Thursday, January 21, 2010



My first date was well... one of those things I'd rather forget, but darn it, it hangs on like a tick.

I grew up part of the boys.  I played hard ball, football (tackle, much to my mother's dismay and my father's mirth), Combat, and a rather violent form of kick the can that involved shoving and tackling.  My neighborhood was predominately Catholic at a time when the rhythm method was the birth control of choice, so there was never a shortage of children.  Unfortunately for me, most of them were boys or older and younger than me if female.  As per the custom in our house, the older sibling was responsible for the younger.  My poor brother, only a year and a half older than me was elected to be my caretaker.  His friends were pretty good sports about it because I was not a cry baby.  I was able to play rough and give as well as get.

This did little to prepare me for dating.  You'd think that I would know how to talk to boys and have nothing at all to fear from them.  But a funny thing happened when my brother went to junior high school and he and his friends discovered girls.  I was dropped from their activities like a hot potato.  I spent a year in limbo, having only girls to hang out with from school. But they did girly stuff... took dance lessons, went to charm school and talked about boys as boyfriends endlessly.  Yech.  If a boy had dared to kiss me at that point, I'd have slugged him hard enough to rattle his back teeth.

A new girl moved in within a block of me the year we began junior high.  Let's call her Euglena. She was the only child of much older parents that I was used to seeing.  We happened to have the same exact birthday... born in the same hospital and within an hour of each other.  Her parents were nice and treated me very well.  Bithdays were spent every year at the Ice Capades and a fancy diner after. I got to go on trips and out to do fun things.  It was a way to keep Euglena happy with company.  Worked well for me too.

They worked for an organization that takes in troubled boys, saves them from time in juvy and returns them to their parents as changed fellows. (Yeah... right!)  Euglena was crawling in bad boys turned Christians.  Hey, you do what you have to do to escape incarseration and you are thankful.  They were everywhere that we were.  Euglena had charm and selfesteem to beat the band.  I was the awkward second.  The bad boys would flirt with me and I went instantly stupid... no clue what to say or how to act.  I giggled.

Euglena and parents were intent on getting me hooked up with one of the boys so that Euglena and I could double date.  Safety in numbers you know.  One day Euglena informs me that we are double dating and I have a blind date with B.  Oh my god... B!  Yikes... only the most drooled over guy in church.  He was a good three years older than me... a high school guy.  Handsome and somewhat stuck on himself.   Looking back now I wonder what huge favor the guy owed them or what bribery it took for him to consent to this date.  

Saturday afternoon we were supposed to go ice skating with Euglena and her current love interest.  Now my folks had a rule, no boys over a year older than us could date us.  So I kept my trap shut and only admitted to ice skating.  They picked me up.  Euglena's fellow was driving and I was placed in the back seat with an uncomfortable looking B, both of us hugging our respective doors and gazing out the windows to avoid looking at each other. 

This was just past Christmas and I was wearing the new pant suit my mother had given me as a present.  I'd never worn it or one before or let me tell you... since.  It was very girly... gag a maggot.  I'd have been much more comfortable in my levi's and one of my brother's jerseys.  I'd allowed Euglena and her mother to put make up on my face... another huge no-no in my family for girls my age.  I could not have been less at ease.

We got to our destination... the ice skating rink out in a par of town that I was not allowed to see or be in.  Once inside, the others put on their skates quickly and hit the ice while I was still trying to figure out how you laced the damned things.  I could roller skate backwards as easily as forwards and was trying to convince myself that ice skates must be similar.  Finally I wobbled onto the ice and took some careful strides into the traffic.  Dorthy Hammel had nothing to fear from my lack of talent. 

B passed me twice, doing turns and twirls, showing off I suppose, though unlikely for me.  For anyone who wanted to admire him.  On the third pass, he grabbed my hand and drug me along.  I tried to smile and keep up, one arm milling around to keep me upright.  A more graceless being was not in the rink that day.  Somewhere soon after, we took a sharp turn to avoid some slower skaters with common sense and I lost contact with B's hand... the only thing between me and the bane of my dating years.

Arms flailing and no control what so ever... I crashed into the side of the rink and did the splits on my trip to the ice.  A nice older couple stopped to help me to my shaky feet.  I felt a draft of cold air and unwilling to check it out there and then, I wobbled to the side of the rink and into the girls restroom.  

As a young child just starting school, my mother lined up her brood every morning as we were about to leave the house for inspection.  Now my mother was a bit of a fanatic about her children and how they presented themselves.  I do not know which child it was that had decided one day to skip underwear, but someone had who was older than me.  So inspection included a check for underwear... and to be sure it was clean underwear.  It was an odd and unsettling event each school day, but we always did as she asked and showed her our panties.  I assure you she was not a pervert, just unwilling to take a chance that we would be found without them.  At least she took our word on weather they were clean or not, but she did ask.

