Word Count: 380
The Recklessness of an Ordinary Life
By Maggie Robertson
Doris and Virgil were childhood sweethearts. They grew up on the same street in a small town in the Midwest. They had the same babysitter, a teenager from the next block over. They were in kindergarten together, then together again in second, third, and fifth grades.
In High School, Virgil played football in the autumn, basketball in the winter months, and baseball in the spring. Doris joined the cheerleading squad and never missed a game. They went to the school dances, were Homecoming King and Queen, voted “cutest couple” at the Prom and in the yearbook. Warm summer evenings they could be found at the local drive-in.
Doris and Virgil both graduated in the top third of their class. Doris went on to get a secretary job at the bank, Virgil started full-time at the Variety Store, where he had worked summers during high school.
They married when they were sandwiching 21, and children were not long in coming. Two boys and a girl blessed their home, a modest 3-bedroom house on an average lot in the same neighborhood in which they were raised. Doris left her job at the bank to raise the children. Virgil became manager at the Variety Store, and Doris had supper on the table every night at 5:30 when he arrived home.
Their children all did well in school; Doris and Virgil never missed a game or a concert. All three went on to college, one for business management, one for engineering, and the youngest for paleontology. Doris joined the Garden Club and the Ladies Auxiliary; Virgil became a partner at the Variety Store. Every summer they rented a house to spend a week at the Outer Banks with their children and grandchildren.
When Virgil retired at age 65, the whole family was in attendance. It was a fine dinner, with heartfelt words from his co-workers. He was presented with a find gold watch. Doris was honored for her years of community involvement.
Doris and Virgil spent their retirement years tending their garden, doing crossword puzzles, and looking forward to visits from their grandchildren. They cherished their comfortable secure life together. They took no risks, they took no chances, they had no extraordinary adventures.
So rare, and so reckless, to live such an ordinary life.