Monday, August 3, 2009
Jewel Is My Name
When I was just eighteen and full of myself, I met Frank Rossiter at a Tazwell County, Virginia Social. I ignored my mother's warning and latched on to the well-dressed gentleman when he asked me to dance.
My mother was recently remarried. Her new husband had a way of looking at me that made me uncomfortable. Without being vain, I knew when men stared,but having my mother's husband do it, caused discord and anger between us. She urged me to choose a man and get my own home.
There were plenty of farmers I could have married. But, I didn't want a man who smelled of pig manure or hayfields. When the sweet-smelling gambler came courting, I happily accepted his attentions.
I sold my grandmother's sixty acres and Frank and I ran off to get married. He bought me a new wardrobe, telling me that my clothes were too country and embarrassed him.
I didn't really feel comfortable in the type of dresses Frank chose. Most of them were cut scandalously low and displayed too much of my bosom. Then, besides my attire, he said I needed a new name--we'd call me Jewel, sort of like a stage name. He said, Julie was too frumpy for a wife of his.
I tried to argue, but soon found that when Frank didn't get his way, he flew into a violent rage and used his fists in anger.
I didn't love Frank Rossiter when I married him. I didn't even know him. But, I thought love would grow. I thought he did me a favor by getting me away from the small-minded community I despised. I thought if I did what he asked and tried to please him in every way, things would settle down between us.
I was wrong.