Maggie (Just a Maggie I once knew)

I met a girl named Maggie, many, many winters ago. She was what you would call a "Show Stopper".  Strangely, despite she being a natural platinum blond, and extremely attractive, or so I was told at the time, I was never attracted to her.  She was a toy, or an object, to most men, especially to a good friend of mine who was her boyfriend.  Maggie knew guys wanted to love her and therefore played her cards accordingly.  I found her quite selfish and self-absorbed, and thus, did not find her attractive.  I felt repulsed by her because I see beauty as something that goes much deeper than the skin.  This sort of behavior turns my stomach.  I found her annoying at best.  Typically, much like a stereotypical blond, she wasn't very smart, although she was quite intelligent.  She was a straight "A" student throughout high school and college, but she was totally blond when it came to everyday survival.  She had a hard time understanding how doorknobs worked, for example, and had no idea what a "car battery" was for.  She thought a car didn't need one, but alas, her car just didn't work without one -- a total mystery, as far as she was concerned.

My friend dated Maggie during the last two years of high school, and then once she attended college, he and she broke up.  By strange coincidence, she went to a college another close friend of mine attended.  This friend and her graduated at the same time.  He told me when she went up to get her diploma, she received a standing ovation from the men/boys in the crowd.  Most did not know her, but they knew a knock-dead gorgeous woman when they saw one strutting across a stage.  Cheering her on gave them hope that perhaps, they could catch her eye, but alas, she was far too self-centered for that.  The only thoughts that went through her head were probably, "Of course men find me attractive".   She probably thought about that on a day-to-day basis.

One day, a few years later, I heard through the grapevine, she landed a job in a small town with a population around 4,000 people.  She was working for a firm that deals with Geology.  No one knows how she got the job, or what her job entailed.  Speculation was that she just put a photo of herself with her resume.  She worked there for about 5 years, or so I was told.

One day, out of the blue, Dave, an old friend of mine showed up at my place of employment and invited me to lunch.  He has a lot of stuff to discuss, mostly revolving his work, dreams, aspirations, what was going on, etc.   Dave was an odd person in his own right.  Never employed longer than 6 months, just long enough to qualify for unemployment insurance, but always able to get that all important 6-month job.  Dave was a very smooth, confident speaker, and never had a problem getting work, but had a number of personal issues that always prevented him from keeping the jobs he landed, even if he wanted to keep the job.  He was usually getting fired, but much of that was planned -- he knew how to get under people's skin, including an employer's skin.  If you quit a job you had a long time to wait before you could collect unemployment insurance, but if you were laid-off or fired, you only had to wait two weeks (the rules have changed since Dave's day).  Most of the time, Dave spent his time sunbathing somewhere with a new girlfriend, almost every other weekend, or partying it up until he needed to find a new job.  I haven't seen Dave for 20 years now, but I suspect, one day, he will walk back into my life and want to go for lunch.  I'll have to pay.

Dave was discussing his latest projects during our lunch together.  Somehow, the discussion turned to a small radio station in a small, far away town.  Apparently Dave knew a DJ at this station.  He laughed and stated out loud, "This guy has been trying to get this knock-dead gorgeous woman who works in his town into bed for 2 over years now, but without luck.  He is totally obsessed with the woman.  That is all he talks about, day or night".  I looked at him and stated, "Well... Maggie has that effect on men".  Dave nearly fell out of his chair.  I have never seen someone who look more shocked than Dave did at that moment.  He was speechless, for at least 2 minutes, as if he were trying to catch his breath.  "How the hell did you know she was Maggie?!" he blurted out in a loud enough voice that heads turned in the restaurant.  I filled him in.

It was just one of those odd coincidences that follows me throughout my life.  I have many.  I don't think that will ever change.

As for Maggie, I heard she married and then later divorced and moved back to my home town where she rooms with a her college friend, a woman she roomed with while attending college.  My friend who dated her in high school keeps in touch with her.  He phones her day and night when he is in town, although she rarely picks up the phone to talk with him.  He seems very hopeful, while I get the impression that she would rather he just left her alone.  My friend seems overly hopeful, despite being married himself, for over 20 years, and has three children.  Something is not right here, but it is not my place to judge.
PastPilot PastPilot
51-55, M
3 Responses Jan 5, 2013

Sometimes people have personalities that defy probing...it can seem like they challenge us to find their inner person...and perhaps they are as uncomplicated as they appear...not everyone has great inner depth....J

Not your place to judge? It seemed to me you judged or at least you assumed Maggie's motivations all throughout your story. Perhaps her depth of soul, mind, and spirit escaped you while you were distracted by her popularity and attractiveness to others. Her lack of common sense doesn't preclude the possibility she had other senses and feelings. Your writing is wonderful. The details and the flow captured my attention but what bothered me was the pull I felt from your writing to judge both Maggie and Dave. Sometimes the truth is what we see is not all there is to know about a person.

Perhaps, but my observations are based on knowing my friend for 40 years and having spoken with her friends and acquaintances over the last 30 years. I think she moved on in life, while my friend still struggles to recapture his past. He still calls her up whenever he is in town despite being married for 25 years and having three children. I suspect my friend is camping out, hoping she will change her mind at some point.

Maggie was vain. She was untouchable. I still remember when my friend tried to kiss her, you would hear a screech from Maggie, "NO!... my hair... don't mess up my hair!". She did this every time, for the few years I saw her and my friend together. If I close my eyes, I can still hear this as if it were just spoken. When I remind my friends of this, it usually get a roar of laughter because most people forget, but they quickly remember. Funny stuff.

Much of my opinion is shared with others who also knew her. She was vain and self-centered. Is she still this way, or has she changed her outlook? Has she progressed spiritually? Who knows? I somehow suspect so beacuse despite her vainness, she did have an inner strength. I am sure Maggie was capable of a full range of feelings and emotions. We are all capable of many things, but like Maggie, we often choose not to express or share these with others. Still, one thing that Maggie have given to all of us who knew her are some great stories to tell at parties. Some of the coincidences I pointed out in the above story, surrounding Maggie, are very impressive, if not touching into the Twilight Zone.

I guess my last sentence was close to a Twilight Zone type ending. Your answer made me think about that a lot and I searched for a similar quote - I didn't find it. I did find a quote by Rod Serling that seemed again to somewhat fit your story and your response as I understood it. it seemed to be an expose on a misunderstood attractive woman whose fate you don't know but whose foibles you and others continue to use to entertain:

“For the record, suspicion can kill, and prejudice can destroy. And a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own, for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.”

I wouldn't say we misunderstood Maggie. Having known her for over three years, there was little to misunderstand. She was not a complex individual. Whether she grew as she experienced life is the only question I have in my mind. I may find out next year May because my friend will be in town again for his daughter's wedding and I will be able ask if he has been keeping up with her. He almost always talks with her when he is in town.

<p>Well,some women attract men like magnets,I certainly was not one of those! She seemed to have had everything under control,but her marriage did not work,she finds herself alone,a lot of genuine love has no doubt passed her by,so in a sense she is getting her karma so far.</p>