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Hats Off††† |††† by
Column dedicated to sharing news about community activities, service projects, and other events that are important to the life of the residents of our "mountain."

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published on 11/02/2006

Hats Off to . . . The Days of My Life

By staff writer

A young mother of four small children seven and under, I found myself immersed in the apartment life we chose to live. My husband left for work before dawn and the oldest, a son, got picked up by the school bus at 7:30 am. The rest of the day was mine Ė or so I thought.

My middle son was four and the third son was one year old while our daughter, the youngest was a newborn. I had been pregnant for eighteen months or pretty close to that as the last two were a little over eleven months apart.

My day began with bottles, breakfast, laundry and cleaning. But I rarely if ever got that far. This is because our apartment was considered ďgrand central stationĒ for all the other apartment mothers. Sometime around nine or ten in the morning they would begin to descend upon me and I welcomed it.

It kept me from doing the housework; they kept me company; and they kept me from being homesick for my family four hundred miles away. They were my friends and we shared a lot in common as all our husbands worked hard and all our children went to the same school and all our babies were the same age and doing the same things at the same time. We did crafts, cooked exotic recipes, drank Pepsi or Coke depending on who supplied the drinks for the day, and watched soap operas all day.

The back door, which also served as the front door as all the apartments faced a courtyard was the main door and opened onto the kitchen and stairs; one then passed through the dining room to the living room which had a sliding glass door which served as the front door to the courtyard. When my husband would open the back door, the other women and their children would quietly exit out the sliding glass doors to their respective apartments.

My husband saw them but chose to ignore them, marching up the stairs in his three-piece business suit and coming down in blue jean cut-offs and a t-shirt and tennis shoes and no socks. One friend said he was like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde, going up the stairs as one man and coming down as another. I was never quite sure which one she thought went up and down as her husband who worked for IBM stayed dressed in his black or navy suit, white shirt and tie all day long. I often suspected he slept in his suit.

There came a time when we needed a little extra money so my husband suggested I baby-sit some of the children in the apartment complex. That didnít work out when my four year old snuck out the house with the three-year-old next-door neighbor I was watching and crossed the street to the apartment complex swimming pool. No harm done other than my son being grounded for the rest of his life.

But one day I had an interview with a man who was a friend of one of my apartment buddies. He worked with her husband, (not the IBM husband) but an accountant (like my husband). He and his wife and five year old son had just moved to town and she had a nervous breakdown so had moved back to their home town leaving him alone with their son.

They arrived late one afternoon around dusk. It was very cold outside and dark as the clocks had been turned back as they do in the fall season. I was nervous and asked my two friends to be there with me in case the baby needed help or the kids got out of hand. The man knocked on the door. I opened it to find this tall handsome man wearing a blue sweater and jeans. He introduced himself and his son who immediately asked me for something to eat.

I looked at the man and couldnít speak. He was so good-looking I lost my voice. I walked to the refrigerator and took out something and handed it to his son and wasnít paying attention. I couldnít focus; I couldnít think straight. The man was totally knocking me off his feet with his good looks.

My two friends didnít talk and were laughing when the man left and I couldnít understand why until they told me what I had just done. For one I gave his son a raw hot dog, a peanut butter sandwich, and I opened the windows in the apartment and let in all the cold air. Needless to say, I didnít get the babysitting job. But not for the reasons one might think.

It seems this man had a dream and it was to go to New York City and be a star. And not just any star but a soap opera star on One Life to Live. In real life his name was Wayne but on the show they called him Dewayne and he played the guitar and sang and was a love interest of Andrea Evanís character. I read one day in a soap opera magazine an interview she made. Asked what it was like working with her new co-star and she said, ďItís the funniest thing. The man is so darn good-looking I canít seem to concentrate when Iím around him.Ē

I closed the magazine and said, ďI know exactly how you feel, Andrea.Ē

Today, my children are grown; Iíve lost touch with those apartment buddies; and I donít watch soap operas anymore. But occasionally when I find myself distracted and doing something so totally out of character, I am reminded of those days when the biggest problem I had was what soap opera to watch Ė Days of Our Lives or One Life to Live, and I laugh at the absurdity of it all and thank my lucky stars that it happened Ė those apartment days of my life.