March 30, 2009 collar
Being the middle of three little girls (we lost the “little” a while ago), and one of five sisters; and being that our dad left never-to-return when I was 13 years old, I am somewhat familiar with the workings of the female world. Our brother George was still at home when Dad left, but soon he also left for college, then a mission, so there was very little in our lives that spoke of the masculine. I considered myself the “man of the house” in some regards, when we needed one. I was the designated spider killer, and I made myself the guardian of open windows and unlocked doors, though no one ever asked me to be. Pretty much you could hang a bra to dry in the bathroom in our in our apartment and no one would say Boo. So when Dave Connors kissed me on that autumn evening, when we went hiking up Mount Timp in Provo, my feminine world shifted gears in one fell swoon. Three months later he asked me to marry him. Dave and I were engaged for 7 months. During that time I dreamt of being his wife; dreamt not just at night but while the sun was shining as well. He was working at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, teaching Italian, and going to law school. I offered to do his laundry, thinking it would be good practice. The truth was that I cherished handling his clothes. I recall ironing one of his white shirts. I had learned somewhere the correct order of ironing: collar first…out flat… then the yoke, then the cuffs and sleeves with a nice crease down the arm, then the body, then back to the collar for a stiff crease where it folds down. I remember holding that collar up to my face, warm and fresh scented with Niagara Spray Starch. I pressed it to my cheek, laying my head slightly to the side as I imagined his flesh against the cloth. I loved the image of him in his crisp collared white shirts, standing before young missionary boys, speaking in that romantic Italian language, his hair dark and trim, his French-Canadian olive skin contrasting the whiteness of the shirt, his Grandpa Roy’s full lips moving to the rhythm of the words he spoke. Oh he was so beautiful. And such a man. So wonderfully different from the gauzy Jessica McClintock dresses of our household. To this day, his birthday in fact, I think he is beautiful in his white shirts. Now days the collars peek out over the top of his Judicial Robes. And his hair is turning silver. But his lips are still as full and soft and beautiful to me as they were the day they first met mine, there in the amphitheatre at the base of Mount Timpanogos.
Happy Birthday, Love of my Life!