Sunday, February 10, 2008
I Have Never
Recently, I read a review of the movie “27 Dresses”, about a girl who had 27 bridesmaid’s dresses but had never been a bride herself. The bridesmaid’s dresses reflected the often unique taste of the brides and were not something she could wear for anything other than the wedding they were intended for. The review reminded me of the dozens of dollar store diaries with wild covers I once had. They were hidden away from prying eyes as if they contained the juiciest gossip or most heart wrenching secrets. All they contained were my lists. Serious lists, silly lists, planning lists, to do lists, you name it. Truthfully, they may as well have been gossip or secrets because, even as a forty or fifty something woman, I would have been devastated if anyone had read them. There were dozens of lists containing such items as things I had never done, things I never wanted to do, places I hoped to visit and places I hoped not to visit. I had lists of movies to see, books to read, records I hoped to buy, and even names of people I found interesting. Real people like Ima Hog, Marsha Mellow and Ella Funt. I was always scribbling things on scraps of paper, register receipts or napkins and taking them home to add to one of my lists.
I have always been a list maker. I suppose decades of accounting work only increased my propensity to keep tally sheets or see my thoughts outlined on paper. Reading the review of “27 Dresses” reminded me of one of the items in my “I Have Never Journal.” I have not seen the movie and I have never paid a small fortune for a dress I would only wear once (wedding gown excluded) because I have never been a bridesmaid. What you say? How could that be? Despite having 12 siblings and more cousins than you could pack into a fleet of Greyhound buses I have never been asked to be in someone’s wedding, and that is what prompted this post. I don’t want to write about weddings, being a bridesmaid or even about ugly dresses. The subject of this narrative is the phrase “I Have Never.”
Someone reading my “I Have Never Journal” would surely question what kind of life I lived to reach my advanced age with so many basic activities not done. But, most of them were simply because the opportunity never presented itself, and truthfully, I never expected that would change; at least not until I met my Frank. It is amazing how many items have been crossed off my list since we met a short year ago without his even knowing they had been on a list. Thanks to Frank I have drawn a line through “I Have Never”: been on an airplane, seen the Pacific Ocean, traveled west of Kansas City Missouri, seven states, the Grand Canyon, visiting a naval base, going aboard an aircraft carrier, seeing a cruise ship, seeing a real pirate ship, and meeting a published poet to name only a few.
If you sat down right now and listed all the things you have never done in your life what would your list have in it? Would it be full of missed opportunities, trips not taken or simple things like never having eaten lobster or made mud pies?
Frank will occasionally tell me a story where some movie illustrates his point, and be shocked to learn I have never seen the movie. Recently, when Frank’s mental list of movies I have not seen started to get rather lengthy, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He opened a Netflix’s account and placed an order for a sizeable list of movie he wanted me to see. Every few days now a movie from his list will show up in our mailbox and we will drop everything and sit down to watch it together.
Frank is a man who has been almost everywhere and done or seen way more than most folks and I believe he has a hard time comprehending that I could have missed so many ordinary things. I’m sure if he could read my old journals, he would set about seeing to it that every item listed would eventually be crossed off the list. Fortunately, that will never happen, because a while back I took the time to copy everything to a password protected computer file and destroyed all those tattered journals.
Now, before Frank reads this, I better go transfer all that information to a memory stick and seek out a perfect hiding place