Let me tell you, I silently thanked my mother for that odd ritual that day in the rink.  My pants were split from one inner knee to the other inner knee... leaving me with a very weird "chaps" sort of effect, with my clean and lovely pink panties with the eyelet lace trim wide open for viewing.  Heaven only knows how many people had viewed them on the way into the restroom.  

Well, I was mortified beyond my ability to deal with that situation.  I sat in a stall until Euglena arrived to see if I was okay.  NO.  But at least she had some sort of solution.  We dug into our purses and pockets and bought a bazillion kotex pads from the vending machine for the safety pins that came with them.  It was certain that I would not be skating more that day.  Safetly pins are not all that safe, as I found out a few times in the miserable hour or two that we remained at the rink.  Nor could I even look B in the face.  I must have looked very charming that lovely shade of scarlet.

At long last the date ended and we got in the car to leave.  Originally we were going to go out for diner after, but that was scuttled.  I was dropped off and B acted the gentleman and walked me to my door.  We mumbled good bye.  I'm sure he was just as glad as I was to be done with the whole awful mess.

(In later years when my folks knew that I was on a date, my dad would watch out the window for my arrival and would flick the porch light on and off rapidly until I was inside the house and my poor date fled.) 

I still find dating to be a horrible nerve wracking event.  Here I am a grandma with clear understanding of the interactions of men and women... and it does not help an iota on a first date.  In my head I keep thinking about everything that can go wrong.  I also carry a small roll of duct tape in my purse... no safety pins required!  But you will not get me on ice skates.  I can promise you that. 

Okay, I think the weird creep issue is taken care of now.  No worries.  The frogs were less frisky tonight.  Good, because I needed a break.  I have a date on Saturday with one I have dated before who lives within an hour of travel.  A first date with a new one on Sunday.  I had fun on the phone with my favorite frog for a bit.  Meanwhile the frog trains keep on rolling...

Live @ San Quentin Prison

 Gosh I love Johnny Cash.


  1. "Let's call her Euglena." Now that's funny. Much funnier than a pair of split trousers. I'm still laughing over that choice. My favorite unicellular protist - the euglena. I still remember diagramming one for Bio class.

    I think I said previously that I love your "character" names but, for me anyway, you've outdone yourself here.

  2. Cricket-- Well thank you sir! I thought Cube would get it, but didn't know if anyone else would know that one. Ha. I loved diagraming in biology too.

  3. Cricket is right about the choice of Euglena. Too funny.

    This post reminds me of an embarassing incident I had with a planaria that made me scream in class once. Talk about turning shades of red.

  4. Cube-- Eeewwww flatworms! Ha. I had more fun in science classes. You may find it interesting that I got a classmate to dissect my frog FOR me by getting him a date with a friend. I did not mind cutting up the fetal pigs or shark... but I could not bring myself to cut up the frog.

  5. I laughed heartily at the choice of Euglena, too. Then again, my son named his gerbils Shigella and Amoeba.

    I had a similar early history in terms of being an active, non-girly kid and baffled by the whole dating thing. In fact, it wasn't until I was grown that the men were suddenly very interested.

  6. secret agent woman-- When I was about 9 I had two wonderful turtles that hung from the ceiling in a macrame holder. Little red neck turtles. They were Assyria and Babylon.

    I simply did not handle that situation well at all. Then... forgive me for my frankness... I found partying and suddenly if anyone liked me or not did not matter. Once I was relaxed and didn't care what others thought, the interest picked up.

  7. I didn't say I didn't have fun in science class. I always loved science. I just had a momentary lapse when I had a planaria under the microscope and the magnification was set very high unbeknownst to me. Well, I looked into the eyepiece and I saw these giant eyes (really photoreceptors) STARING BACK at me and I yelped. The whole class turned and stared at me like I was insane.

    I was always the one who volunteered to do dissections.... frogs, baby chicks, squid, fetal pigs, etc.., anything but bugs. I loathe bugs.

  8. I thought you were talking about a girl named Eug. Smith. The euglena sort of fits for her, too.
    My day sucks so far so I'm looking forward to hearing about your great dates.
    Have fun, Ananda.

  9. I went skating once in grammar school. Some boy said Hi Pamela to me. I was very confused and sort of excited, until I realized I was wearing a monogrammed sweater with my name on it.

  10. Cube-- I don't doubt that you had fun in science. Ha. I was very short when I had biology and we had to wear dresses then. The class was overcrowded and I was forced to sit on a lab stool... but my feet would not reach the foot rung. Nylons, slip and dress material worked against me. I often slid off my lab stool. My teacher was fond of pointing out that I had done it again and tell me to be grateful that I did not have an exoskeleton. Otherwise I could have just quietly pretended it never happened. I enjoyed that class very much.

  11. Peggy-- The thing I love about you the most is that you recall things as well if not better than I do. You nailed that one. Yeah... by FHS I dropped Euglena and her redheadded minion... Bozo. In fact, I jettisoned Bozo in Biology one day during a movie. Wrote her a note.

