Thursday, April 2, 2009

ULYSSES

I have mentioned before that I was addicted to computers, but at that time I had only gone a few hours mouse less. Monday morning, I took my computer in for a tune up and help in removing a program that didn't want to be removed. Seemed like forever but finally got it back Wednesday. It was not pretty here without it but I sure got a lot of other stuff done. Now my keyboard starved fingers want to tell the story of Ulysses.



I mentioned before that I grew up like an Army Brat. We weren't military but we sure moved a lot due to my mother's health. The bad part of moving is that you never learned how people turned out. The good part is that you were always the "new girl" and while the girls weren't crazy about you, the boys were. New girl always had the edge, a mystique.



Ages 10 to 12 when we lived in Key West, were my prime years of popularity. Now it is sad to "peak" at 12 but I guess it is better than never "peaking" at all. During those two years, I had a steady boyfriend, Danny, who went to the Catholic boy's school. Danny was the love of my life after my failed attempt with Roy Rogers. However, he did not go to my school, so a girl had to entertain herself all those hours away from her steady. In essence, I cheated on Danny seven fold.




I had to keep a daily list of 7 boys in the public school. Each day the 7 would come up to me one at a time and want to know their position on the list. Those who made number one ever so briefly, whooped and hollered. I had to constantly adjust the list to keep the fellows interested. Now the only romance occurring with the public school boys was maybe a little sweaty hand holding and treat buying.




The boys knew nothing about Danny and Danny knew nothing about them. It was the only time in my life when I had complete power over the opposite sex and I loved every minute of it I was convinced that this was my destiny. However, I never again EVER came close to that degree of popularity for as teenage approached, the only thing to develop was my personality. From 10 to 12 though, I was in good shape for the shape I was in.




Every school has a sad person who just doesn't fit. Ulysses was ours. He was the image of Alfred E Newman who had not even been created yet. He had orange red hair that stuck out in all directions. Freckles, great big, pencil eraser sized freckles covered his face including his lips and ears. The ears were huge and stuck straight out from his head. His teeth were gaped and too large for his mouth. And what had his parents been thinking of naming a boy Ulysses in the deep south? Ulysses never participated in class and kept to himself. He certainly was not on my list of seven.



One day in music class, the chairs were all moved to the side of the room to make a space for square dance lessons. We were of that age thought that when dance was suggested,the girls got excited while all the boys groaned and shuffled their feet as they studied the floor. The teacher decided to make it "girls choice" dance in an effort to break up the bottle neck.



My Magnificent Seven were eyeing me to see which one I would pick. I have always hated the unfairness of the dreaded "pick" routine. Though I always escaped that position, someone was always last "picked"and is humiliated by being last. I have always had an overblown sense of fairness and when it was my turn to pick, I shocked the whole class and picked Ulysses so he would not be last. His freckles blended into one giant one as he flushed red. He walked towards me as if expecting a big "April Fool."



The dance was really just a side by side march around the room with the boy's arm over the girls shoulder. A little do-se-do'ing, promenade and finis, no biggie. There was a constant buzzing though about Ulysses and I. The girls all wondered why I had chosen him when I could have had any of the Magnificent Seven. Maybe they reasoned that they had overlooked the worth of Ulysses if I wanted him as a partner. His value increased ten fold by being a first pick, a number one draft choice so to speak.





It was a couple of weeks later when I discovered the extent of what I had done with so simple a move. I was going to class when Ulysses came down the hall towards me with his arms around two cute girls. He was grinning from big ear to big ear and he gave me a sly wink. It seems that he suddenly was Mr. Popular and had his own list of girls to keep happy. His looks hadn't changed except that his posture was straighter and what every he used to tame his hair had dulled the orange to a nice auburn. What had changed was his confidence level which was through the roof. He was no longer considered gawky but cute. It wasn't long before his formerly unknown sense of humor started to blossom.Ulysses maintained a decent degree of popularity into junior high.



Again the cyclical move came. We left Key West and my absolute popularity. I never did find out how Ulysses turned out but I somehow think he did OK.

8 comments :

  1. A great story, Patti! We moved a lot, too, but it was all within a 20 mile radius, so I didn't lose track of people like you did. Wouldn't it be great if Ulysses saw this and wrote to you? You sure did him a favor!!

    (I thought I was the only one who had those lists!! LOL)

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  2. You need to hire a private detective to find out. Or, you might be able to do it yourself on the Internet. With his name you should be able to find him and see how he turned out.

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  3. A great story! I enjoyed reading every line of it! You can write very well! Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend!

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  4. With that newly returned computer, you could google a certain Ulysses and see what became of him. Great story.

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  5. Wonderful story, Patti! Ulysses was a lucky boy. I never did "peak" --- unless it happened the year Norman P. put a white mouse down the back of my blouse!

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  6. kenju
    Thanks so much. It just goes to show how little difference there is between the sought after and the ignored.
    So you little devil, you kept a list also. Sure was cool at the time.

    Abe
    Now if I could only rememvber his last name. Too bad 60 years have passed. I wish him well.

    Reader Wil
    Thanks. So glad you liked it. I enjoyed telling it. Somethings you just don't forget.

    robin
    If I remembered a last name maybe I could google him. All that comes to mind is Grant. Than couldn't be.

    Pat
    My guess is that Norman P was smitten with you to drop the mouse down your blouse. At least it was a tame one.

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  7. Ulysses was fortunate you gave him a boost up the popularity ladder. I, on the other hand, have the unhappy memory of destroying an eleven year old boy’s popularity. Ugh! I will write a blog someday and tell you the story of my first boyfriend, Scott Klunk.

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  8. jewels
    Definately peaked my interest. Please do that blog about destroying that 11 year old.

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