Tuesday, March 6, 2012

PHYLLIS JEAN, MY FIRST BEST FRIEND

WHAT DO YOU TELL YOUR MOM WHEN YOU SEE YOUR BEST FRIEND'S MOTHER ENTERTAINING SAILOR GUYS AFTER WORK?

DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST BEST FRIEND? DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT YOU LIKED TO DO TOGETHER AND WHAT YOU PLAYED? PLEASE COMMENT BELOW AND TELL US
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     My  first girl friend, my first best friend, I  remember, was Phyllis Jean. She
and I walked to school together every day when I was in the second grade in
Clinton. She lived across the  street from the six story brick hotel where I was
 living with my family.
     She and her mother lived in a cheap, frame motel across the street that was
convenient to her mother's work. Her  mother was a waitress at the hotel and our
mothers met shortly after we moved to our temporary home in the hotel.
     Phyllis Jean's mother invited me to their little one room efficiency living
quarters to play after she got home from work. Mother invited Phyllis to
visit me at the hotel. Sometimes we walked up town a few blocks to the
picture show.
      Since she and I both had constrained living quarters our play was somewhat
 limited to our choice of activities. But we did choose to role play, which is
an important step in child development, according to both psychology and
sociology..
     Whom did we choose to emulate? We chose  secretaries. My mother was
 not a secretary nor was phyllis's mother. However, In the 1940's women's roles
were somewhat limited and secretaries were glamorized in the movies. Outside
 of being housewives,  waitresses,  nurses and maybe teachers, women had
few careers to choose from.
     Phyllis and I set up tables for make-believe desks and found hotel stationary
and pencils to write with at the hotel.  We took turns taking notes, as the other was
 the boss.
     One day after school I walked across the street to play with Phyllis Jean. Her
mother was already home from work. Her mother's girlfriend was visiting her. We
were gong to  play office, but  realized that we wouldn't have much space.
Shortly after I arrived, two sailor guys paid a visit too. By then the room was
 really getting crowded.
     They were so happy to see Phyllis's mother and her friend, because they  gave
them a lot of kisses.They had worked all day and I think they were tired because
 they laid on the bed and exchanged more hugs and kisses. One of the sailor guys
 reached in his pocket and pulled out a hand- full of change and gave it to us and
 told us to walk up the street to the dime store and buy whatever we wanted and
we could take as much time as we wanted.Boy did that make us happy because
now we could buy some real office supplies to play office with.
     When we got to the dime store we took our time finding what we wanted
 to buy. We bought receipt pads, tablets, pencils, erasers, and whatever struck
our fancy. And  we walked up and down the aisles, making sure we hadn't
missed anything. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, an opportunity
we never had before.
     When we got back to Phyllis's her mother's guests were gone and her mother
was asleep.
     I went back to my home at the hotel, across the street. When mother saw me,
she wanted to know what Phyllis Jean and I did. I told her we just played around.
I never did tell mother what actually happened. Mother had told me earlier that
some people at the hotel said ugly things about Phyllis's mother, but she never
believed them. For some reason, I was afraid she might not like what we did
and saw that day.
     I loved Phyllis Jean. She was my best friend. In fact, she was my only friend
and I didn't want anything to happen to our friendship.















1 comment:

  1. Hi Janine - what a poignant story - and having to hide it from your mother must have been hard. I saw your comments in Linked In about leaving with a question. I think that would have been a good way to end this one. Definitely an interesting little read.

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