Saturday, January 16, 2016

One persons dreams is another persons nightmare

Over the years I have been involved in many conversations about dreams.  Things like “Do you dream in color?” or “Do you remember your dreams?” and even “Do you think dreams are a prediction of the future or are they just remembrances of the past?"

Since childhood my dreams have been more of the nightmare variety.  My dreams seem to be hauntings of all the hurtful times in my life.  Last night I managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour  and fall asleep without a hacking cough keeping me awake for the first time in weeks; only to be awakened three hours later by a very realistic dream reliving the events  of the homecoming dance my senior year of high school. 

It was the fall of 1963 and I had transferred from the Catholic High school to the public school.  So I was the new kid in the class.  It was a strange year for me.  I had always been in a religious  school with uniforms and rigid rules. One of these rules was a stripe down the center of the hallways that kept the girls on one side and the boys on the other.  Now my classmates were walking arm in arm, sneaking kisses, and dressed in all the latest fashions. Plus, as the most remote school in the county, it was the only high school where pregnant teens and adults could attend classes.  My class of 91 students contained one married couple, one student in her thirties, and twelve pregnant girls.  All making for no small amount of culture shock for this teenager. 

Imagine my dismay when I was selected to be one of the members of the Queen’s court at the homecoming dance.  This school did not have a football team so the court was made up of the guys from the varsity basketball team  and senior girls whom the teachers chose to walk down the aisle with them.    Only the King and Queen (who had to be seniors) were voted for by their classmates. 

I borrowed a prom dress from one of my cousins, arranged to have my hair done by a neighbor lady, and even got one of the men from the neighborhood who worked in town to get me  a corsage to wear.  Since I did not have a date for the dance my father agreed to chauffeur me to the school.  

The day of the dance my father went off to attend an auction like he did every Saturday.  He would buy items he could get cheap for resell in his auction barn.  Saturday was auction night and Pop had gotten another auctioneer  to do that night’s sale so he would be free to drive me. My mother and siblings were at their regular jobs at the auction barn so I was home alone.  As the time to leave approached and my father was not home I started getting nervous.  It was the era before cell phones so I had no way of contacting him to remind him of his promise to drive me.  We were a 40 minute drive from the school so when it got down to the last hour before the schedule arrival time I finally called the school and talked to the teacher in charge of the dance, letting her know my situation.  At best I would be late and maybe not make the dance at all.  I was told there was no one to take my place and if I was not there the boy who was to be my escort would have to sit out also. The teacher was quite upset with me because there was not enough time to send someone to get me .  She chastised me for not trying to find someone else to bring me.  

When my father finally arrived home  I was already an hour late and had long since changed out of my gown and stored my flowers in the refrigerator.  My father made no apology  for being late. In fact, he told me to get in the car so we could get to  the auction to help close up.  I overheard the argument between my mother and father  that evening after we got home.  Pop told my mother that my stupid dance did not matter when compared to his doing what he felt he needed to do to earn a living and  support his family.  But, I can assure you, if that had been one of my brothers being honored that way he would have not only been early but would have stayed to see the whole ceremony take place. 

When I went back to school on Monday I learned that the boy I was to walk with did not have to sit out after all because the teacher had found  a junior girl in a nice formal to take my place.  But, I never lived down the teasing from my classmates and, if my dreams are any indication, recovered from the hurt my father’s self serving actions caused me that night.    

1 comment:

  1. Oh that is so sad! It would be hard or impossible to ever get over such a thing. I'm so sorry.