Believe it. There was a time I could not communicate in whole words and sentences.
That didn’t stop me from letting my parents know what I liked and didn’t like.
I liked the television show, EMERGENCY! It aired from 1972 to 1979. I was born in 1972, so I was very young when I watched this show. One time I remember getting so angry I missed a broadcast that I cried.
Another time, I felt betrayed by my mother because she switched the channel to watch her favorite telenovela, Mama Campanita.
The reason I loved this show—that smoky-eyed brunette in the forefront, Randolph Mantooth. I had the biggest crush on him. I remember being in diapers and loving this man!
Fast forward to me at fourteen. It is a hot and humid Chicago summer night. I am sitting at the top of my stairs, minding my own business and everyone else’s on the block (that’s what you do in the city). Something to my left catches my attention and distracts my vigilance.
All of a sudden, from my right line of sight, this youth in brown corduroy pants, white Chucks* and a white sleeveless undershirt strolls past the front of my house. Doesn’t even turn my way to saludar or give me the typical Mexican head nod to acknowledge my meager existence.
Like an idiot, I fall in love.
Love at first sight.
I continue to spy on him. He stops two houses west of mine and steps onto the front landing. He pulls out a key, places it into the keyhole, unlocks the door, and enters my neighbor’s apartment building. New kid on the block!
Here is a picture of that youth:
The “youth” is my husband of plus twenty-five years, Jesús Magaña, or Chuy (as all Jesuses are nicknamed in Spanish).
Here is a side-by-side of Mantooth and my hubby:
The similarity is uncanny, isn’t it?
Since the show ended in 1979, I had not seen a picture of Randolph Mantooth or a re-run of the show until one summer day in 2008 in El Paso, Texas. I stopped at my mother’s house to pick up my boys. I walked into her living room, and she was watching EMERGENCY! on her big screen television.
There he was, my first love, in high definition television and he looked handsome. I was ecstatic. I confessed to my mother that Randolph Mantooth was my very first crush. She looked me dead in the eye and said, “Looks just like Chuy.”
I couldn’t believe it, but she was right. The resemblance is not identical, but it is very similar. I not only found my very own version of Randolph Mantooth to love but married him as well.
This experience causes me to believe that our preferences, our attractions, gustos, or whatever you want to call it, are innate. We are born with them.
I was an educator for many years before trying my luck at writing. Throughout those years I had the privilege of both teaching students and learning from them. I observed a few students display their preferences, knowing that when they are older, they may not follow the norm and fall in love with whom they are expected. I pray that they are able to follow their hearts like I was. But it brings to question, are we predetermined to love certain individuals? What is it in our nature that attracts us to certain individuals?
Is it fate?
God works in mysterious ways and as long as we abide by one of His golden rules: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, I see no reason as to why we can’t love whomever we want.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
By the way here is a side-by-side of my hubby and me:
*Chucks are Converse brand All Star high tops tennis shoes.