My Cousin With Unknown Cat

I've pondered whether to write this blog as it's invasive into my cousin's life who recently passed away.  She was my cousin Linda.   I have this photo of her as a youngster saved to my i-phone as my screen saver.   It makes me feel better somehow. 

She was a decade or so older than me so I didn't much pay attention to her as a young child except she passed down her comic books to my brother and me which was a pretty big deal out on the farm passing those long, hot summers.

I remember my father telling me a story about how she'd been invited to prom and her mother had taken her to get a nice dress, and then her father waited up with her, waiting, waiting, for the young man who never showed up to take her.  Hearing the story devastated me, so I can only imagine what Linda went through to live it down.

It shaded her life I have found out.  When I got with my other cousins after Linda's death one of them had been visiting her regularly in the hospital as she was being treated for inoperable cancer.  She told me Linda had mentioned to her about the young man who'd asked her to prom and then never showed up.  She'd said her life had never been really happy.   I wonder where he is?  Long dead?  Did he ever have a pang of guilt about that trick he pulled?  Was it a bet?  Or did he just get cold feet?  It was a small school so they had to see each other after that. 

Linda's upbringing was very similar to mine I assume with the exception she got the comic books brand new.  We were sheltered and kept close to our farm homes.  She was shy and while being very well read and eventually class valedictorian she didn't go onto college but a business school.  Her chances of meeting a different young man in school were nixed by her going to an all girl business college and then taking a secretarial job at a high school. 

As I think back I think I was reacting to her prom story when I got a head's up a classmate I had a crush on was going to ask me to the Homecoming Dance.  It was my senior year, and he was a junior and on the football team.  We had home room at the same time or something like that.  I guess he'd told a classmate who tipped me off that he was going to ask me so as I walked toward government class that day and saw him waiting outside the door I freaked out.  I went up the down stair case and snuck down the up staircase to avoid him completely.  I guess he got the hint. 

Why did I clutch?  Maybe it was I knew my Dad maybe wouldn't go for the idea of me going out with him?  He drove a van!  God only knows, but I hated myself for doing it but was incredibly relieved.  It truly must have been a reaction to my cousin's being jilted on prom night. 

Ultimately, I didn't go out on a date until my senior year in college.  It is what it is.  I supposed if I hadn't seen a counselor I'd have ended up like my cousin.  But I forged a wonderful relationship with her after moving to Austin, and we would get together and go on outings together.  We went to the 70th Anniversary of D-Day celebration at the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas.

I suppose the upside for being jilted was that she was never sexually harassed either.  She never put herself in a position to find out what it would have been like to be felt up, verbally sexually accosted, those sorts of things. Or if it ever did happen to her she kept it to herself.  She was private that way. 

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Comment by JMac1949 Today on October 18, 2016 at 1:36pm

The twisted psychology of that deliberate humiliation is a devastation as powerful as physical harassment.  Fortunately I was part of a crew that refused to play the silly ass prom game:

The Anti-Prom: A Party at the Andrews and a Very Long Weekend at Ga...

Comment by Dalriadane on October 18, 2016 at 1:47pm

My, my that was quite a story, JMac.  It was like I was there -- except the part about your date with the twins.  lol.  Thanks for sharing with me. 

Comment by Zanelle on October 18, 2016 at 6:29pm

Sure you can, Terry!  Date your wife!  

Thanks for this great post, Dairiadane.   I was on the decorating committee for my prom and I was leaving as the couples were coming.  That kind of spelled things out for my life.   My youngest daughter had three guys take her to her prom and she was crowned queen and gave me her crown and I went over to the bar and danced with it on...while she went on to the all night almost lethal parties.   Teen age years are hard enough without harrasment from some asshole like Trump.  

Comment by nerd cred on October 18, 2016 at 6:43pm

I did not go to any proms - and at a girls' school I would have been the one doing the inviting - and have never missed or regretted it.

But this isn't all about prom, is it. The initial reason I didn't go to prom was my default which is that no one likes me anyway. That's something I've had to be aware of all my life - that I might be wrong about that - and I have to work at things. But processing that through having to ask a guy with a car (most guys I knew didn't have one) because I didn't drive til 21 and no way were my parents going to help out and this was way before the use of limos. On top of that anguish, what boy can I burden with the cost of renting a suit and for me the cost of tickets and a dress and shoes and dinner and where do we go after and I'll probably just end up throwing up on the dress anyway but I don't want to drink either ... (I quit drinking for a couple years in high school) ... gaack - I'd rather work but I told all my friends they'd better stop in at work on their way and show me their dresses. They didn't.

So I wonder if your cousin's date standing her up was an intentional cruelty or did he break his leg or something and did you ever find out?

Comment by Dalriadane on October 18, 2016 at 6:44pm

Ha, love your response to Terry, Zanelle!  Thanks for reading Terry and Zanelle.  Gee, Zanelle, I went to prom and sat with the other stag girls -- is that a term.  I knew my place after I told the one potential boy "No."  That was sweet your daughter gave you her crown. 

Comment by Dalriadane on October 18, 2016 at 6:49pm

Nerd Cred, no I never found out, and I'm guessing he never explained anything to my cousin.  She was too shy to demand an answer. 

I can remember at my senior prom I rode around with my best friend and her boyfriend and got to watch them make out.  So at least you were gainfully making money while I was getting grossed out. 

Comment by alsoknownas on October 18, 2016 at 7:26pm

Laughing too hard at the comment stream to jump in...

Comment by nerd cred on October 18, 2016 at 7:33pm

I don't think there was any stag promming in my day.

AKA are you laughing at me? What's wrong with you? OR with me?

Comment by Rosigami on October 19, 2016 at 2:00am

I skipped my prom. Some of my friends went, and others didn't. The boy I was seeing had gone the year before with an "older woman" so he wasn't keen on going again. It was a relief- all my spare dollars went to art supplies, records, and books and prom was ridiculously expensive. 

Your poor cousin, though! Your story implies that her being stood up as a young girl caused her to live her life without any further risks where men were concerned. That's really too bad. I always thought they (men) were worth it.    

Comment by Dalriadane on October 19, 2016 at 4:31am

Yes, Rosi, she had great parents who perhaps should have pushed her out of the nest which never  happened.  I had thought her older cousin and her boyfriend who's her husband had tried to fix her up on dates and go on double dates (I swear my Dad told me this, too) but that cousin said no, that never happened. 

On another note, I'm missing my work friend who had a nervous breakdown trying to take care of her dumb ass husband who didn't take care of himself and had to go to dialysis 3 times a week and her trying to balance her 40 hour work week ...  We worked together for 28 years so everything is weird right now.  She married her high school sweetheart who turned out to be quite abusive.  Gee, who's life would be preferable?   But I think she's still voting for Trump.  Linda, on the other hand was trying to get an absentee ballot sent to her so she could vote for the first woman President.  It didn't get to her in time.  We were the two liberals on that side of the family. 

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