Saturday, June 8, 2013

I WANT, I WANT, I WANT.........

Judge Judy tells it like it is "I want to be 6 feet tall and 30 years old".

It is not going to happen she follows and tells the defendant to "cool it".

Made me think of all the "I want" I had as a kid.
First of all I would not have dared to tell my mom that I "wanted", I'd beat around the bush and say things like it would be nice if we had money and I could have roller skates. The return answer was a "Mom LOOK"! Then she said :"What you will skate on the cobblestone road outside?"
So I went to an overnight with a girl friend and she had skates and lived in the city with sidewalks.
Her feet were smaller than mine so I pretended I fit in one, curled my toes and we held hands and skates each with one skate. I was in heaven and had leg cramps. My friend, Liliane, was not that amused but I had my chance to wear A roller skate.

I wanted to be a ballerina, cousin had pink ballet slippers and I felt the tip of the toes to be very hard, the slippers were pink satin. I caressed them and held them she must have had a size 4 ,she was petite and French ancestry, I was tall and pure Flemish for hundreds of years, sturdy, folk.
So Mom and I would look in the windows of Lilly De Munter dancing school. It was right across from the castle of the Counts in Ghent. The little girls looked like butterflies , so gracious, so lovely in tutu's even during instruction time. Lily knew how to use her public by the windows. When she was teaching you always saw people lined in front of her house. The sidewalk was narrow and the tram came right up to the walkway (still does) .Mom would push people around and tell them we were there first to "look".

Knowing I would not go to that school nor have ballet slippers I decided to walk on my toes, it did not take me long to walk like an arrow, toes and feet straight and I walked around the house like a ballerina.

I did not know that we were poor, I thought we did not have money for certain things. My father was a police man and my Mom a "housewife". Mom, I am sure did not think of starting a career albeit she had a very good education. Educated in a convent boarding school, she knew how to embroider, (no knitting that was for peasants), play the violin, speak fluent French , Flemish and English. The best part of her education was that she could type and take dictation!!!

As I grew older I knew that the "I want" thoughts had to be stiffled, it was not a time when parents told their kids :"you can be whatever you want to be". At least I did not hear that in my house. I was already pidgeon holed in the category "get married, have babies, tolerate your husbands mistakes as long as he brings home the money, " Added by : live close to Mama (her words).

I wanted to be an airline hostess, I was as blind as a bat, you could not have glasses and contacts were not yet in our vocabulary.
I wanted to sing in a choir, joined one by accident and was told to just stand there and NOT sing but lip sing.Said the director: stand tall look pretty and be quiet!".
I thought I could sing, I still do but it is not in the right key, so what?

Fortunately I never wanted to be an actress, I could not remember poems in school and would rearrange the lines to my understanding of what a poem should sound like. Remembering a script seemed like a nightmare to me. I would rewrite it all when it would be time to be on stage. Not good for me. Not an "I want"

I wanted to play tennis, there it was again, no money for club fees, for white outfits for special shoes for a racket and lessons. When I started to work in the papermill office (with Mom) they built a tennis court of sorts. A guy who could not play would teach me. We were a sight I am sure chasing the ball to and fro, me in my "office" dress and he in his good suit. It was warm that day , very warm. I did not give up, I was going to play by golly and play well and then things started to get dark and I fainted. I was brought to the "infirmerie" and had a sun stroke. Mother said: You can't take the heat, this is not for you so stop it.

Office installed a rec room with ping pong tables. Now I had it this was for moi!
Needed: a paddle and balls. We always found extra ones of them and I started to play, the guys already knew how and were discouraging me. Mother decided we would swipe the paddles and balls at night learn at home and replace them in the morning. I did not know what she had in mind.
At home we had a large round table in the middle of the small kitchen.A fort of a table, sturdy, served as washing dishes on them, cut and cook vegetables on them, put out wash basin on to wash our faces and tons of other activities.

Mother  said we would play on here. Round? , Yes, said she ,stop complaining.
I can't remember what our "net" in the middle was but she invented something to show our bounderies.
We played for hours, Mom was heavy all her life but she was a lot more agile than I was and could outrun me. She was the athletic type, I was the wrought iron gate type in my movements (that is what the gymnastic teacher told me so I had to believe him) I did learn to be a good ping pong player and we even went into tournaments at the sister companies. One "I want" accomplished thanks to Mom.

Today my "I want" are over with. I learned a long time ago that if I wanted something in the material world then I would work for it and get it myself. I'd buy a "goodie" at an auction and turn to Bob and he'd smile and say:"I am so glad you got that". He never asked about the money, we were one unit so why bother to ask anything. Love that man!!! He would have been 87 today, June 8th. I do WANT HIM BACK
it is not going to happen so be content with all what you do have, Jeannot. Better health for one thing. Great kids and grandkids, a house, a garden not to forget my Bijou, Maltese, dream boat of a dog.
And an invention called a computer......wowsy....


Unknown said...

All "my" wants were covered the minute I became your daughter.

Jeannot said...

I just fell off the pedestal, help me up.....this is too much Brie!!!!