Hello lovely people! Right now, I really want to take a moment and set the record straight. I hate that my relationship was memorialized like it was because it was not the reality for me. And I really want to let you all know that my life was not as tragic as it seemed.
I was a sweet young girl. Quite naive to be honest. I had lived my entire life in the same place, same area, same city, same house throughout my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. I got joy from communing with nature and showing honor to our home and my life.
While my family life was not the best, but I felt at peace with who I was. One day, I fell victim to comparison thinking. It became so difficult to be happy with my life even though I truly was.
Messages were sent out to those who were more socially engaged regarding a huge party at the house of one of the more affluent families. Because I really didn’t engage with a lot of people, I never received an invite. At first, it didn’t bother me, but as the event drew near, I began to have an interest in actually going.
I decided that I was going to make my own dress and crash the party. I love to sew. So, I made my own dress in my downtime. When I finally decided to show my stepmother and stepsisters my creation, it was a beautiful disaster.
My stepsisters, twins, frequently fought over frivolous things. This was their entire life. So, when I presented my creation to the family, my sisters began fighting over who would look better in the dress. In the course of their battle, they accidentally ripped my dress and it fell to the floor. Please keep in mind that I said I loved to sew, I never said that I was good at it.
I was not happy about the whole thing. I ran up the stairs and my stepmom and the twins went on to the party. It sounds mean, but, as I said, I was not happy, and I may have said I didn’t really want to go (<~huge lie) and I wanted them to have fun. I was a bit upset, and I told them to have fun, but the truth was that my heart was broken because I really wanted to go by the time the day of the party arrived.
Most people know that things weren't great after my dad died, but I really did want them to have a good time, but I also wanted to share some of that time with them. The twins constantly vied for attention from their mother on a daily basis. I loved receiving attention from her as well when I could get a free second between the twins. So, the time that I spent with my stepmom was not often or long. As we got older, the twins were conditioned to seek attention from their mom, but I had learned to embrace and truly appreciate the moments that I did have no matter how brief or infrequent those moments were.
The night of the party was going to be my attempt to help soothe the old wounds and hopefully begin to repair our relationship. However, that didn’t happen.
After sulking for a bit, one of my friends showed up at the house to help cheer me up. During the course of our evening, we decided to play dress up. She helped me get glamorized, and it truly lifted my mood. We chatted for a moment or two, but she asked me if I really wanted to go to the party. At the time, I really thought that I did want to go. So, she encouraged me to get a ride and go. I really wanted her to go with me, but she was less sociable than I was.
The ride wasn’t great, but the overall experience was pretty grand. The driver was a little strange, but I got there safely and got a good laugh because he really was humorously odd. The house was beautiful. I don’t remember ever seeing anything so beautiful. The lights, the decorations, the energy, everything was perfect.
I made my way into the house utterly undetected. At that moment I realized that everyone was enjoying the party - laughing, dancing, talking, and enjoying the moment. This boosted my confidence and allowed me to maneuver through the crowded space like I was on the VIP list. I loved this newly found confidence. It allowed me to talk to people without feeling judged. I was finally introduced to the caterer because I had told someone that I didn’t socialize a lot. The caterer shared that he felt the same way and that he attended these events as part of the staff to help him engage more, but be able to be away from the crowd.
After we talked for a bit, he decided to introduce me to “Charming”, and I have to say that he was very charming (extremely handsome, as well). He was so kind and quite knowledgeable about so much. We had a couple of cocktails and danced a few times. We spent a lot of time just talking. I was enjoying this new experience.
I really lost track of time and realized that it was almost midnight. This is truly my first big adventure, and I didn’t want to risk becoming too comfortable. I began to panic a bit due to the time and the sense of calm that I had experienced. I told this wonderfully present man that I really did need to go. I explained that I needed to get up early to get some things done. He said that he hated to end it all but he understood.
