You’ll have to bear with me today. I have been laid up with a bum ankle and a pulled back. However, it doesn’t escape me that it is Tuesday, so I’ve fished an appropriate post out from the archive. It’s old enough I suspect most of you didn’t see it the first time it ran. Enjoy. Hopefully, I’ll be on the mend by Thursday. 

Out of the Archives: Be Mine

For IZ:

You walked in. Late, dressed in a two-piece suit. Brown tweed. Tall. So tall and lean and blond. Every strand in place.

A sharp elbow nudges me. I smile, nod, acknowledge that: yes, I saw you walking in the door. The elbow nudger muses, “He’s cute!

“Mama! I have a boyfriend,” I whisper back, trying not to draw the attention of my father sitting two seats down from me. It’s my aim in life these days to avoid that beady-eye stare he is so famous for. Not here and not now; this is the Sunday service, after-all.

I watch your family find their seats. You and your father stand like perfect bookends to your immaculately dressed mother. I’m trying to remember the last time someone wore a hat to service and I’m fairly certain I’ve never seen anyone your age wearing a suit. I’m not the only one watching your family.

Another nudge.

“What!” rolling my eyes.

“He’s really cute!” she says again.

“He’s BLOND. I don’t date blonds, mother!” I say a little too loudly. People shuffle in their seats in front of me, giggling.

“Never-the-less,” she continues, “You will go and greet him after the service has concluded.” My father leans over and gives us both the look. Good, she can bear his disapproval for once.

What has occurred to my mother is now beginning to be born in the imaginations of the rest of the congregation. The Sound of Music is swelling in their collective consciences—“you are sixteen, going on seventeen…” You are to play Rolf to my Liesl.

Under the piercing glare of my mother and amused glances of the old ladies in the congregation, I make my way to extend a peace offering. Not so much for you as to pacify them. There is no reason to add “inhospitable” to the ever-expanding list of my character defects.

“Hi, my name is Wende…” I begin my welcome announcement, sticking out my hand to shake yours. You take my hand and strangely, you don’t let go. Is that my sweaty palm or yours? Even stranger still, you say nothing while I invite you to youth group this evening. No words, no sounds, just you looking too deeply into my eyes.

“He’d be happy to attend,” your mother finally answers for you.

“Ok, then…” I blush as I leave, “Nice meeting you.”

I can see them watching me, all these old ladies who have known me since I was a second grader. I can hear their minds turning. “Oh the possibilities,” they are thinking. From the looks on their faces they are as equally impressed by your visage as my mother. I can hear the whispers before they begin and there will be no fighting the rumor mill once it starts. It’s as if they have had a simultaneous vision of the future. The clouds parted, sunlight spilled out, and shimmering before them was a vision of our joined destiny. Lord knows they are hard at work already petitioning the gates of Heaven to make it so.

“Are you happy now?” I ask my mother on our way out of the building.

“Yes,” she says with a smile creeping into her voice.

“I do have a boyfriend, you know.” I’m not giving up so easily.

“Yes,” she answers with certainty, “I know.”


This was originally posted 2/14/2007 with an explanation that this was how I first met IZ. 23 years later, he’s still looking too deeply into my eyes and making me blush.