The little fuzzy guy in the picture made me think of an old boyfriend with laughing affection.
Back in the early days of high school, I was a zealous journal-keeper. I wrote in every spare moment — which, I confess, included most of my classes. My dreams and fears and every moment of my first relationships were recorded in painful detail.
Roy, then the new object of my affections, was very set on seeing the journal. I was afraid of how revealing my writings were and resisted sharing them for weeks.
But Roy was determined, and finally I caved in. I gave him the notebooks (there were a handful by then) and waited, biting my fingers, afraid of his judgment. Then, wondrously, he returned them with copious notes and comments — all insightful, loving, and gently humorous.
So, 40 years later, when I think of the heart-pounding anxiety of self-revelation, I do so with a smile of thanks for a sensitive young man who respected my feelings and thought, and resisted the easy, glib or careless responses that would have wounded so deeply.
Roy — in spite of the crash-and-burn breakup a few months later — helped shape my belief that men could be thoughtful and loving, and could, indeed, be trusted.