It started out as the same old story.  My parents were of the "Tower" age, as was many of their contemporaries. What this meant was that they believed that young girls should be raised in extreme seclusion at the top of a tower.  Of course, this tower must only have one entrance, and that would be to climb up the unfortunate maiden's hair, and through the single window.  Then, once the girl had reached a suitable age, a dashing young man would be found, given a compass and the general direction of the lucky girl's tower, and the wooing would begin.  The theory was, that this method formed lasting romantic bonds between the guy and the girl, through better or worse, through thick and thin.  That was the theory.

I grew up that way.  After I was born, they hired a professional to take care up me and I stayed with the woman, Clarice, until I was about eight years old.  Clarice did everything for her job perfectly.  She coddled me and comforted me, and taught me that my hair was one of my most precious possessions.  

However, as I grew, my hair seemed to...well, not grow.  It remained only five or six inches long, which was only just long enough for a French braid.  Now, everyone knows that the maiden of this "Theory" must have long hair, otherwise the whole idea is a flop.  How does anyone get to her if she can't pull them up with her hair?  Clarice thought on this problem for a long while, and finally decided that we must resort to the obvious. Instead of a long tress of hair, I would have to lower down a finely made rope.  

So the amended plan was perfect.  That is, it was perfect until the eve of my eighteenth birthday.  Clarice had arranged for a young man to work his way through the dense forest that surrounded my secluded location, and "rescue" me from my plight.  I didn't know this, of course, for it might have spoiled the mood had I been expecting someone other than my caretaker.

She had set the young man in the right direction, with his compass and everything he would need, or wouldn't need.  The one thing that Clarice forgot to check if he had was a sense of direction.  Even with a compass the guy got completely and totally lost.  Clarice waited for the suitable time, and then came as usual, calling to be let it, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your long hair!"  (We still used the appropriate phrase, despite the change in method.)

I let her in, and she looked at me, slyly.  "So, did you have a nice day?"

"Yes, it was quite pleasant.  Just the same as yesterday, though."
"Pleasant, eh?  What did you do?"

"Do?  I did some needlework, and I played with the kittens a little.  Oh, and I also read that new book that you brought me last time."

Now, Clarice was well versed in her profession, and she knew right then that the young man hadn't arrived, and she also knew that I wasn't trying to hide anything.  Quickly she left her food, brushed my short hair, and then left, planning on searching for the buffoon who had let her down.  Perhaps he wasn't a good choice for her Rapunzel after all.

I looked after her from the window, high among the trees.  She had acted so strangely!  I didn't see her again for three days.

During those three days, Clarice tried sending three different young men to find my tower, all without success. The first young man was chased by a mother bear half way across the country, and he vowed to sue Clarice and the bear, when and if he ever got enough money.  The second swain actually found the tower, but he was so unsure if it was the right one, that he left in with an anxiety attack.  The third guy was killed by a bounty hunter before he ever left Clarice's garden.  Apparently he was wanted by the government for embezzling money from a stained glass company where he had been an apprentice.  

So when Clarice finally showed up, she was exhausted and tired and ready to give up.  She had sent a message to my parents after the third guy had been shot, saying that as fond as she was of me, she just couldn't take any more.  Clarice retired not long after, and moved to Bermuda.

So, to make a long story short, I moved back in with my parents.  I didn't have the gorgeous long hair, I didn't have the dashing rescuer, and I didn't escape from the secluded tower in the conventional manner.  I had nothing that any of my peers had, but I was perfectly happy.

1 comment:

  1. I can't figure out how much of this is based on a true story... but it was fun to read. :) I came here from Breezy's blog.


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