I really, really need to catch up on some work today, so I thought I would post an old Reflections piece that was originally published on my self-hosted blog February 18, 2006. In addition, this reflection piece is quite similar to what I’m looking for in Coffee Chat participants. Though you can interpret the prompts any way you wish (write an essay, nonfiction or fiction), this might give you an idea of the sort of things I’m hoping to accomplish with the Coffee Chat program. It’s fun, and REWARDING to remember (and confront) parts of our past – and then share them with one another. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Questions to help me remember the past –
What was your favorite pastime as a child? Did you prefer doing it alone or with someone else?
I remember being really big into my Barbies. I won’t even tell you what age I stopped playing with them, that would be too embarrassing. Suffice it to say that I was old enough to keep quiet about it. I loved dressing them up. I loved making up scenarios and putting them into all sorts of crazy situations. I even made up entire soap operas with back histories and future episodes, etc. I loved dressing them funky and making my own fashion statements. It wasn’t so much the dolls that I loved it was the whole imaginary world I created. I loved making up stories even then, only I used the Barbies to bring the stories to life.
After I finally accepted the fact that it was weird for a teenager to still be playing with dolls, I discovered books. I’ve always read, but the first time I recall really getting “into” books was with the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. These books also coincided with the dorky TV show that used to air. Shawn Cassidy was Joe Hardy and I had the BIGGEST crush on him! I couldn’t get enough of those books. They are pretty hokey compared to what’s available in todays books, but I suppose they weren’t any more hokey than the Harry Potter series (though I will admit, I love Harry Potter).
I didn’t really get into romance novels until after I graduated from high school. I do remember staying up all night, quite a few times a week, reading a romance novel. I would start it after work, about dinnertime, and wouldn’t put it down until the wee hours.
I played with my dolls by myself (my sister sometimes played but I would get frustrated because she wouldn’t abide by my imagination and I would kick her out of the game. How dare she try to use her own imagination! *grin*)
I was rather a loner growing up. I had friends, some even good ones, but it never bothered me to be alone and curl up with a good book. I suppose you could say books were my friends growing up.
Getting back to the romance aspect of the books I read. I’m older and wiser now and accept the fact that the romance theme of these books was rather unrealistic. Men just don’t act that way. Sure, they have the ability to be romantic, but not on the level that these books demanded. I think in a lot of ways, reading romance books growing up skewed my perceptions of relationships in general. It’s no surprise that I didn’t really have any serious relationships until I met my husband and by then I was ready for a serious relationship. The men in my past always failed to live up to the fantasy men in my romance novels. Was that unfair? Certainly, but as I said, my view on romance was skewed for a long time. Even after I got married it affected my expectations and it took me a long time to realize that the problems I imagined in our relationship was because of me and really had nothing to do with my husband. Once I realized this, I was happier, he was happier and we had a better life together.
Reading books is great and should be encouraged, but it’s important to step back and take a dose of reality and realize that life is not something we can make up – it’s real and our happiness depends on the choices we make.
*steps down off her soapbox*