I have arrived at a stage in my life where I do not worry anymore about who knows what about me. In other words, there are things that I am going to share with my favorite people on the planet: my closest friends.
First of all, let me define what I mean by my closest friends. With the exception of four people who attended grammar school with me, I am ALWAYS referring to those who attended high school with me. These are the people who I could share my innermost thoughts and feelings with any time I wish. They are truly wonderful and respectable individuals. I am so fortunate to have met them and still have them in my life.
That being said, I am truly jealous of each and every one of them. Let me clarify this. I am not saying that I am envious of them. I am not saying that because they have something that I don't, they should not have it either. No. I am not saying that. They have something and they truly deserve to have it. I am just saying that I wish I had it as well so that I could take my place alongside them.
They have spouses and children.
To be fair, only one had a spouse, but, like the rest, he has children. Some of them even have grandchildren. I don't even have a pet fish.
Let's look at the spouses portion. It must be a thrill and a joy to be on a permanent date with the same person for the rest of your life. These folks wake up with the same person who puts pep in their step and pride in their stride. They have a sparkle in their eyes for that one special person, It must be a great thing. I don't have that whatsoever.
What do I have? I have NOTHING! I had my chance, TWICE! I had my chance with a very beautiful lady in high school and with the very same lady in college and I did absolutely NOTHING each time.
I had my chance to tell her how much I loved her and the stupidity gene which started with me and ended with me took over. All I had to say in high school was, "Luanne, I love you and I really want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you please marry me?"
And if I did not have the nerve to say it to her in our senior year of high school, I could have said the exact same words with more emotion in college. I would have done anything just to prove to her how much I loved her, but NO. Stupidity had taken over.
It would have been great to see her very beautiful face every single day. She had an awesome smile. She had the loveliest brown eyes. The moment I met her during our last year in high school, time had stopped for a brief moment. Then, a theft had taken place. I should know because she stole my heart right then and there. I could never forget it.
There was an old joke about why a man took his ugly wife everywhere with him. He did it so that he would not have to kiss her goodbye. There is the difference. There was nothing ugly about Luanne.
Not only would I have taken her everywhere, but I would have kissed her as much as I wanted to as well. I wanted to show her off. I look at my friends and the same things that they do with their spouses is what I wanted to do with her. But, I don't have her and I never will. That is the price one pays for being an idiot.
Yes, my friends, no matter how long they have been married, are always on their first date. It is so nice to see. They truly love each other and can never be without each other. They are each other's best friend. They share secrets and heartbeats. As a writer, I could not even describe with my best words their relationships. They are the accelerant for the fire that burns within each of them. I wanted that type of passion, but I can never get it now. I had my chance and blew it big time.
That leads me to my second deficit. I can never have any children. Don't get me wrong. I do not want to go out and spread my demon seed all over town. No, I wanted to help Luanne to become the most gorgeous and nicest mom the world has ever seen. She and I would have been the best parents of all time.
I love babies. They are so precious. I spent a near 40-year career teaching children. So, I really love children. Babies are so innocent. If I used my brain wisely back then and married Luanne, she would have been an awesome mom. I would have accepted any child we had, but, if I could have chosen a child, I would have wanted a baby girl. Why?
My sister died back in February of 1987. She left behind a beautiful baby girl, my first niece. She was exactly what I wanted in a little girl. She was so adorable. I would sit her on my lap when she was younger and she would fall asleep.
Sometimes, she would watch TV with me or just sit and talk with me. I'd hug her and she would hug me back. The best part is that when she was afraid of something, she would run to me, jump up into my lap and just cling to me. When I had to go somewhere, I'd wrap her up, depending on the weather, and place her in the car with me. I would never go anywhere without her. She is my pride and joy.
That would have been the start of the family I wanted with Luanne. Luanne would have been my queen and our daughter would have been our little princess.
And just like I would have protected my queen, I would have been just as protective of my little princess, especially when she started dating. A typical conversation with a potential date would have gone like this:
(Scene: My living room at some point in the year. No matter what the temperature is inside and outside, a young man would have been sitting in a chair in front of me and sweating profusely, not knowing how I would respond to his answers.)
Him: Hello, Mr. Bernier.
Me: You don't have to call me "Mr. Bernier." You can call me by my nickname.
Him: What is your nickname, sir?
Me: That's right. Call me SIR! Why should I let you take my daughter out on a date? Be very careful, son. I have a shotgun and a shovel. Nobody will know what happened to you or where they could find you if you annoy me.
Him: Y....y.....y....yes, Sir.
Me: Don't be nervous, boy. I won't shoot you. Not right now anyway.
Me: So, what time do you plan to bring my little princess home?
Him: 1 AM, Sir?
Me: I'm sorry. My hearing must be shot. Did you say 10 PM?
Him: No, Sir. I meant 11 PM.
Me: Oh I got ya. You meant 10 PM.
Him: No! No! No, Sir. I can bring her home at 11 PM.
Me: Did I ever mention that I can shoot a cross-eyed caterpillar between the eyes from 500 yards away?
Him: Sorry, Sir. You're right. I meant 10 PM.
Me: I thought so. 10 PM is perfect. And my daughter better be just as pure coming back home the same way she left it. Do you understand or should I get my pistol instead? I only have 15 bullets left. Pick a number from zero to 10.
Me: Perfect. If my daughter does not look right, I will shoot you 9 times. The first eight shots will be just for fun. The 9th shot will be the one that will kill you. Got the message?
Him: Oh yes, Sir!
Of course, if some young man is lucky enough to pass the very stringent standards that this dad would have imposed upon him, only the dad gets to walk his very beautiful little princess down the aisle at her wedding.
As a newly retired English teacher, I can safely attest that the English language is so full of exceptions to the rules of the language itself. As I said earlier, I am truly jealous of my friends, but I am not envious of them.
I just regret not taking the opportunity to be truly happy when I had the chance to do so. That is totally my own fault. Me, myself, and I! I have no one else to blame but myself. Usually, jealousy and envy go hand-in-hand. Not in this case. I want my friends to be very happy. I just wanted to be as happy as they are, too. They honestly deserve it. I, on the other hand, had my chance at real happiness.
That is what it is like when you are truly stupid like I was. And there are no excuses or exceptions to stupidity.