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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dear Connie


When I was over at Schrode's house in Marion on Friday, he pulled out these 1st or 2nd grade letters (click on the images for larger views) from his Pleasant Elementary School archives. He and I - and just about every other boy in the class - had a huge crush on Connie Vanover, and we laughed so hard we had tears after reading these priceless pieces from memory lane:

Letter #1

"Dear Connie
I now you love Matthew N. I now you Don’t like me cause Matthew N. Told me. I now why you don’t like me cause I’m ugly. And you like Matthew cause you think He’s hand some. And you like his drawing I now you hate me so just spit it out. So Please will you love me to?

I now you were going to give matthew a valentine card but not me you think I’m ugly and I have not even One girlfriend cause I’m Ugly and I’m a cristin."


Letter #2
"Dear Connie
I now you love matt and I now you think I’m ugly so just spit it out. I now you and Amy wanted to skate with him and I now you want to give him a valentine’s card. And you like matt cause he’s handsome. I will do anything if you would love me. And Matt said he dose not like you. He said he like a nother girl.
[hmm... notice how Schrode's throwing me under the bus already at the tender age of 7?] Please, Write back. If you do give it to Brian Davie.
From Michael Styer"


Fast forward to my letter to Connie today:

Dear Connie,
I speak on behalf of all the boys in Mrs. Schroat's 1st grade class and Mrs. Peacock's 2nd grade class when I tell you that you unknowingly consumed our every thought and dream and even in first grade we planned our future adult lives and families around you and just knew it was meant to be. But alas, our love for you did not survive, nor did yours for us. Unfortunately yours died for us long before we hoped it would. You'll be happy to know life has somehow moved on for us since elementary school as we assume it has for you (although I myself can never know for sure as I haven't received a hand-written correspondence from you since the break-up note you asked Leigh Ann Cox to give to me in 3rd grade).

In all sincerity I would like to thank you for shaping my life even today. Because of you I asked my grandmother to teach me how to draw so I could impress you with pretty pictures. While that plan only panned out for the short term, today I am still drawing 'pretty pictures' of new products for TI and creating 'pretty pictures' for people through my photography.

Because of you I went home at the end of 4th grade and cried until my parents finally agreed to buy me a trombone just so I could be in the jr. high band and sit next to you in hopes you would like me again. While we had fun, 3 years of blowing out hideous notes from arguably the most awkward and uncool looking instrument in the band got me no closer to going out with you again. Don't feel bad, though, as I still enjoy listening to music today. Besides, the trombone section sat directly across the room from the clarinet section which came in handy and gave me a great view when I eventually transferred my crush to Kari Ihns at the end of 6th grade.

Because of you I learned how to swim so I could hang out with you all summer at Brookside pool. Well, maybe that's a stretch... I think I already knew how to swim, but I did learn how to hold my breath for 90 seconds under water hoping you would think I was cool. That skill hasn't really impacted my life to this day in any meaningful way, but hey, it helped me stay under water longer to get from base to base when we all played ball tag in the pool, and that was cool. I'm sure it somehow contributed to a happier, well-adjusted childhood.

And because of you I became interested in sports with the intent of awing you with my skills on the field and in the gym. Honestly you share credit here with all my friends and my brother since they played sports all the time and I wanted to be part of it, and I inevitably would've picked this up even if I wasn't trying to impress you, but it makes for a partially true addition to this drawn out, unnecessary letter. Anyway, sports were a huge part of my life and I still enjoy throwing the ol' pigskin around today, so... thanks for that.

Connie, thanks for helping in some small way to make me, Schrode, and doubtless several other Pleasant school system grads the men we are today. I wish you blessings and abundant prosperity in everything you do.

Sincerely,
Matt Nicolosi

P.S. Thanks for picking me over Schrode in 1st and 2nd grade. If nothing else, I'll always have that to hang over his head.

4 comments:

Jen said...

I'm sorry-this is absolutely hysterical!

