Have you ever seen a multi-colored diamond; one that has blue, red, green, and a tinge of yellow? You may think there is no such thing but I have seen one. As a matter of fact I have one in my possession. I call it my rainbow diamond. I found it 45 years ago and have kept it in my treasure chest penny bank every since.
I grew up with three brothers and no sisters. I did not know the first thing about girls when I went entered school in 1959. In many ways women are still an enigma to me. I had a friend that seemed to be at ease around them and they all seemed to like him. He always wanted to be like Elvis Presley. He took guitar lessons, wanted to take karate; whatever Elvis did he wanted to imitate. I didn’t think my friend was cool at all but the girls seemed to like him. I never felt the girls even noticed me but I always hoped someday I would have my own sweetheart.
We were young and enjoyed every Elvis movie that came to the big screen. I also enjoyed the beach movies with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello (Beach Party, Bikini Beach, and Beach Blanket Bingo). We had a blast going to the Friday night movies in the early 1960’s. We often went to the Saturday morning matinee and watched a bunch of westerns. Movies were more romantic back then, the kind where the hero always gets the girl. I miss the older movies.
As we left the theater one Saturday morning in 1964 I noticed something gleaming beside the sidewalk. I reached down and in the crevice between the sidewalk and the grass was a heart shaped diamond. I looked around and no other person was to be found nearby except myself and my friend.
“Finders keepers, losers weepers,” my friend yelled. “You get to keep it,” he said. I realized it must have been some girl’s necklace. It had a small chip in it but I didn’t care, I thought it was pretty. It looked like a rainbow diamond. I also wondered if some guy had given it to his girlfriend. “Wow,” I thought, “what must it be like to have a girlfriend?” I was only 10 years old at the time but I was wondering if I would ever be so lucky. Some of my friends already had girlfriends but not me. I always seemed to be on the sidelines watching. At the time though, it didn’t matter too much. I always had another sandlot baseball game to go join. I placed my treasure in my jeans pocket and was off.
Most of the time when I stuck something in my pocket I would forget about until mom would find it in the washer, but not this time. When I got home later that day I placed the many colored diamond in my sacred place; a metal treasure chest with a lock and key. It has remained there to this day. I remember many a night going to bed dreaming someday I would have a girl. I also prayed diligently for it. If I ever did find the right girl she would be my rainbow diamond. It would remind me to hope for my own girl someday, my own hope diamond.
Well, the years went by, and even in high school I was still uncomfortable around women. I once took a girl to a Halloween party but was embarrassed to tell her I had to use the restroom. I tried to hold it all through the party. I drove her home about 80 miles an hour wiggling my knees. I dropped her on her front porch, ran to the car and sped off to the nearest bush. I was too embarrassed to ever ask her out again. Bless her for putting up with such a dumbo as me. Terms like dork ,geek and nerd were not used then but I do recall being called dum-dum. Actually, I was a nerd, as we say today, because I was on the chess club at the time. That is another story for another time. On another date, while at the movies I placed my left arm over a girl’s shoulder but was hesitant to remove it for fear she might think I didn’t like her. Unfortunately, it was a three hour movie. When the movie ended my arm was dead numb. I drove home one handed, my left arm just dangling beside the door. Lucky for me dad’s car was an automatic. I was also too embarrassed to ask her out again.
Off to college and guess what? I could hardly even get a girl to go out with me. I had some dates of course, but there always seemed to be checking the other guys out. My roommate was good with women and tried to coach me but it didn’t help. I finally gave up and resigned myself to my studies, occasionally asking someone out. A female friend of mine introduced me one night to a girl that I thought was cute. She sometimes ate with us at the cafeteria. I hesitated to ask her out because I thought she had a boy friend. False assumption, on my part. A whole year went by. I saw her one evening in the library and she took a moment to chat with me. She offered me a piece of gum. I was down on myself as I thought I must have bad breath. I asked her if I had onions on my breath, as I just came from the cafeteria. “No,” she said, “I’m just chewing a piece of gum and was wondering if you would like to join me.” I said, “yes.”
I asked her out a few weeks later. I didn’t have a car so we hitched a ride with some friends and went to church on our first date. We also had pizza that night which was a treat back in those days. Her eyes glistened as she smiled at me in the back seat. She still has that endearing smile. She also reached out and held my hand. I had found my rainbow diamond. The Lord had answered my prayers. I finally had a girlfriend, just like in the movies; One that I could live happily ever after with. She is still my best friend. We’ve been married almost 34 years.
You may say my rainbow diamond is just a piece of cheap glass, but not to me. My hope diamond is a priceless gem, just like my precious wife. Now that I’ve written this I thinking about having a necklace attached to the rainbow diamond. I wonder if she would actually wear it.
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