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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Key to My Heart

By Lyn Burnstine

In Ronni's daily blog recently she asked the question, "How did you meet your significant other?" I commented that I had written my "cute meeting" story already and that it was too long for a comment. She assured me that it did not have to be a story of a love that survived for a lifetime.

I was seventeen when I flew the nest for college. It was almost unbearably exciting for me to go from the quiet of a rural existence and a small-town school to the hubbub of activity in a dormitory with a hundred girls. And if I couldn’t find someone there to talk with at every available minute, there was always the music conservatory where I already knew most of the other students through visiting my older sister, June, on campus the previous three years.

A late-bloomer, I never really dated in high school. But there was an upperclassman who had spotted me on my visits and was ready and waiting to pounce on me - and I knew it. Heady stuff for a 17-year-old from the country!

It didn’t take me long to discover, though, that I wasn’t eager to be tied down to one boy with all those to choose from, so soon I was social-butterflying around with a full dance card.

However, I wasn’t always free to date on weekends because my job, for room and board, was to be a “bell girl” at the dorm: to sit at the desk in the entry hall, answering phones - “Good evening, Aston Hall” - ringing each girl’s individual ring (after 50 years I still remember mine) to tell them of a phone call or a date’s arrival, and then signing them out and in.

In those days of curfews and strict supervision, the entries were required to show the name of the escort, time of exit and arrival home.

My boredom at being on duty was sometimes relieved by visiting with the guys who were waiting for their dates. One particular night, I had brought supplies to write letters during the down-time.

For some reason, that night every young man who came in gave me little gifts - one a piece of chewing gum, one a penny, and one a key, saying as he tossed it to me, “Here’s the key to my heart!”

I chuckled over all of that silliness and tucked them away in my stationery box, promptly forgetting them.

A few months later, I came across them, after falling in love with one of those givers of gifts. I said then and throughout our 21-year marriage, “How could I miss? I had the key to your heart!”

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Memories of love are often tinged with such sweetness, even though often in the future the blossom fades and dies, the memories linger on.

Lyn - Wow!

What a romantic. I wish I'd been that creative! - Sandy

Those sweet feelings of love are wonderful...and a blessing to look back and feel them again and again.

Beginnings are often so sweet and tender. Sometimes they don't end that way BUT the beginning memories stay and I think that is a treasure. Thanks Lyn.

A very nice story. I'm glad you were advised to post it.

Thanks, all. Yes, a fun and sweet memory, even though near the end he was passing out keys to his heart like chiclets...(sorry, I couldn't resist)

Lovely essay and sweet replies from all of the above..Isn't it nice that when the love-bug strikes, no amount of advice, etc. can ever stop the flutter and the utter breathlessness of the moments..and so, so nice to see we can arrive at this point in our lives and read a story like this and sigh and say, ah, I still remember...I always want to fall in love again...Nothing like it! Thanks..

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