I went to summon a ride back to the house. It turned out to be the same driver as before. So, all in all, it ended well. However, as I got into the car, my shoe got caught in the door and fell off. The driver didn’t know and began driving off…and to be honest, I didn’t care about that because I had the best evening of my life.
The next day, people were talking about “the girl who lost her shoe”. While it was true, it kind of triggered me to be a little withdrawn.
My bickering sisters did not really mingle as much as they had hoped, and really spoke highly of Charming. They shared that they wished that they would have lost their shoe so they could be the talk of the party.
While I enjoyed the evening, I really liked being back in my own routine. It was really calming to engage in my daily rituals. They gave me a sense of accomplishment and joy.
The talk went on throughout the next several days about the girl who lost her shoe. It began to become a bit of a joke for me already. All I could think was, these people had nothing to really talk about more exciting than a girl who lost her shoe. And nobody cared less about the gossip that surrounded the girl who lost her shoe than the girl who lost her shoe…me and me.
Finally, one day, Charming showed up at our house. He was still looking for the girl who…me.
When he showed up, he carried the shoe with him. My stepmom recognized the shoe right away. She indicated that I should come down and join them as they all sat and visited. While he shared his story, my stepsisters were bickering between themselves so much that they never even paid attention to the style of the shoe. They just argued back and forth about how they would love for a man to be so interested in them that he carried around a shoe and talked about it constantly. They each tried on the shoe in hopes that their feet would fit, and they would become part of the history of the gossip fest. They had huge feet compared to mine. They obviously knew this, but they kept attempting in jest. It was actually funny to watch.
Eventually, I decided to join them in the living room. Charming looked at me inquisitively and asked me if we had ever met. I told him that we may have met once before, but I didn’t get out that much.
The twins began speaking to the group finally and told me to try on the shoe. I refused at first, but everyone insisted. It was then that the twins realized who owned a pair of shoes just like that. They looked at me interestingly as I slipped the shoe on my foot. My stepmom then insisted that I go get the matching shoe and come clean about the whole situation. I complied. I retrieved my other shoe from the closet. Charming laughed so hard when I walked out with both shoes in my hands.
He asked me why I hadn’t come forward earlier. I told him that I really didn’t seek that type of validation. I enjoy my level of self-validation, and that this type of validation served me well over the years.
He told me that he has been looking for someone that was self-sufficient and confident in their own lives to build a relationship with. He said that is the reason that he spent so much time looking for the girl who lost her shoe.
We briefly dated, and finally rushed off to get married. Initially, it was done as a goof, but it was comfortable.
The whole town turned out for our impromptu wedding. People talked about our relationship like a fairy tale. The truth is that the love was mutual. We were best friends, but things change.
We still talk on a regular basis. In fact, I was the “best woman” at his wedding to his current wife. His wife is wonderful and we have forged a great friendship as well.
While Charming is a great friend, we were not romantically connected. I loved my minimal life and he was managing the family business. He was successful. I was too. However, our loves did not allow us much energy to even begin to build what he has with his current wife. They are so happy, and I am happy for them. How could I not be?
My first love was nature, and it still is today. The stories that have been told are very interesting, but so many nuances were missed in the final draft of it.
Charming and I are great friends. We have not been together in more than a decade. His wife is a delight, and their kids call me Auntie C.
We did live happily ever after. However, we each found our own definitions of that. The shared respect that we developed has been a great source of gratitude and strength.
My husband loves spending time doing things with them as a couple as well. He and Charming are frequently involved in projects together. Their bro-ship is so sound that my husband became a zoning specialist to help support small businesses and the ranching community simultaneously. Our kids are pretty great, too. All of our children are surrounded by love and acceptance every day.
So, to sum it all up, let me just say that I love my life, and we all did live happily ever after.
I am a very laidback woman. I am a Licensed Certified Social Worker, and I have been in practice in the fields of mental health and substance abuse for over 15 years. I love what I do and I have a passion for helping to end the stigma associated with mental health.