Thursday, March 5, 2009

Used To Be My Girl


I spotted her and her son in church a few Sundays ago but, I didn't get a chance to talk to her. I ran into her again at a busy intersection... her car had passed by mine in another lane and she waved. Busy traffic is not the place to talk or catch up so, I waved and kept going. Yesterday, we ran into each other in the supermarket and we finally had a chance to talk...

I'll call her Yvette W. and she was my girlfriend for a brief period of six months some years ago. She was maybe two women before I met my wife (I don't really remember... I've lost count now). She was one of the few women that didn't have any real drama behind her and I can't remember why we didn't stay together.

I met her after both of us had finished college and I remember that, out of all of us who were hanging out together (male and female), she was the only one who had a clear view of the future. She wanted to start her own business. We were all working at various underpaid jobs and then, we would go to Blueberry Hill on "three-for-one" night. We would bitch and complain about how our parents lied to us about America being the land of opportunity and if we stayed in school and kept out noses clean, we would inherit (at least) a decent middle class life. Not one of my fellow graduates was leading that lifestyle.

We were the "post civil rights generation"... we went to college in droves, graduated, and entered the world expecting to land that six figure salary. Indeed, America and the world we entered into in 1984 was a strange one. The economy was tanking... inflation and unemployment was rising. It sounds just like today but, I hear today is supposedly worse.We at least, got jobs somewhere. I don't know what kids are doing for money now of days.

Yvette W. was my complexion but, she had red hair and the prettiest hazel eyes you ever wanted to see. You could look into her eyes and see your future I used to say and that would crack her up. She was well-read and could hold a conversation about more than Prince's new album or how high she got the night before, which intrigued me. She had a blueprint of how her life was going to be and it was a practical one. Me? I was flying by the seat of my pants back then... I was out of college and working anywhere that could pay. It was as if I had given up ever being successful and was just "living for today". But, not Yvette W., which is why I know we didn't stay together. She was way too far ahead of me then. I wound up in the Air Force and I heard that she had gotten married and had a son while I was away.

In 1998, I ran into Yvette W. again. She was working as a receptionist for a doctor who was in the same building as my doctor was in. We talked and caught up... I found out that she had divorced, remarried again, and had a daughter. I'm pretty sure I told her that I was married and had a teenage daughter that was about to graduate high school. I know I must have told her but, she probably forgot.

Yesterday, Yvette W. lifted my left hand and studied my wedding band and proclaimed... "Keith, you got married!" She said this as though I'd just got married last week. I said to her... "Yvette, June will make twenty years that I've been married. I have a grown daughter and a grandson." She said, "Really? You never told me that you were married when I worked in the doctor's office." I told her, "I'm certain that I did."

She told me that she had been married twice and neither situation panned out. I saw her with her son in church but, I had never met her daughter. She said, "My son is in his first year of grad school and he's a Kappa man like you." I said, "I don't believe I've ever met your daughter." She replied, "That girl... if I don't kill her first, you may never meet her. She's a junior at Delaware State College. She broke my heart... she pledged Delta." (Yvette W. is an AKA.) We both laughed and I remarked that brother and sister were just keepin' it red and white.

I knew that Yvette W. no longer worked for the doctor so, I asked her where she was working. She said... "Remember, how I always said that I wanted to go into business for myself one day? Well, I finally did it. I finished Real Estate school after college and after working for a few firms, I opened up my own Real Estate office in Cheltenham (a Philadelphia suburb) a few years back. I have a staff of five people that work for me. It's nothin' big but, you know... it's something."

We talked about how funny it was that we both wound up becoming members of the same church. She then remarked, "You know what? I knew you were married. I saw you with your wife in church and in the car that time I passed you. Well, I... uh... knew you were in a relationship. You know how you used to be... you never could tell but, considering that I saw the two of you together a number of times, I figured she was more than just a girlfriend." I said... " Yes, she is definitely more than just a girlfriend." We both laughed.

Yvette W. told me that she was presently involved with a guy she met at church. She then said that, since they started seeing each other, she couldn't get him to come to church! We had a big laugh about it. I wished her well, and we went our separate ways after agreeing to keep in touch. I don't know how we are supposed to do that since we didn't exchange numbers. I guess we can do that when we see each other in church.

I was happy for Yvette W. She dreamed of starting her own business and she stuck to it. Despite the setbacks she had over the years with two failed marriages and raising two children, she had realized her dream. Maybe our parents didn't lie to us at all... they just didn't tell us how long it might take to realize our dreams or how much hardship we would have to endure.

21 comments:

Solomon said...

I know my mom sure as hell didn't tell me about the hardshp part.

I am still struggling

Toni said...

That was a nice story Keith,glad it worked out for both of you.

Angie B. said...

Great story Keith!

Halo said...

I love your personal stories Keith.

Vanessa said...

Glad to hear that the sister made it!

Lisa said...

Aww,this was a sweet story.

Sunflower said...

Life is a struggle, there is no easy solution to anything. You and your friend were wise to keep pushing and not give in to dispair.

Captain Jack said...

Quite the ladies man in your time ,weren't you?

Angel said...

Stories like this are the reason why I just have to keep pushing ahead sometimes

I love hearing about your life Keith

James Perkins said...

Always Nice to Hear a success story!

Simon Bastion said...

Great story Keith, Always nice to meet nice people from your past..It's the not so nice ones though .lololol

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Sister sounds like she had it goin on back in the day.

Jazzy said...

Your Friend sounds like she was "wifey" material before you were "husband" material...It bes
like that sometimes bruh.

Tate2 said...

I need a woman like that..With a plan and that is willing to help me make my plan a reality.

Swaggie said...

That was a cool story Keith. You've known an assortment of ladies in your lifetime.

Captain Jack said...

Great Story Keith, I thought that this was going to be something wild,but it turned out to be a nice
story with a happy ending.

Political Sean said...

Big Ups to your friend for sticking with her dream of starting her own business. More people should do the same.

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

This story reminded me I have to get on pushing. No matter what.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

ironic - u should read what i wrote today

Rich Fitzgerald said...

Man, I thought it was me. Life has been throwing me curve after curve. I keep swinging, I get on base, but I haven't knocked it out the park yet. And to think, we did everything they told us to do.

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

Once again, this is the reason why I read your posts...they always lift my spirits.




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