In celebration of ‘True Story’

In this conclusion to a two-part peek into my childhood reading choices, we’ll discuss the periodical, “True Story.”

As long as it’s framed in the context of a soap opera, a 1980s’-era miniseries, or a Douglas Sirk movie, I love a good melodrama.

During my tweens, nothing provided me with more juicy melodramatic goodness than “True Story.”

By the time I figured out the stories contained about as much truth as a “National Enquirer” article, I had quit reading them due to a decline in content. But there was a time when I waited with growing impatience for the mailman to deliver my monthly dose of heartache.

On the expected delivery day, I volunteered to retrieve the mail. I had waited a whole month and there was no way I was going to sit back and wait as my sisters creased the pages or smudged them with peanut butter.

“At Last I Know What Belonging Really Means” represented my favorite true story. The photograph that accompanied the confession showed an anguished woman hugging a man in a T-shirt. As I stared at the photo, I thought, “This poor woman endured an abusive childhood, but at last she’s found love. Lucky her. From what I can see of his obstructed face, he’s a cutie.”

That story proved to me once and for all that happiness never lasts. The manipulations of the woman’s abusers/family led to the death of the cutie with the obstructed face and left the woman with no sense of belonging.

Their plight made me cry.

As I think back to the days of reading “True Story” on the front porch or on the bedroom floor, it is not with shame. If a story elicits a reaction from its reader as well as memories decades later, it should be celebrated.

“Someone She Always Has Known” is available here

and here

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