Friday, December 22, 2006
Sundae Girl '75
Circa 1975 (when I was around 10) I got an incredible amount of attention for being cute and for having long blonde hair.
There was the 20-something guy at my dad's Air Force office who said--seriously--that I was the prettiest girl he'd ever seen. (Perhaps influenced by my cracking up whenever he'd turn his eyelids inside out just for me...) My grandma would always compare me favorably to her other grandkids: "Why can't you be as neat and well-behaved as Stephanie?" (Yikes! I apologize to the other grandkids.) And then there were a couple of weird incidents, typified most by this one time at a local Dairy Queen by my house: It was a block away and I was allowed, at age 10, to go there alone once a week or so, where I'd always order a cherry sundae. One time I went there, got my sundae, and was eating it at a table by myself, as I always did, trying to be mature.
A man was sitting across the room with his wife and two kids--- and then went up to the counter and insisted on buying me an ice-cream cone... Now, I was already clearly eating ice-cream and didn't need any more; I told the Dairy Queen woman who brought me the cone that I was already OK, but she explained the man across the room... I looked at him, he looked at me... I kept eating my personally purchased sundae, with the cone just sitting there on the table. (What in the hell was his wife thinking?) Finally, I finished my sundae and took the cone and left, while smiling at the man on the way out... Then threw it away on the way home 'cause it seemed so weird.
WHAT was that all about?? Well, I think I know what it was all about, but to that extent? A guy with his FAMILY with him? And when the kid already had her ice-cream?!
A lot of ten-year-olds feel awkward and gawky, but I never did at that point, thanks to the Air Force and Ice Cream men. (I definitely felt awkward and gawky in high school, and beyond, but how I was treated at age 10 has stayed with me. Age 10! Even when I'm feeling like shit nowadays, I keep hearing "That's the prettiest girl that I've ever seen.")