Poor Mrs. von Tripp. It seemed that the universe had conspired to make her life miserable. I speak in the past tense because Mrs. Von Tripp is no longer with us. But in her absence, I realized that her story is too ghastly to remain untold.
Like any person, she had been a little girl once. Everybody’s been a little girl once.
She had been loved; disappointingly so. That horrid experience of her early life left her with a scar that forever altered her perception of love.
She had been ordinary in school. So miserable was her life that she was forgotten on picture day and never made it into the school yearbook.
Seriously, like, every year.
No record – except her diploma with its bizarrely written letters – proves she had a formal education.
Not to belittle her, von Tripp was decent in school. She was a human, after all. She had the power to understand, and what a power it was. Legends are written about people who understand; but sadly this is not a legendary story but a sad one. Von Tripp never understood her power and never harnessed it. The saddest thing in the world is misunderstood power, unused power.
She’d been the proto-average student. She was quiet and, throughout the years, she mostly went unnoticed. High school is a nightmare for most children, but for von Tripp it was the most unrewarding experience one could ever have. She was a mere observer. Her observations drove her into a deep, heavy solitude; she would drag its weight across her life.
This, coincidentally, was the period where she experienced her first contact with love.
He was a handsome boy. Fair, with a subtle tan and a square jaw that would put a cube to shame. He was her dream. She’d dreamed – that sad little girl – of a life of joy and smiles, laughter and hand-holding where for once she could look at someone and call him her own. Someone who was a shoulder to her, someone to mature with, and someone to hold her down and do stuff to her.
Like shave her legs.
The boy with the subtle tan had other thoughts, though. Thoughts of how to keep that eternal tan and how to forever have teeth as white as snow. He knew of her existence only once and that was when he tripped over her in 9th grade. For that one instance in her life – for that brief nanosecond before the Tan held onto his friend’s shoulder – von Trapp existed. Someone had noticed her for a small portion of time.
The Tan had tripped over von Tripp.
That was her greatest adventure of that time, her eye of the storm. That year she was due for her first grown up May Day dance. Do I need to elaborate? Do I need to write about this horror? It’s like a bandage, the sooner you get rid of it, the better. The pain – although momentary – may be too much for my frail heart to bear. It is too sad. The word ‘unfortunate’ may be overused by now.
She got the Mumps two days before the dance. And so, von Tripp’s fate got tripped again. The dance was missed and von Tripp’s cheeks inflated to the size of a terrestrial satellite. They shone with the trickles of a million tears, shredding and tripping her heart.
She sunk deeper into the despair that was her life.