Wouldn't It Be Something(10/11/16)
Maggie was a beautiful woman who had many guys chasing after her when she was single. She had those classic high cheek bones with hazel eyes that seemed to cover half her face. Her hair was thick and a very deep brown and cascaded over her shoulders. In addition to her beauty, she was a gifted writer, an accomplished pianist (she won first place for classical piano in the State of Illinois when she was in her second and third year of high school), and highly intelligent. Yet, she often doubted herself, especially when it came to our relationship. Perhaps it was because I never “fell all over her or let her walk all over me,” as she once said. But I think it was more than that.
I think Maggie idealized me from the time she was a teenager and we were both in the wedding party of my brother and her sister. She would occasionally see me when visiting her sister or attending family functions and I believe she saw me as that “older” boy who was cute and different from other boys she had known. Many of the guys that Maggie dated while in high school were more interested in things like cars, sports, and having a good time. None of them cared much for education and never went to college. I was different. Although I was also involved in sports, I loved to read, write poems, and appreciated other music besides rock and roll. And – I attended and graduated from college.
After Maggie died, I had lunch with an old friend of hers. When I asked her why she thought Maggie fell in love with me, she answered, “All the guys we used to date when in high school were losers. They may have been good looking and had fancy cars, but that was about it. You – well, you were different. You were older. You graduated from college. You were smart. And you had a good heart. Next to all the other guys, you looked pretty good.” Well, that wasn’t the ringing endorsement I was hoping for, but it helped me understand some of the reasons Maggie had a crush on me. That “crush” was the reason Maggie began writing letters to me - and it was through our letters that we came to really know each other and fall in love.
Maggie openly expressed her doubts about the probability of the two of us becoming a couple.
Following are excerpts from several of Maggie’s letters in which she honestly expressed these doubts.
Dennis, I’ve always felt unworthiness on my part in regards to our relationship. You’re not just any guy who is exciting, physically attractive, intelligent and fun to be with. You’re something special and it will take more than just “any” girl who is exciting, physically attractive, intelligent etc. to make you happy.
I doubt if I am that someone special. I’m not fishing for compliments, nor am I degrading myself. Perhaps this is all for you to decide, but feeling the way I do will always affect us until (I should say if and when) I am convinced that I could be something special.
I nearly had a heart attack before reading on after you stated that your letter would be unpleasant. I thought for a moment that you were going to tell me it was all over. I guess that bit of bad news will save itself for another month when I feel things couldn’t get worse.
What really frightens me now is that I’ll be a different person in your eyes when you see me than in my letters.
It’s one thing to have a guy interested in you and it’s another to let him really get to know you.
I’m almost certain that you’ll be disappointed just as you were with the beauties I’ve watched you pass by.
What respect could you possibly have for me? I write letters and all I do is feel sorry for myself, or degrade myself! You probably think I’m a real reject.
If you did realize I was referring to you, than for heaven’s sake please don’t build my hopes up only to send me crashing toward a heart break. (This was Maggie’s response to my telling her that she shouldn’t be anxious about the future).
(Maggie had sent a letter seeming to ask me to make a decision regarding our future together and then wrote): It seems as if I’ve asked you to make a choice, but I’m not sure if that’s what I want. Perhaps if you did make a choice, I’d lose you.
So many things you’ve said and meant without even spending as much as one evening with me, and still I feel that I need more, much more than that.
I feel now as if the only way I can truly be happy is to be sheltered and protected and given my own way, petted and never opposed.
I know it’s a terrible letter, but it’s the way I feel, almost naked because you’ve learned my innermost thoughts.