Monday, February 16, 2015

Holding out for a Hero

"Where have all the good men gone?
Where are all the gods?
Where is that street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?"

Here were a few that I met:
Now I’ve had my say with my frustrations with men and dating, it’s only fair to give just dues to the heroes I’ve met among them.
Through elementary school I was ostracized and bullied. I was an ugly duckling, probably suffered from depression and anxiety, seldom wore trending clothing, and what few friends I had were always off track, and I was nice to my teachers which was as good as a social death sentence. There was one kid who wasn’t unkind to me who was in my classes maybe once or twice. His nick name was Willy Wonka because his name was Will and he loved chocolate. One day after the bell had rung to go home I was heading for the bus when Will came up, seized my back pack and swung me around by it. I was outraged but he began to explain that the other kids had dared him to. My younger brother Brandon, who had caught him in the act, charged up and gave him a good football tackle. This was daring for my brother because Brandon was in the third grade and Will was in the sixth grade. I held Will back while Brandon escaped. Will was apologetic and unhostile so I never did hold a grudge probably because I was so proud of my younger brother who had come to my rescue.
That was the first major encounter I had with Will. In Junior high I found out he actually liked me and maybe even had a crush. We were good friends after that. He was the first boy to like me and to a girl who was made to feel like worthless crap by others, just knowing he liked me was the most liberating thing he did for me. He ended up moving away in the eighth or ninth grade but we corresponded for a while and I still have his letters which were sweet and intelligent. We lost contact though and I haven’t heard from him since. The last I heard about him was in high school, some of his old friends said he got lung cancer. I don’t know if he survived that battle and haven’t been able to find him. He’s not appeared on any social media and if I could ever find him would like to express my gratitude to him for being my friend during a time when I often felt all males were set on my emotional destruction. Though he was young he acted honorably like a man and treated me like a lady, as a boy only could in the seventh grade.

In church I was as popular among the youth as I was at school. I sat in youth meetings with an empty seat on either side of me almost every Sunday. But the stake patriarch became an unlikely friend. He was mild in temperament, soft spoken, and 3 times a doctorate. But, this serious mannered elder was one of the first non-related adult fans of my artwork. He always encouraged me to show him my corny cartoons and he showed a genuine amusement in them that bolstered my self-esteem in the most nurturing of ways. If there was one thing an insecure beginning artist needed was a devoted fan. And having the support of one so esteemed gave me validation that’s lasted me to the present day.

Having a nearly nonexistent relationships with my grandfathers, the elderly gentlemen whom my dad introduced me to at church when I was around eight or nine, became a surrogate grandfather to me. I visited him and he would tell me his life stories of his five missions, his award winning rabbits (102 ribbons I think), his adventures selling ice cream to the navy, and riding on top of trains. He doted on me as grandfathers do with ice cream, treats, and random gifts like nice pens he found working at the D.I. that I treasured for years. And of course, every Sunday he gave me a handful of star bursts. He was my friend from elementary school to high school. At his funeral I was permitted to join the family at the closing of the casket. He was an example of a solid testimony, work ethic, and a gentleman.

There have been other boys in my life who have been my friends and were generous and kind. So I know that good men are out there, the challenge is finding the one I want to spend eternity with.
"Because it’s gonna take a Superman to sweep me of my feeeeet. I need a hero!"

Tuesday, February 10, 2015