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Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Nov. 25, 1998

Time to give thanks

By Rebecca Jones
There are so many things I'm thankful for this November, but
if I had to name one specific thing, I'd have to go with
romantic crushes. Don't laugh! I'm so serious. Crushes
are exciting. Crushes are silly. Crushes are just
downright fun.

Some people are trapped in the mentality that they're also
downright juvenile, but those people are idiots.

You can't blame 'em for thinking that way, though- probably
the last time they heard the word "crush" was in 5th period
study hall. But like any 64-year-old will tell you, crushes
know no age boundaries.

Admit it: at some point in your life, you've had one. At
least one. I myself, while never actually falling in love,
have had, oh, about six or seven. If you count
kindergarten, the number would be somewhere around fifteen.
(What can I say? There were a lot of cute boys in my class,
and I was never the kind to think boys had cooties.)

What makes having a crush so thrilling is that you never
feel so alive as when the crushee in question is around.
You can actually feel this gleam in your eyes, the color
rise to your cheeks. People will accuse you of being up to
something, or perhaps want to take your temperature.

One important guideline: keep this newfound infatuation to
yourself if you prefer it didn't become public knowledge.
Rest assured that if you tell anyone short of your parish
priest this secret, it will get back to the crushee. And
not only will the color rise to your cheeks every time you
see him, you'll begin looking for ways the earth might
swallow you up. Trust me- I speak from (oh so bitter)

Another thing that might be worthwhile to remember is that
crushes, while indeed exciting, silly, and fun, are NOT the
same thing as love. Love, as a dear friend once told me, is
when you hold someone's hair back as they're puking.
Crushes tend to stand outside the door and wince. This is
not the most poetic way to describe the difference, but
nonetheless (I think) rather apt.

I left this little adjective out of my beginning paragraph,
but crushes are also unpredictable. You never ever know who
it is that's going to catch your fancy. Well, I never know.
I have one friend who falls for the same
6-foot-tall-dark-haired-quarterback every single time, God
help her. But I think it's safe to say that most people
never expect to fall for who they fall for. That's the fun
of it.

Case in point: in ninth grade, I swooned for this guy named
Lance. When I first met him, I thought, "Shallow end of the
gene pool, anyone?" But he grew on me, almost like a
fungus, until in the end I was absolutely smitten. It was
his goofy sense of humor more than anything else- or maybe
it was his eyes. I can't really remember. (Which brings up
another point- crushes are never as intense and soul-binding
as they seem.) My friends were appalled; where was my
taste? Where was my sanity? But I would hear none of it,
despite the fact that only a few short months before I too
would have stuck a fork in my eye before dating him.

Maybe having a crush is sort of like a rehearsal for love, I
don't know. Maybe it's to get you used to having dreamy eyes
and exasperated friends who, for pete's sake, wish you could
say just one sentence without referring to the wondrous
Bob/Petie/Jake. Maybe it's to prepare you for that night he
pukes in the bathroom.

Because let's face it, it's quite possible that this crush
of yours could turn into something long-term, provided he
feels the same way about you. (If he doesn't, and it still
turns into something long-term, then what you're
experiencing is obsession, and you should run to your
nearest shrink.)

Bottom line, one thing's for sure: you might never know how
ole Bob/Petie/Jake feels unless you screw up the courage to
blurt out to him how you feel. And while this invites
humiliation and an emotional scar as big as this state, it
could also get you invited to dinner Friday night. You
might fall in love, and one day tell your grandkids how, way
back when, their granddaddy was such a big chicken that you
had to make the first move.

Or, you might decide he barely ranks above amoeba in the
personality department, and fall for some new guy,
Barry/Stuart/Dwaine, on Monday morning. He was always
cuter, anyway.

Once more, your life is full of excitement, silliness, and

And isn't that what having a crush is all about?

Giving is better than receiving

Seems to me we're rushing Christmas a bit these days and in
that rush to make money (at least in the commercial world),
we're pushing out one of the best holidays of the

It used to be that Christmas decorations didn't go up until
after Thanksgiving. Now the Halloween masks are barely off
the shelves before the garland goes up. Perhaps we should
move Thanksgiving to after Christmas when the thing many
people are most thankful for is that Christmas is over.

Thanksgiving shouldn't be high pressure. Most of us can come
up with enough money for the food and everything else pretty
much takes care of itself. Thanksgiving is meant to be a
time to pause and count one's blessings. It is meant to be a
time to gather with family and friends and not worry about
whether everybody is happy with their presents or worry
about how it will be paid for. It is meant to be a time to
relax, enjoy some good food and fellowship (and for some of
us some good football, too). And try to forget Christmas is

And perhaps while we are counting our own blessings, we can
even bless someone else as well. The Gleaners are busy
gathering up food for those who need some help with their
Thanksgiving basket (Christmas too) and the volunteer
firemen are just kicking off the Toys for Tots campaign. At
the banks Giving Tree ornaments offer the opportunity to
help a needy area child with their wish list. And in the
midst of it all perhaps we can learn that giving really is
better than receiving. And in giving pass the same lesson
down to our children.

From the editor

There are some events that occur in a person's lifetime that
are so intense that time seems to stop for just that
instant. And if someone asks you where you were when that
event occurred, you always remember sharp and clear.

Such an event was the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy. It occurred Nov. 22, 1963 - 35 years ago and I was
in a dormitory on the campus of New Mexico Institute of
Mining and Technology in Socorro, N.M. I was with a group of
girls talking out in the hall when someone with their radio
on brought us the sad news. We stood in disbelief for what
seemed like ages. The youngest ever to hold the highest
office in the land, Jack Kennedy was the president of our
generation. We would watch the video of the shooting over
and over during the coming days. We would view the
subsequent death of his assassin and vicariously attend his
funeral. But no moment would ever be as defined as that
instant we first heard.

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.