Please PLEASE locate Comnie and (maybe not send what you wrote) let her know about the crushes. At the very least, you'd make her blush and feel very special. Something every girl needs now and again. I

I haven't checked in for a few weeks-had to scroll back and see that you went 'home' - looks amazing!

Anonymous said...

As author of the "Dear Comnie" letters, I feel that I must address a few issues.

#1 - As a first grader, I must admit to being quite the "snake" when it came to one Ms. Connie Vanover. I cannot deny by my own written hand that I certainly was throwing Matt "under the bus". Matt ALWAYS wooed her with his talented drawings. Crap, if I only learned earlier how to color within the lines!
As first graders, many of us (myself included) knew that no Connie Vanover would ever play into our future, but Matt....he certainly had a shot. I am SO glad that my mom somehow kept these letters from EVER getting into her hands!

#2 - Be sure to ask Matt about the hot air balloon that his family owned while we were in elementary school. He used that line one time on me to come to his house! :) He
also spent the night at my house once....and brought his OWN food of
Chef-Boy-ardee (sp) ravioli and twinkies to ensure my family would feed him.....

#3 - Connie was every young boy's dream girl. I actually saw her during the spring of 2002 at the infamous Southland Mall here in Marion. She was with her husband (all PHS grads scream, "boo!" now).
Bummer.

The last I knew she was living near Philly actually. The irony is I now (or is it "know" :) live just three houses down from where she grew up. Maybe she will come down and visit me if/when she comes back to visit..... until then I will practice my drawing skills!

- Schrode

Tish (Myers) Miceli said...

Jason, I found your blog looking for Micheal's e-mail by a Yahoo search. You may not remember me, but I bet your brother does. I laughed out loud when I read these letters from Michael to Connie. Having been on the recieving end of his affections, I can say that he was no less intense in his emotions when he was a sophomore in High School. He was a sweet and cute guy w/ a crush on me, so I gave it a try....but being 2 yrs. older, I just could not think of him as anything more than kind of a little brother.

About a year or more ago I went on the Pleasant High School website and was suprised to see that he and Nate Dendinger were both teachers there. Guess someone really special has to do that job as it is definitely not for everyone. God bless him!

I've got another funny story about Michael but I wonder if he would be offended if I shared it. Oh, what the heck, he's a happily married man and upstanding citizen, I might as well give you a laugh. I was dating Matt D. at the time and it was the summer after we had just graduated. Without my knowledge, Matt called Michael and told him that I was totally drunk and taking a shower and encouraged him to come over to take a look. (I have to tell you that I NEVER would have encouraged such a joke had I known Matt was going to do this.) Well, within about 5 min., Michael is ringing my doorbell and of course I answer it fully clothed and fully sober. By then, I was informed about the joke by my sick boyfriend. Anyway, I think he was trying to see what a good Christian boy would really do in a situation like that.....I think Mike failed the test. Ha! Ha!...but who blames him? It was quite an embarassing situation for Mike, and I felt bad so I never told him that I knew why he had come over that day.

Anyway, looking back it does seem really funny. I have to tell you that I think your pictures are AWESOME. You really have a talent. If you are ever in North Carolina, I would love you to take some pictures of my family. And tell your brother I said "hi!" and he better come to the next class reunion.

Tish (Myers) Miceli

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh.... Tish Myers..... yes, my HUGE crush from my sophomore year of high school. Ouch, it pains me to know that she saw me as her little brother.... Man was she a great kisser though - that is kind of sick that she was kissing someone she saw as her "little brother" isn't it?????

Wow, I totally don't remember that story of Matt Dendinger calling me about her being "drunk and in the shower", but, alas, it does not surprise me at my 16-year-old reaction (maybe I have repressed tha embarassment now....er....yeah)
Ahhh...memory lane... so fun to travel down. The weird thing is now NATE D. lives in Tish's old house!

Thanks Tish for the reminder that I am a sinner saved only by God's grace (and at the expense of Matt D's laughter...)

blessings to you and your family in NC,

- Michael