A couple of nights ago I was watching an old movie, really sappy and old fashioned, everyone singing and dancing and really making the most out of life.
This got me to reminiscing about my teen years, when I was a real romantic at heart and thought the world was just made for me to enjoy. When I was seventeen, I met my future husband, of course then I didn’t know he would become the love of my life.
At that time, in the early sixties, the fashion for girls was the big crinoline underskirts, made up of many layers of stiff netting in a variety of colours. I would often wear two or three of these skirts under my dress so I looked like a big powder puff. As most other girls wore the same style, it looked great to me, very feminine and romantic.
The usual “date” for Sunday afternoons was a walk in the country, then back to a relative’s home for Sunday dinner. No car in those early days, so it was usually a bus ride to get out of town and into the countryside, where the usual walk would take place. No teenage girl would wear the fancy outfit with flat shoes so, despite the fact that a long walk was involved, four inch heels were the order of the day.
It was a beautiful Easter Sunday, early April, but warm and really pleasant when we set off on our outing, two sweethearts, hand in hand walking down the lane. Of course after the first couple of miles my feet were hurting and we sat for a while. When we continued, Dave suggested we cut through a field to make a short cut back to the bus route. This seemed like a good idea so off we set.
High heeled shoes and farmer’s fields are not the best combination so Dave helpfully suggested I take off the shoes, which I did. I also had to peel off the stockings to save them from ruin.
Barefoot made the progress easier but the stubbly grass was hard on the feet, so Dave suggested I step on the big flat stones that were scattered around the field. This worked really well as there were quite a few of them and I could avoid much of the sharp grass. Hand in hand, he helped me jump from stone to stone and all was going well until I landed, both feet together, on one stone that happened to be a huge cow pie.
Breaking through the crusty top, I landed in the middle of the mess with both legs getting splattered with the nasty green slime below. I was horrified and not in the least happy when Dave broke into hysterical laughter. Romantic notions went right out the window and thoughts of murder took their place.
Luckily, there was a bit of a stream not too far off and there I stood, in the cold water with my hero sluicing the muck from my legs. The splatters had also decorated much of my net underskirts and this could not be dealt with in the stream.
It was a certainly different attitude that we both had on the bus ride home. I was still seething and tearful at my predicament, him still sniggering and trying not to be too open about his mirth, did nothing for my sense of humour and dignity. However, the kissing and cuddling that usually took place at our goodbye, was replaced by a door slammed in his face, so I think I got my point across.
In latter years, the retelling of this tale was amusing, however. I still prickle when I think how unconcerned my hero was about the episode. This lack of romance was to be repeated many times over our married years, which I came to realise was not his fault, he just lacked a romantic soul. However, we were happy for many years I just got used to romance, in our case, being a dream and to be enjoyed in movies. A bit sad, but just a reality of life, romance works better on the big screen.