While the 30’s tune “I only want a buddy not a sweetheart” may have sprung from the vocal cords of a young boy somewhere….. sometime; it certainly was not going to escape from Eli’s 12 year old mouth this Tuesday.
His mom had shared with him that her friend, Ruth, was visiting for the first time with her 11 year old daughter; Missy Mae.
Eli had only viewed her from 10 pews away, but just enough to know that she was really tall for her age and that she wore a pink dress with lace all over it. Yuk!
They arrived in a tiny red car and stood out in the driveway looking for some assurance that this was the right place. His mom raced out to meet them and Eli came to the window. What in the world is this? he wondered. Her mom looked just like he remembered but……..Dressed in a ragged, numbered jersey and faded denim shorts…. no socks; this was no Missy and little, if any, Mae.
She could well have been a boy from the vacant lot where he played ball. There was absolutely no curtsy with a shy look…. but rather an introductory hand shake that made his eyes water. He returned it gingerly to his pocket, and murmured defensively ; “Where’d you get that handshake? Her reply was; “From my Karate instructor” as she struck the primary defensive pose and uttered the customary yell; “Yeeee…ahh!”
What we know is this;
She could throw a baseball from center field to home plate and leave the catcher with two broken fingers. She could jump higher than a Kangaroo. she could run faster than a Giselle. And, beyond that, she invented bad words for which only God knew the meaning.
After welcoming hugs and an invitation to come inside for refreshments, her eyes quickly rejected the proposal as they fell upon Eli’s tree house way up in “the perfect Elm”. She politely excused herself with an “I’m outa here” move, and vaulted up to the lowest branch. Then, was halfway up the tree before Eli could work up a good spit for his hands
Well……… How do you spell stunned? With two nn’s? I’m gonna use four….he was, really.
We might continue the story, briefly…..at least to the degree that you might understand that it was not a slow process. He was pretty sure that first impressions can be really deceiving. That some buddies are not just guys…… maybe even the other side of the coin. The words admire, respect, and love come to mind.
They did become sweethearts in the end. In 10 years Missy cleaned up her language (by the grace of God) and is having her first baby in June (same grace), having decided not to deliver him herself, and calling him Eli Thomas Jr. And yes of course, they are married and they both wrote the vows.
Eli quotes Forrest Gump, as Grandpa often does;…….. “Life is like a box of chocolates; You never know what you’re gonna get!”