Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Love Make The World Go Round

Sorry readers. I've walked away from 'funny' just this once.

For some years I've been asking friends and my family to tell me a love story. Not one that they've read or heard, but one that they've lived.  In all honesty, I expected gooey-sweet Hallmark greeting card stuff, but I got nasty love and crazy love as well  I expected sunshine and warm love, but I got stormy love with lightening and hail. And I received quite a few.

It all came about some years ago. I was invited to a wedding and my partner was going to be best man. We called around at the groom's parents home for dinner and his father showed me a letter that his son received:

          "Dear Stevie.  If you don't say you love me and walk to the bus stop with
           me I will kill myself and beet you up. I love  you and want to marry you
           soon.  Lizzy"

They were 8 at the time.

I was shown the letter 2 days before Lizzy married Stevie when they were both 26.

My date at the time shared the letter with guests during his wedding speech and everyone had a good laugh and a sob when he asked Liz to repeat after him ....

          "I, Liz, promise you, Steve, never to kill myself or beat you up."

If the marriage lasts as long as her love for this man .... the odds are looking good for a 'happy ever after'.


When I was midway through high school I was studying English literature and in particular, the writings of DH Lawrence.  I know that sounds stupid, but I thought this was about Lawrence of Arabia. I'd seen the movie and I wanted to be him. I don't think I was fully awake at high school.

I went to the library and got just about everything they had. I was a little surprised by the titles. Women In Love, Sons and Lovers, Lady Chatterley's Lover.  There was a side of Lawrence of Arabia I didn't know about. The librarian explained. WHOA!!!!  Bad news!!!

Like a lot of students, I borrowed these books in the hope that someone had borrowed them before me and made notes on the pages. Save me from reading them. And they were. I flipped through and read some of the paragraphs about making love. I was blown away. This stuff was hot. To hell with the other Lawrence and the desert. This Lawrence was my kind of guy. And I decided that all the girls who read his books are my kind of girl.

One one of  my trips to the library, I met a woman who was also a fan. She was not a girl, but a retired University professor. She invited me to her house. Whoa, again!! She said she would explain about Lawrence and tell me how to pass the course.

We liked each other right away. She lived alone and her eyes were failing.  She said if I did her grocery shopping once a week, she would tutor me in Lawrence. During that year, she woke me up about love, sexuality and women. No, she never made advances or laid a hand on me. I spent a lot of time with her and I think I'm a better man because of her. I told here back then, if she was 20 instead of 80, I would have asked her to marry me. She said she would have accepted.  She's dead now.  I still have her incredible wisdom. And I got an A for English Literature also.


This is my mum's story, but she would have been too shy to tell you herself. However, it explains why my brother and I owe our existence to peanuts.

When mum left high school, she had everything going for her. She was pretty, smart and came from a well-to-do family.  But she was terminally shy especially around men. Boys didn't like to take her out much because although she was very beautiful, she was so quiet.

She came to Australia from Greece. A cousin dragged her to a party and she sat out the night at one end of the room, in a corner by a table that had snacks on it. She ate a lot of peanuts out of nervousness.

She began to notice a guy who seemed to be as nervous as she. He never said anything, but he was taking extra care of her. He kept her glass filled with non-alcoholic drink and he kept bringing her bowls of peanuts. From time to time their eyes met and they smiled at each other.

When the dancing started and the party got loud, she walked out of the back door to escape, and as she was walking down the street she heard "Wait, wait, please wait". It was the young man running after her with a paper bag in his hand. They stood in awkward silence, just smiling. Finally he reached into the bag, pulled out a can of peanuts, gave them to her and said "I only wish these were pearls".

He ran back to the party.

Twenty years later on their wedding anniversary, he (my dad) gave my mum a sterling silver can marked "peanuts". She thought that was the gift and loved it so much. The memories came flooding back. But there was more. When she lifted the lid, inside was a string of pearls.

Ni gift ever made her as happy. She wore those pearls as her only jewellery for years.

When they were killed in a horrific accident, my brother and I put the silver peanut can in dad's coffin with him. And mum was buried wearing those pearls.




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