Sharing Boyfriends Is Heartbreaking
Sharing is something you learn to do early on when you are part of a large family. Eight of us shared one bathroom. We didn’t have a shower, so we had to take baths. Baths were taken before going to bed, because we would have to get up before daylight-thirty to have time for us all to take a dip in the mornings. The hot water heater didn’t match the size of the family either, so we had to engineer a system. Large kettles and pots of water were heated on the stove to add to the small amount of tepid water that was run in the tub. Since the result wasn’t all that warm, baths didn’t take long, especially in the cold of winter.
Hot water wasn’t the only thing we shared. If there was one biscuit left, we were taught to never take it prior to asking if anyone else wanted it. If someone else spoke up, it was divided among them. The same applied for the last of anything. There was little that belonged to just one person in the family, be it food, clothing, shoes, toys, books, or beds.
It should come as no surprise that it didn’t raise an eyebrow when Nene and I liked the same boy. It happened on more than one occasion, and was heartbreaking for both of us.
Larry Joe was my first true love. (I don’t count my first crush at age five.) I met Larry Joe when I was eleven, at church. We were instantly attracted to each other. I was hopelessly and helplessly in love!
He could write the most romantic love letters! “My own true love, Pam. You are the most beautiful “woman” in the whole wide world. I will love you forever and ever, ’til the end of time.” Page after page he poured his heart onto that paper, and page after page, I read them over and over again, believing every word.
Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, I always got a a card and gift from my own true love. I was convinced that I would be Mrs. Larry Joe Hamilton one fine day.
As was customary, we invited our friends to come home with us after church and spend the day, until it was time to go back to church. Larry Joe was a regular, along with his brothers, and some of our girlfriends. When we were eleven, we spent the afternoon playing tag, Red Rover, and other outdoor games. We spent lots of time riding ponies, and playing in the hay loft, and exploring the forty acres that we lived on.
At thirteen, our interests changed. Spin the Bottle was the main game we played. We had a blast! It was all fun until I discovered that Larry Joe had a crush on Nene. My heart was broken. All of those promises, all of those “forever until the end of time” letters meant nothing now. To add salt to the wound, I found out that he hadn’t written any of the letters! He had a sixteen year old girl write them for him. I guess it was no big deal, as he had to approve them before he gave them to me.
I learned some valuable lessons from that experience:
1. If you want to be assured of a hot bath or shower, use birth control.
2. Never trust a man who has his secretary write you love letters or purchase your gifts.
3. Long after the man is out of your life, you still have your sister.