in. All I wanted was to be Ronnie's wife and make him proud of me. I stopped wanting to make my Dad proud of me. I stopped wanting to make my friends expect great things of me. I only wanted to be Ronnie's wife. Do everything to make Ronnie happy. I was part of his life. Brining Ronnie his slippers at the end of the work day seemed far more satisfying than brining up old parchments to the capital building and reminding them why those parchments existed. All that mattered to me was Ronnie. Being near him. I only cared about being within arms reach of him.

We finally agreed to get married on New Years day but everything was closed and nothing we could do about my wedding dress and still afford wedding rings ( it was really important that we have a double ring ceremony instead of my idea to use just my engagement ring), the photos we had at the portrait studio wouldn't be ready for our announcement, and we wouldn't get a marriage license for Three Days! Ronnie had to go back on January 3rd.

There were a few arguments between us "Well, if you had agreed at the time I said we should do it...." When it finally sunk in that there was nothing we could do about it…we agreed that this must not be the right time. Ronnie reminded me of something I always seemed to have on hand when I wanted it "Everything happens for a reason." I have always believed that God knows the big plan, the big picture and I have to go with it and what happens later will be better than I ever expected.

We finally accepted there was nothing we could do. We just had to put our lives in God's hands. Everything would workout. Our friends were ready at moments notice for our wedding but we never had the plans nailed down enough to actually tell our parents that we were about to have our wedding. It took a lot of courage to tell my parents we had been engaged for months.

Ronnie went back to the base in OK to finish his A school. His graduation was the end of January.

Sorry it took so long to get this posted. There are many things coming regarding the Ronnie Crazy For You Soap Opera that I had great difficulty writting. I had to stop thinking about it for awhile. Some things life throws at you...well, you just don't come to terms with...even after so many years.

On the upside I have re-connected with several of my friends in the past. They were really suprised I kept a certain incident to myself all these years. What that is you will have to wait until I can actually get it all down without breaking down.