I took a poll from among my faithful and kind readers. You told me you want to know more about when I first met John, and more stories of Morocco. Here is Part I of I think three or four, let me know what you think. More?
I was twelve when I first saw him. He was standing in the foyer of the Castle Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye in his U.S. Navy dress whites. Six-two, hair like black silk, eyes so blue they could have been taken from the depths of the North Sea. He had a twisted scar running down the corner of his right cheek. I thought he looked like the embodiment of every hero in every myth I had ever read; and then he turned, and I recognized him. This is the man I would marry. This was the man who had always been destined for me; albeit apparently he had decided to be born a bit early. He was thirty-two years old.
I think we need concede up front I was not your “normal” twelve-year-old. I had grown up in a solitary childhood with only servants, nanny, and governess for play, and old men for company (old when you are twelve is quite unlike the definition when you are fifty eh?). I had already traveled three continents and lived in cultures as diverse as Paris and Lhasa. I may have missed out on mom, dad, big brother sam, a dog named spot, and the house with a white picket fence, but I had a castle complete with dungeon to explore and spiritual teachings from a man who traced his incarnations back to the third Dali Lama. Many, many years later my own child would ask me, “Didn’t you think your life was strange?”.
The answer being , “No it was my life, to me that was normal.”
“But didn’t you ever want a “normal” life. Like everyone in my class at school wants to live in a castle. Did you ever want to live in a regular house?”
“Actually yes I did. I remember I went through a time when I thought the grandest thing in the world must be to live in a little cottage with a regular family, but I got over it. The more I learned about other people’s “normal” lives, the more grateful I was for mine.”
The terms of my life made it not as shocking perhaps that I would come to such a decision concerning my future husband at such an age; but then I don’t know perhaps it is normal for more people than I know, or mayhap it is genetic, as my daughter began dating her husband to be when they were both thirteen – a little behind, but it was another century after all.
For the next four years I knew I had no chance as a “girl”, given the whole child-bride issue; so I would dazzle him with my brains! I did this, of course, by picking a fight every time he came to the castle – can we tell I am a full blooded Scot? No matter what side he took on an issue, I would take the opposing side – just so I could show off. His condescension did not aid in the banking of my temper; fortunately he came to realize I considered conversation a blood sport. It did not aid in his coming to see me as a possible romantic conquest.
The year of the ‘big change’, going from fifteen to sixteen; he was nowhere to be seen. I lost my buck teeth to the advancement of dentistry, the hairdresser tamed my frizzy mop into romantic curls, and I got a body – a real grown-up body with a butt and some breasts. Very exciting stuff that was.