It’s always nice to be called beautiful from a friend or family member. It’s a ego booster because most of us especially in our late teens and twenties has a thing or two about their image they see in the mirror.
Most young women fixate on any tiny flaw they think they have. My daughter who is fourteen complains her hair is not long enough and an occassional zit will never go away. She thinks a little baby fat is ruining her life. My daughter who at age 14 can apply makeup like a professional makeup artist and can straighten her hair so perfectly , thanks to watching beauty video bloggers on YouTube , thinks like most teens that being beautiful on the outside is all people notice. She will learn this lesson just the way I did.
I started to obsess on being beautiful when I got my first job in a posh North Shore Boutique. The lady who interviewed me immediately noticed my outgoing personality and hired me on the spot. The new boutique opened a few weeks later and I was a size 8 and felt obese because everyone else was a size 2 or 4. To make matters worse I had to wear the store’s clothing and barely nothing fit me. When I was working I also had to stare at my myself all day because the store’s walls were completely covered in mirrors. My confidence was at a all time low.
A few weeks later my boyfriend who just transferred to Syracuse University sent me a letter telling me we should see other people. Of course I thought he wanted to breakup with me because I was not as beautiful as the girls on his campus. Thats when I took matters into my own hands and lost 30lbs just in a few months.
Suddenly, I was getting attention and was being called “beautiful” by my co-workers and even complete strangers. It was a “high” I never experienced.
My boyfriend came home that Thankgiving and noticed immediately how much I changed. He asked me to go with him to a club to meet his Fraternity friends who I heard from a girlfriend were a bunch of spoiled popular assholes . My boyfriend obviously wanted to suddenly show off his till now invisible girlfriend.
The next night as soon as I entered the small popular hangout in the north shore town of Roslyn, I started getting looks from most of the guys. My boyfriend was so proud to introduce me to his Frat brothers who made comments to him like how did get such a hot girl like me.
My boyfriend was elated as we left the club and as we walked to the car he said to me “All my friends thought you are so beautiful and so do I.” Then he added as he was about to open the car door he said “I love you.”
He never uttered those three little words to me before. In fact , it was the first time any guy told me that he loved me. I suddenly felt my heart sink and held back my tears. It was at that moment I realized being called beautiful doesn’t mean anything if it comes from someone you don’t love. I broke up with him a week later.
I grew up that night and realized being called beautiful by somebody that loves me for who I am inside and out is the only person I will believe.
And a short while later I found “that” guy .
I first talked about Jeff, my first real serious boyfriend in my post “A Summer Love.”
It was obvious Jeff had many unresolved issues when I entered his life including, his parent’s divorce and learning his mother was now sexually involved with other women.
Then add on the pressure of transferring to a new college and lastly dealing with me and what to do with our relationship as he prepared to leave for school late December. Jeff and I decided not to totally break up with each over but we also decided it would be okay to see other people if we chose too. I also introduced him to a co-worker I became really close too while working with her at a upscale north shore boutique. This girl was also transferring to the same university as Jeff. I knew she could introduce and help Jeff find friends since she was the type of girl, who could find the most popular desirable group of people anywhere she went.
Well she gladly offered her friendship to Jeff and as I predicted she introduced Jeff to the most popular fraternity on campus. He rushed the frat and endured the crazy hazing rituals and moved into their frat house. The problem was the guys in the frat mostly came from money had fancy cars and expensive recreational drug habits.
Jeff got caught up in their lifestyle to the point that he stopped going to classes and used tuition money to fuel his growing drug habit.
When Jeff’s dad found out about he was not attending classes he pulled Jeff out of school and he was forced to come home.
When Jeff came home he was different. He seemed angry all the time and he was in a very dark place.
We still spoke and got together once in a while but I was involved in new relationships and eventually Jeff moved on too.
It was right after graduating Hofstra University with a BA in Communications/Journalism when I bumped into Jeff at a popular north shore club. It was over a year or so since I last saw him. He and I started talking and I noticed he was in a very bad mood and was cursing non stop.
I wanted to get out of that club and away from Jeff. He was acting scary.
