Part 25 in the series. The year is 1982.
1982-“I've Never Been To Me”
Sung by Charlene
* Note: This song expresses, more than any others, how I felt about myself up until I met Lance. Thanks to my dear friend Scarlett for letting me make this selection for this year.
When we last left Lance and Sheila, it was Christmas eve of 1981, he had proposed marriage and I accepted. But I did forget a minor detail...you see Lance waited (in what seemed like an eternity to pass) for a minute and then uttered these words....
“Would you not tell anyone about this until I have told my parents?”
“Okay.” You see, I believed he meant in the next week or so.
Cut to around 10:00 Saturday, February 22nd morning. Finally, after nearly sixty days, I had built up his courage enough he was going to have the “talk” with his parents. I was not getting any younger, and I wanted to tell my family and friends, the ones who had seen me through a growing period of my life.
It was amusing...for a while, but it was a form of validation for me. I proved I was not just some commodity, to myself, but it was now time to allow myself the rewards of an entire realization of a process I wanted to shout to the world about. I always wanted a wonderful man, one who was kind, gentle and who loved me for me. Now I had one.
You know the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going?” Well, after he left, I was so antsy and impatient I figured I would do something to help keep me calm, I went fishing.
The hours flew by, and as you can see, I caught one, as documented by the family fishing next to me. By the time I got home around three that afternoon I figured he would be home. Lance’s car was still not in the carport. I could not believe it, something must have gone horribly wrong. Now I was worried.
As I walked back to the bedroom the telephone rang. I ran to answer it, expecting it to be Lance. "Hello." It was his mother, “Sheila?”
I swallowed hard, steeling myself. “Yes. Hi Sue.”
“Welcome to the family sweetheart.” I was so relieved. I know I broke into laughter, especially when I thought of my poor Lance and what they must have put him through. He was their oldest child, and even though I knew his parents liked me, did they want me in their family, with all they knew about my past. Now I had my answer.
Lance got home soon afterwards, apparently he and his dad had been discussing family business, and he had just lost track of the time. It would not be the last though.
We had dinner with a few friends that night, and now we could announce our engagement. The ring was something he had gotten on his own, after I vetoed a Princess Di sapphire style we had seen one day while looking at styles. After Tiffanys, we went down to have a late breakfast in the “Pretty Woman” hotel coffeeshop where we sat in a booth and I looked up at the booth across the isle and found myself gazing into Paul Newman’s incredible blue eyes. (Yes, I wrote this in my appointment book.)
Work was getting busier for me, I had a new agent, and was also meeting with my two writing mentors, Lou Moorheim and Milton Gelman, trying to get something I had written off of the ground. Hollywood was proving to be a very tough nut to crack, Inside Info or not.
I came up with another concept for a series, “Military Brats”, and wrote out the proposal for this also. Meanwhile, my friend Sully had notified me about something else, which had happened recently, in Australia.
In the Australian outback, the daughter of the owners of the camp (where we had hunted), Peta Lynn, had miraculously saved their worker Graham from the clutches of a thirteen foot long crocodile. She was only twelve. The story so fascinated me I asked Sully to speak with her parents, Wendy and Rob, to get exclusivity for me, with regards to her story. He asked me to draw up the necessary papers of rights, and promised to get it to them. Lance helped me out with this.
In the meantime, I used my contacts to pitch the story (I called it A Crocodile Day) to a relatively new television show called, “That’s Incredible”. It was a show devoted to recreating amazing feats of humans and animals. I was sure they would be interested, and they were. I spent a great deal of time going back and forth with the show, getting the story, along with all of my copies of the media attention in Australia to them for pre-production. It would turn out to be an ongoing, fluid project, as I discovered that the Queen of England was going to go to Australia and would be presenting Peta with a Gold Medal in September. “That’s Incredible” was going over to recreate the attack and then film Peta being presented with the gold medal. She would be the youngest recipient to ever receive it. It did eventually make it on air, I got a coveted silver and black "That's Incredible" jacket, and a videotape. I think I got paid a stipend too, merely a token of the work I had done to get it that far. Hey, that's Hollywood for you.
Going through my appointment book for 1982 the memories of what was important to me is quite revealing as to what I deemed important enough to make a note of. One such note was on July 8th; Bob, Lances father, said I looked beautiful. Perhaps it was noteworthy for more than one reason, but the notation I have said, “First voiced positive anything”. In nearly three years of dating and then living with their son, this was the most personal thing he said to me. From that moment on, I had more confidence. It is so odd to me now to think of how little things had such a huge impact on me. In the coming years the relationship I forged with his father would be very special.
Lance and I finally decided to get serious and set a date for the wedding. We had knocked about some different dates, one in May, but we finally, in September we decided upon June 19, 1983, at the family beach house. Time to begin planning it, even though it would be simple and a small affair.
About this time, for some unknown reason, I got called on to do some print modeling. I now had a few weekend photo shoots on the books. It gave me the power to make a decision; deciding I'd had more than enough of my long, frizzy hair. I made an appointment with a top stylist in Beverly Hills, Alan Edwards. His shop was on Rodeo Drive, and though pricey, I decided I wanted to have good hairdo for the shoot. This is my all time favorite photo from the day.
Lance and I were having fun as an engaged couple, he even went along with me when I signed us up for doing the pilot of a television show, “Engaged to be Married”. The host was Bob Eubanks, who has a delightful sense of humor. The show was to be a relative of the wildly successful, “The Newly Wed Game”. It never did make it on air, but I learned some things about my future husband I had not known. Actually by now we were able to answer all of the questions like; In what drawer does your fiance' keep his underwear?
The year wound up in a flurry of parties and weekend getaways; Palm Springs, San Diego, and Mexico. Our last year, being single, was going so quickly, but filled with loads of fun and love.
Only six months until we would be man and wife. My son really liked Lance, in fact, when he would come to visit I noticed that besides Sully, he was the only man Mike hugged. To a single mother that is a stamp of approval unlike no other. I had made the right decision for sure. I was going to get to be a June bride, and I would revel in it. You are all invited.