Some Caterpillars Are Slower Than Others

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 09:34 AM.

Every boy showed up in black pants, white shirt and back narrow tie. Every girl wore a white gown. I reckon that was a dress code right out of Ecclesiastes. I remember the cold roast beef, the green beans and the mashed potatoes. I remember the speaker frantically trying to get us to smile and enjoy the evening. Thankfully, I do not remember any of the conversation. That might have been because, mercifully, there wasn’t any!

I asked Leon after that first banquet about the true meaning of Valentine’s. “It’s a metamorphous.” He answered like that made perfect sense to him. I needed real help and he’s talking about caterpillars turning into butterflies!

The last basement banquet I attended I was a little disappointed Mom was not on the program committee. I was hoping to get seated with Ruth Ann Wiley. She was really nice. But I don’t think she even knew I existed. She was a good friend of Pam’s but, much to my chagrin, she had never beaten on me. She had the nicest hair and eyes…..for a girl. I can’t believe I’d never before realized the possibilities of one of these meals. Sitting with Ruth Ann would be more fun than playing ping pong! I wasn’t so lucky on this night. But she was just one table over…..and, with my hand up, the theme for this Valentine Banquet was “Beneath the Eiffel Tower”. It didn’t help. Ruth Ann dodged every arrow I sent her way.  

And the next year, in the middle of a Valentine’s party over at Ann Carol McCaleb’s house, I slipped a card to Jane Hill with a hand written note asking HER to check yes or no. It fell on “deaf” eyes. She had apparently forgotten her third grade advances.

Life can be complicated to a fare-the-well.

I was buying into the Valentine’s theme AFTER the infamous horses had exited the barn! I was too old for the church banquet. We’d outgrown the mass exchanging of cards and the high school teachers were more interested in Shakespeare and square roots than they were our social lives. 

But somehow, in spite of ourselves, the cards worked! Those elementary kids of so long ago turned out to truly “Be Mine Forever”. What special, special, life long friends! They let me write about them with a smile. They appreciate that I don’t “tell all I know.”  They give me story ideas and grammatical help.



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