I walked out of the club and to my parked car and Jeff followed me.
At that point i said to Jeff, Do you want to get something to eat and talk?” I felt like something was really wrong with him and wanted to try and help him.
He replied, “I just wanted to walk you to your car and say goodbye.”
I thought ok, and hugged him and gave him a light kiss on his cheek.
What he said next would later haunt me for the rest of me life. He said, “Cheryl, I want a real kiss goodbye.”
So I let him hug me tight and give me a long kiss on my lips.
That was the last time I would ever see Jeff.
The next evening Jeff committed suicide by cutting his wrists and sitting in his running car inside a closed garage.
It turned out I was the last person to see him alive. Jeff was 21 years old.
“I will never forget you and the sunshine you brought into my life.”
In my previous post I mentioned at the age of 18 I met Jeff at a party and he became my first ” serious” boyfriend. Okay I have to admit here he wasn’t my first lover. I lost my virginity the previous summer while staying in the Hampton’s with somebody I barely knew except he was cute and had a red corvette. He didn’t even know I was a virgin we were both too drunk. Looking back i was embarrassed to admit to my “cool” friends I was still a virgin.
Do I regret that night? Not really, except I cringe till this day whenever I here the song by Prince, “Little Red Corvette.”
When Jeff and I made love for the first time in the bedroom of his North Shore Jericho house I was not drunk and it felt like my very first time.
I always felt like a little slut whenever we went back to his house and bumped into his divorced single mom who usually was entertaining another lady I noticed as we ignored them and went upstairs. It became obvious Jeff was going through a lot of pain that he hid from most of the world and always “seemed” happy and
carefree. In other words he was just like me in many ways. How ironic?
Jeff was still had severe unresolved issues when his father. a Coca-Cola executive suddenly left his family almost penniless when he ran off with his secretary a fews years prior.
His mom worked full time at Ace Hardware as a store manager in order to support Jeff and his older sister, Jen, who he was really close too.
It was the 1980’s so we didn’t even talk about the fact his mom became a lesbian. It was clear to me this subject was taboo to Jeff.
Jeff was a body builder with the hugest biceps I ever saw . a talented swimmer and diver who had so trophies that decorated his small bedroom. Jeff like me was working as a lifeguard the summer that we met.
Jeff loved to come over my house and got along so well with my parents and family. He used to joke to my father that if he married me could he work for him in his very prosperous corrugated box and shipping supply company. I felt great that summer spending so much time with Jeff and I knew we were meant to meet for a reason….
Growing up I had a few minor hook-ups mostly when I had a little too much too drink at a club or a party. I basically spent most of my teenage years observing and listening to my popular girlfriends telling me every intimate detail about their boyfriends.
I learned to be a good listener and even offered my advice if they asked me. I wasn’t ever bitter or jealous of my friends who had boyfriends because I knew I my time would come when boys would start to notice me.
The summer before I started college I worked in a camp as a life guard during the day and at night went to many parties where teens from many local north shore camps would meet up in a local club. One night I went with my close friend “Karen” to a small club that somehow survived the post disco era. My friend karen ,who like me had never had a “real” boyfriend , spotted this hunky dark haired guy who really wasn’t my type. She must of caught his attention because he was walking towards us and karen got all excited. OMG she whispered, ” he is so hot and I think he is going to ask me to dance.”
Then he approached us and introduced himself to us. His name was Jeff and he was from Jericho. Then he asked us our names and I let Karen do all the talking. Then the strangest thing happened, Jeff asked me to dance and not Karen. She gave me a nasty look but for the first time in my life I put myself first and spent the rest of the night feeling like a princess at her first ball.
Karen however made quite a few nasty comments about Jeff on the drive home. “He’s never going to call you any way” she said.
That’s was the moment I finally stood up for myself and replied, “It’s not my fault he was more attracted to me than you!”
The next day Jeff came over my house to go swimming in my pool. I answered the door confidently in a white bikini. “WOW! was Jeff’s response.
After years of feeling like a ugly duckling I finally became a swan.