    I hope your day gets better! Have fun this weekend.

  12. Pamela-- I loved the last two years of high school, but the years below that after grammar school were absolute misery. All that self doubt and social torture!

    That's very funny. I can feel how that must have felt that in my head.

  13. What a great story. So funny. I hope this weekend's dates go much better.

  14. Euglena and Bozo were bad, bad girls but O so holier than thou. The last time I saw the one-celled being was hiking somewhere. She was trying to impress yet another Christian guy by pretending to be outdoorsy and all. There I was with my boyfriend. There she was with hers. She came over the side of the hill, slid on a rock and landed on her hypocritical arse. Love that Karma stuff. In front of me, of all people.
    Bozo was truly a clown.

  15. Peggy-- You have made my day! Not that I wish anyone any serious ill. I tried of the piety. Bozo was in shock for a long time. Would you believe that she told me that I was the best friend she'd ever had and asked me to be her maid of honor? I felt bad, gave in and was miserable all through their wedding day. Then her husband ripped-off my dad! His response was that my dad could afford it. Staggering how self-serving they were.

  16. Churlita-- Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well. You know I'll keep you all posted. I can't seem to shut up. Ha.

  17. I left two comments, and they didn't show up later. I wonder if this one will.

  18. dmarks-- This one did! Good to see you. I had that trouble at AlienCG's for a time. I'd try to leave a comment and the program would not allow it. It was the only blog where I had trouble. But I suspect it was not his blog... but blogger.

  19. Yeah, Johnny Cash is great.

    Lets see, my first date at a bashful 17 (you wouldn't know that now) was a blind date a cousin set up for me, her name was Linda Lovelace and she was very pretty. Needless to say, I screwed it all up and didn't stand a chance of a second date.

    Boy, when I was young I really sucked at that dating stuff, it's a good thing I found a woman stupid enough to marry me or I would have still been a virgin 30, ha ha ha

    Your life should be a daytime soap opera, sort of a spin off between DAYS OF OUR LIVES & FRIENDS & SEX IN THE CITY & THE FLINTSTONES.

    Ha ha ha ha ha

  20. Billy B.-- I guess we all sucked at dating in the beginning.

    Yep... that's a pretty good representation of my life alright. Heavy on the Flintstones! Yabba dabba doooo!

  21. Oh, I don't know about that, it was a double date and my cousin and his date was sure having fun in the back seat of my car. And that little asshole never even had a car. :-)

  22. Something they didn't teach me as a kid...

    Your nut sack is a pickup bed designed to pack your balls around so you can pick up chicks, he he he

  23. Billy B.-- But isn't that the way it goes? Some are more bold than others and there is nothing at all wrong with being a gentleman. Not to mention that that was a different time than the old summer of love stuff.

  24. Billy B.-- I've heard that one before.

  25. Well, what made me a gentleman was the fact that I was just flat ass afraid of women back then. I'm still a gentleman of course, and I think you can vouch for that when I was there.

    A gentleman with an attitude, but that's beside the point.

  26. Hey, just what is the point in all this shit anyway?

  27. Billy B.-- Yes, I can vouch for that. You were every bit the gentleman while here.

  28. Billy B.-- I've no idea. Does there have to be a point?

  29. Well, shit, I sure as hope that there is a point. But I can't ponder on it anymore this evening, I'm going to bed now, maybe it will come to me in my dreams, or not.

    Maybe the point, at least in my case is....... Camping.

  30. Aw! What a comical story :-) Not at the time...I can only imagine, but now it makes for great entertainment. And really, a great many dates probably look not-so-bad in comparison.

    Hope your dates this weekend are less exposing...unless, of course, you choose exposure :-D

  31. laura b.-- Yes I have been laughing over that one for years. I find the past very funny. Especially mine. If you don't laugh at it, then what else is it good for?

    Exposure... yikes! Not planning on that with either. ;-)

  32. Euglena reminds of Eugenia, someone I knew in high school. For some reason, she rather famously lost her virginity at some point. That is, everyone knew and talked about it. I don't remember that happening for anyone else.

    I would not remember Eugenia except for that, and the fact that everyone called her "Eugie" and she hated it.

  33. dmarks-- Now that makes me laugh. What a thing to be remembered for!

    This one was the type of girl that we used to call a cock-tease. She expected lots of money to be spent on her and went through guys like tissues.

  34. I love your stories! I remember when I was young, embarrassing things were so magnified and major inside my head. I'm not much for conventional dates either, I like just meeting people and having fun and not keeping things too formal. Let if flow, man. Man. Yeah.

  35. ananda - first i thought euglena was bozo - thanks for clearing that up for me.

    just don't ice skate, and your pants should be fine. they'd better be, cuz kotex don't come with pins anymore - but i forgot, you have duct tape. always prepared! which reminds me, i now travel with a blanket and an extra juacket in my trunk due to one of your prior adventures detailed here.

    if it's the right guy, the date will be great. right?

    love ya!