Monday, February 01, 2010

If I can't have you, I don't want nobody, baby

This song said it all in 1979.

I was 12 years old and madly, crazy in love with Tracey Evetts. He was two years older than me and I thought he was the most beautiful creature God put on this earth. He played baseball for my dad and he left his glove in the truck at the end of the season. I slept with it under my pillow for a year.

He had a blue bike and I had a red one. Our grandparents lived in the same neighborhood (and had for 75 years). From Tracey, I learned how to play "Galaga" because that game was at the grocery store. He knew I existed, but I'm sure he just thought I was a silly little girl.

In 7th grade, we had this unspoken agreement. When he got on the bus at the high school, he knew he had a seat next to me. I don't remember telling people not to sit there, but I must have let it be known that was his seat. He was a pest. I loved it, but I never let on. I still sort of liked him then, but by then, I was spending a lot of time on the phone with one of his buddies. As teenage "love" goes, his buddy thought I was a silly little girl, and had a crush on another girl.

In 9th grade I fell for him all over again. I don't really remember what went right, or what went wrong that time. I do remember Mom telling me she didn't know why I kept fooling with him, that he didn't care a thing about me, and that I could find someone who DID care about me. Tracey fell in love with another girl, and eventually they got married. Meanwhile, I dated several people, some who cared a lot, and others who really didn't. Most of them didn't pass muster with the parents either. I wondered if they ever thought they'd have been better off if I'd held out for Tracey. (Truthfully, looking back, I know my mom didn't. Don't know how Daddy felt though.)

A few years later, I got married too. One day we happened to be staying in the same place, with relatives at the lake, and he told me how impressed he was at what I was doing. It was nice.

Our lives went different ways. He got divorced. At that time, Randy and I were in Madisonville, having a baby. Randy and I hit a rough patch a little later, around the time we moved back to Tennessee. By then, he was married again, and they were having a baby. I only saw him once in all those years after that. He didn't quite look like the cute little boy who rode the blue bicycle...but then, I didn't look the same either. I couldn't hold that against him. He signed my guestbook on Classmates about 18 months ago. I thought that was nice.

All through these years I have loved those same songs I liked in 1978 and 1979. It was the music I loved when I was 12 years old, when life was fun, when I believed I would grow up to be pretty, and successful, and have everything I dreamed I would have. Good memories.

I loved living in my hometown. It's a good place. I live about 30 minutes from there now. You can live in town and walk to the store, or to school, or to the Post Office. You don't have to drive 5 miles to get a gallon of milk. If you do drive 5 or 6 miles, you can sit down and eat at any kind of restaurant or shop at any kind of store. (Of course, you only have to drive 10 miles for that here.) The best thing about it was that all my family was/is right there. I have often told people I miss those days when my parents and their friends would get together, and how the best times of my childhood were those neighborhood 4th of July parties and gatherings. Some people there still have those kind of get-togethers with their school buddies. I didn't know this until recently. I learned this when he died a little over 2 weeks ago.

I learned this on Facebook. It may sound superstitious, but I'll never check my Facebook during lunch on an "A" day again. It's a school thing - we have classes on alternating days. On A days my planning period is 1st; on B days it's last period. So...I have to plan for B days at the end of A days. I checked Facebook at lunch, didn't have a planning period afterward, left, distraught, at the end of the day and came in at the beginning of the next week on a B day for which I hadn't planned properly. No. I'll never do it again. I depend too much on my ability to plan for the next day, and I can't take a chance on being devastated at the end of the day.

It made me sad for his wife and his daughter. It made me thankful to have my sweet Randy. It made me feel old to think it has been that long - 30 years - since we rode the bus and he hit me with the two big nails he soldered together. It made me feel strange to realize that what I am now is all because of those days and the things I did then. It made me feel empty to think of all that I have missed living here, where I have nothing in common with my neighbors and my family's 30 minutes away and my kids don't go to school with the children of my classmates.

I have spent too much time on the computer when I should have been doing things with people. A lot of those times I was here because Randy was doing his own thing, either playing cards or playing music, and the kids were too little to leave alone, and I didn't have the money to pay someone to watch them while I did my own thing. Now they are bigger, and they don't need me as much as they did then. Rachel will be in college this time next year.

I've had a great life not living in Ridgetop. I've made a lot of friends over the years. I still see people from Ridgetop a lot. I get home often. (Probably not often enough!) In some ways, though, I've missed out on a lot.

This year has been particularly hard because it takes me 30 or more hours a week to prepare for the 40 I spend teaching, and after you count the 10 hours a week I spend commuting and the 10 I spend eating breakfast, showering, reading the paper, checking email, etc. every week, and the 56 I should spend sleeping, that only leaves 22 hours a week to do everything else. That sounds like a lot until you think of what all has to be done. Church is 2 or more hours a week. (I'm glad I became a Methodist! If I were still Baptist that would be more like 5 or 6 hours.) Going to Mom's takes 30 minutes each way, so if I visit for 2 hours, that's 3 hours total. That leaves 17 hours, divided over 7 days...meaning, I only have about 2.5 hours a day to relax and that's not really accurate because I have to do things like go to the grocery store, pharmacy, etc. I'd like to work out more often, but that's 30 minutes each way travel time and 30 minutes of exercise. And, of course, I spend about an hour of my day on Facebook, but I do get a little social interaction out of that. It's no wonder I feel isolated, though.

I didn't make new year's resolutions this year. Today, though, Feb. 1, I am making new month's resolutions. In my journal, sometime around Jan. 1, I wrote that I need to be happy with the life I have. I do intend to do that. I also intend to start spending more time with my friends while I can.

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