If You Never Dated a Felon, Well Then …

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Susan never dated music legend David Bowie (or so she says), but here is his 1976 mug shot from the Rochester, N.Y. police department after he was arrested for felony marijuana possession. RIP David Bowie.

By Susan Dromey Heeter
Joyful Musings

There is something so wonderful about growing older – confidence, wisdom, stories of old boyfriends.

Yesterday I sat with some old – and beautifully seasoned friends and then one mentioned her daughter was going off to get her MBA at the same institution as my 1985 boyfriend.  Suddenly, I returned to 1985, returned to that institution – and just as suddenly, the doors opened for stories and lore of boyfriends from the past.

Susan Dromey Heeter

And laugh? In a ten minute conversation, I howled.  It’s joyful to go back as a silver haired mother, a woman with a mortgage and husband.  And this week’s Joyful Musings is about celebrating those pasts, changing those heartbreaks to laughter, transforming memories to moments of joy by which to giggle hysterically over our younger, more innocent selves… 

When my friends and I talked of boyfriends, one mentioned the one who called the night before his wedding to declare his deep love for her.  This, of course, prompted questions, curiosity.  He did end up getting married that next day but, what a wonderful story – the idea that “He STILL wanted me” is lovely to think about.  

Another noted that her old boyfriend is now a felon.  In my opinion, if someone does NOT have an old boyfriend who is a felon, well, something is amiss. Those were the most fun boys around, were they not? 

And this conversation led me to think of those boyfriends to whom I am not the one that got away, I am, mercifully, the one who was not asked to stay.  I’m sure we  all dodged a bullet.  And while I am not a felon – yet – it’s somewhat reassuring to think I’ve landed right where I am supposed to be – with my wonderful Midwestern Kalamazoo hubby – calm, staid, kind. 

But those years of dating? I would not change them for the world.  We all need every experience to bring us right to this very moment.  I was at a graduation party a few weeks ago, the mother of one of the graduates pointed to her 17-year daughter and said, “I think she and her boyfriend will get married.”  And, I thought, wait – not so fast – where is she going to get her stories? Her experiences? Her felon?    

When I mentioned this comment to another friend, she remarked that her parents started dating when they were 13 and are still happily together. I suppose young, early marriages can work out.  

She herself shared that her first love dumped her and dashed her dreams of travelling up the ladder with him as the corporate wife. She now is married to a man not climbing the corporate ladder but travelling the academic route.  And to see them together is to witness beautiful, young love.  And, I suspect, that one who let her go may go the way of a felon – at least I hope so in order that she has one in her repertoire.  

And may you, too, Joyful Musers celebrate your pasts,  your own memories. And if there is no felon in your past, well, there is still time, my friends, still time.

Enjoy your final week in June, your memories, your days of growing in wisdom and years…and muse joyfully that you’ve landed exactly where you are supposed to be.  

 Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters.  Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal  in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.


For more information about InDepthNH.org, which is published online by the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism, contact Nancy West at nancywestnews@gmail.com or call 603-738-5635

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