Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

Our own reality

When I was about 11 years old, living in the small town of Vernal, Utah, I hatched an elaborate plan to get a brand new 10-speed bicycle. Bicycles were the mode of transportation for my best friend Kathy and I, and I desperately wanted one of the new, sleek bikes, but I come from modest roots, and knew the expense involved was not an option for my parents.

My plan was simple. The annual Jerry Lewis telethon was coming up, and each town held their own competition to raise money. The first place prize was a small black and white television. That wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted the second place prize, which was a ten-speed bike. I didn’t even have to raise the most money, just enough to take second.

All I had to do was go door-to-door through my neighborhood and get pledges for the town’s skate-a-thon. Then I had to skate for 24 hours straight, and the bike would be mine. I didn’t tell anyone I secretly wanted the bike, and when the time came for the skate-a-thon I was sure I was in the running for second place. My family, being ever so helpful and wanting to help me win first place, came in with some late donations while I was skating, elevating me to first place status. Although the first place winner got to be on live t.v. and travel to Salt Lake, I was disappointed to have lost my dream bike. I think I told my parents at some point of my disappointment.

I traveled to Salt Lake City and made my appearance on the telethon, and was a minor celebrity for about five minutes. I took my little t.v. home and set it up in my room, but we had strict t.v. rules in our home, and I was only allowed to watch it when my parents said I could.

I don’t remember how long I sat with my disappointment before my grandparents came to visit from Salt Lake. My grandfather was known for “finding stuff alongside the road,” and lo and behold, when they showed up at our house he had a  brand new ten-speed bike with him. A gift for me for doing so well in the skate-a-thon. I couldn’t believe my luck. I never really loved the t.v., but I rode the hell out of that bike for many years.

For forty years, every time I tell that story, I have marveled at my good fortune.

Recently, while my parents were in town for a visit, I told that story to Robert, sure he would be impressed with my good fortune as well. I had never considered there might be more to the story, as I, like everyone else, remembered only my own reality of the events.

It was only now, forty years later, that I heard my parents’ reality of the great skate-a-thon of my youth.

It turns out, after learning I wanted the bike instead of the t.v., my father visited the local pawn shop and pawned one of his guns, then in turn purchased a new ten-speed, which he had my grandparents bring to town and give to me. As parents they wanted me to be happy, but didn’t want to diminish my accomplishment of winning. So, for forty years, they let my grandfather take credit for giving me the bike.

As I go through life now I realize that we are all entitled to our own reality. Even though we might live through the same experiences, we all see them differently.

June 21, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments