Introspective Adventurer

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

I am not Loretta V…

As a teenage girl, living with a single older father had its challenges. One time I got in trouble because he found a razor in the bathtub, and asked me if I was shaving my legs. I was in ninth grade.

We were living in Oregon at the time, and I hated it. I was going to a strange new school, and I had no friends. The first day of ninth grade, I met a girl in the cafeteria who asked my name. When I told her, she laughed and said her uncle had a dog named Loretta. That was also the school where I was teased for having “chicken legs” because I was so skinny. I wanted to go back home to Michigan.

My dear sister Linda is 15 years older than I am and like a second mother to me. She came to my rescue and told our father that she was moving back to Hart. And she was taking me with her. I was elated. We packed up her car and her three young boys, and headed back home.

That’s when I met Greg. He was two years older, my brother’s best friend, tall and blonde and so sweet. We hit it off immediately and before long we were dating. I was happy and busy with a new boyfriend, school and work.

Two teenagers in love

By the end of the school year, I was living on my own. My job as a waitress was enough for me to afford a small apartment in town. It was also a place for Greg and I to be together, and so we were. There was one problem with that situation though.

When Greg turned 18, it all changed. By then, Dad had moved back to Hart. One day the Sheriff stopped him in town and said they were going to bring Greg up on charges of statutory rape if my dad didn’t do something about us living together.

So being from a long line of young brides, my family suggested we get married. As a 16-year-old girl in love, I thought that was the perfect idea. I made my dress and Greg’s shirt. I picked Queen Anne’s Lace and we put them in jars of food coloring so I could have pretty flowers. And we got married.

We stayed in my little apartment and had friends over and acted like a married couple. But it was slowly falling apart as I finished school and worked, while Greg hung out.

We tried moving to a bigger city, in hopes of Greg finding a job, but he never did. I felt the weight of all of the responsibility on my shoulders and it was too much to bear.

I am not Loretta Vandenheuvel

At 18, I knew it would never work out. And so, I left. I moved to Oregon, and I didn’t look back. I filled out the necessary paperwork, and we got a divorce.

And I didn’t tell anyone for the longest time. I was ashamed, so I kept it a secret.

Until I met Jeff…but that’s a story for another time.




  1. I applaud you!! I’m so sorry you lost you’re Morher at such a young age.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-08-08 at 17:41

      Thank you Debbie. Thank you for reading, for taking the time to share your thoughts, and for your kindness.

  2. Wow. I don’t remember you as young when we were all hanging at your place. You were so…in charge.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-08-08 at 17:43

      Thanks Jon. I have to wonder if I picked Greg so I could be in charge?

  3. I don’t know what ever happened to Greg, but being forced to marry is never a good thing. I have never been a fan of statutory rape charges against young men, when there are only a few years age difference and the relationship ‘mutual.’ I’m sure even given the outcome, it was a blessing that he wasn’t charged. Not sure it would be handled the same today. Too many young boys with arrest records, in my opinion. (and I used that term because girls really do usually mature earlier than they do.) Sorry, I know it’s not a popular opinion, but it is mine and as a mother of boys, I thank God every day that the law didn’t come calling when they turned 18!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-08-08 at 17:51

      I agree Mary. What a silly law that would could have ruined his life. We were just kids, you know? Thanks for reading, as always.

  4. Kathryn Aebig

    2017-08-08 at 18:35

    I didn’t remember you getting married until the 40 class reunion where you were listed as Loretta VanDenHeuvel. I will always think of you as the coolest gal I had ever seen. You remain….the coolest gal I have ever seen.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-08-08 at 18:38

      Ha! You are so sweet. I sure didn’t feel cool back then! Thanks Kathy. I hate that my high school diploma has the “wrong” last name. I even scribbled it out one day. Funny how we let those things bug us. Thanks for ready and sharing too!!

  5. (Hug) I resonated with much of your story.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2017-08-09 at 15:45

      Thank you for the hug….I’ll take it. And thank you for reading and sharing. I really appreciate it, and you.

  6. Wow! I can’t imagine getting married at 16. I was 22 and the first of my friends to be married and we all thought I was so young.

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