Betty Jo has quit school. She is leaving Monday for the Maternity home. She is sure looking knocked up and lot of people know about it from Nancy. I haven’t even told Mary Alice.
Monday March 24, 1952
Went shopping tonight and got a darling jacket.
Tuesday March 25, 1952
Betty Jo came over tonight crying. She says her father calls her a whore and her sister hates her and says she can’t wait for Betty Jo to get the hell out of there. Betty Jo has real awful pains, and oh man she is sure knocked up for being only five months. She says she took a small bottle of aspirin but it didn’t do any good. I told her “You’re a damn fool.” It is this Monday positively, absolutely that she is leaving.
Thursday March 27, 1952
Me and Betty Jo went to The Pike tonight and saw the sideshow. I’ve never seen a sideshow before and it was the kicks. We saw an escape artist Penguin Man, Seal-o, Hula Dancers, a Head Hunter, Pinhead, the Man with Two Faces and others. The man with two faces was gruesome. He took off his plastic face and he had been in an explosion and his face was about ¼ there. All his teeth were sticking out and it was real horrible. It was real good though, the side show.
Sunday March 30, 1952
Stayed with Betty Jo all day and helped her pack. I cried when she said good bye but she didn’t see me. I know damn well she did though. She promised I would be the first one she would write to. Went over and visited Buella tonight.
Monday March 31, 1952
Went over to Betty Jo’s this morning and said good-bye and also kissed her good bye. It is the first time I have ever kissed her and she of course kissed me back. I cried all the way to work on the bus, and dumb me I even couldn’t help myself at work, I started bawling! Man I will sure miss her, no kidding around.
All about Betty Jo
Throughout these past few months we’ve seen Vilma’s best friend Betty Jo in turmoil. Let's review shall we?
- We know that Betty Jo lost her mother in 1950 due to a sudden illness and her father has taken to the bottle.
- She has turned to promiscuity in an attempt to find love and is five months pregnant by her still married bad-boy, loud-mouthed jerk of a boyfriend Dannie (who is in the process of getting a divorce so he can marry her).
- In the meantime, Betty Jo is still playing the field with another boy named David.
- Her father calls her a whore, her sister hates her, oh and let’s throw into the mix that she is a compulsive shoplifter.
- Vilma’s own mother keeps telling her to stay away from Betty Jo as she is a bad influence.
- Now she has quit school and is finally on her way now to the Maternity home. Whew!
Like Vilma uttered in an earlier diary entry, “she is sure way ahead of me”… but in the worst way possible. We know that Vilma keenly recognizes the choices Betty Jo has made in her young 17 year old life up to this point, and does not want to end up like her friend. Betty Jo’s life has been a tough one so far, with some things beyond her control, but that should not give her an excuse for those bad choices.
Throughout all of her trials thus far, Vilma has not abandoned Betty Jo and their friendship. Quite the opposite, in Vilma’s usual blunt way of speaking, she gives her a dose of what she needs to hear: “You’re a damn fool”.
The longing of the heart
Something else is stirring in Betty Jo’s heart. A longing for love and acceptance, with a healthy dose of stubbornness. In giving her body away, or even stealing, she thinks it will satisfy the love and fulfillment she craves. When Betty Jo does not find true love, she feels used, abandoned, betrayed and unloved, yet continues the same behaviors thinking that something will change.
The great philosopher G.K. Chesterton once wrote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting the same results”. It’s a vicious cycle of emotional turmoil that this poor broken-hearted girl is passing through. But it didn’t have to be that way.
How can Betty Jo recognize true love? It can simply be known by how much the other person is willing to sacrifice themselves for the others good. Do these guys Dannie or David have her best interests at hand? Or are they only there for their own self-gratification? There is only one way to weed out true love, do dare I say those offensive words that this world rejects? Yes, it is Chastity and Virtue.
The surrender to God’s love is always the harder path to take. To reject what the world says is right and good is a tough thing to do, but the inner fulfillment and peace is the prized jewel the world can not offer.
In the greatest of love and romance stories we have heard throughout our lives, they are truly but a mere glimmer of the depths of love God has for us all. God is the faithful pursuer of the heart, always patiently waiting for one to turn, even ever so slightly back to Him.
What will become of Betty Jo and Dannie? Just keep reading my blog to find out!