By Janet fears
When your young and a teenager, the next important thing after boys and clothes is looking forward to summer vacation. Dad always packed the station wagon, and off we would head to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. We had a cabin there, and every year we would go there for the summer with my annoying kid brother Richie, and my three sisters, Jackie, Jill, and Jeanine . I didn’t mind to much, it was a way to get away from the city, school, and those stuck up popular girls who always seemed exclude me . I guess I was what you would call a tom boy.
I love to climb trees, dig for rocks, and hang with the guys. My friends call me small fry, but my real name is Jamie. You’ve probably already caught the connection that all our names start with a J. All the women in my dad’s family names start with a J. There’s aunt Joan, aunt Judy, and aunt Janet… someone got hooked on the letter J, and so here we all are!
It’s hard being the youngest girl with three beautiful sisters to compete with. I got none of the brains like Jackie, or the long shiny black hair like Jill, nor could I sing like a songbird like Jeannie. I was only fourteen and a fish out of water., loaded with freckles, skinny, and wore thick rim glasses………. a true olive oil. Dad says my sister all use to look just like me… but I find that hard to believe…. and it brought me no consolation. I spent most of my time at the lake , throwing pebbles in the water and daydreaming of becoming beautiful, just in case my dad was right. It was on one of those days that I saw him, I guess I should say that my sisters saw him too. He was the new lifeguard dad said that had been hired to replace Pete who enlisted in the army. Pete was nice and much older, while this guy was a real hunk. Dad called him Dave, but my sister Jeannie called him a Greek God….. something right out of a novel in college literature class. He had curly black hair, loads of muscles, a tanned body , and a big chest with ripples all across, he was like no other guy I’d ever seen…… nothing like the boys in high school that I hung around with. Suddenly the beach became my sisters home, and their nights became filled with bubble baths, facials, and schemes of how to make Dave notice them. There was no way I could compete with them even though I stuffed my bra with toilet paper, and painted my lips and eyes with moms finest cosmetics. Instead I only ended up with a sunburn, saggy bra, and sand between my toes. Mom said I was being foolish, and she was right, I was thinking about what she had said by the lake that day when Richie came by throwing stones in the water and acting like a kid, pulling on my ponytail, knowing of course I would chase him, and I did right into the water. Richie couldn’t swim although dad had him taking lesson at the local YMCA. I watched him thrashing wildly around like a fish, then go down. I jumped in after him…. It was the last thing I remembered , until I woke up in a lip lock with Dave the lifeguard. He was kissing me…. at least that’s what I thought at the time, until dad ruined it all by telling me it wasn’t a kiss at all but mouth-to-mouth recitation to save my life. As I looked up into everyone’s faces I saw the envy in my sisters eyes…. they sure wanted to be in my place…. me little olive oil…. sharing a summer kiss with the man of their dreams. It felt good to talk about that lip lock. I had accomplished in one day what they had been trying to do all summer. Were all grown up now but whenever we get together….. I bring up that summer kiss with Dave just to see their faces , it’s priceless………..that memory will remain with me forever !
But memories remain the same !