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THE HAYRIDE

(an entry for the OnDisplay collab. February's topic was "disaster dates")

3 February 2003

I suppose there are several ways to take a subject like "disaster dates." My immediate thought was to go against expectation and take it literally. July 14, 1986, May 18, 1996, April 20, 1999....February 2, 2003.  The dates when death hit, and hit hard. But I've done death...well, to death in this journal and I'm sure I can be a bit more creative than rehashing old material, as tempting as that might be.

So I started thinking about my dating life, such as it was. When you go to an all girls' school and are shy there aren't a lot of opportunities to learn about dating. We were forbidden to mix with the boys' school two blocks away (though the "normal" girls did, and took detention when caught). I began dating Bill when I was 13, because he was the nephew of our next door neighbor. I dated him for 3 years, which took the pressure off of having to learn the whole flirting-and-dating scene. It was a nice predictable relationship. We'd talk on the phone once or twice during the week, maybe see each other on the weekends once--not every weekend. And that was fine with me. It was all very chaste.

He entered the seminary at the end of my junior year in high school, which left me unattached. For my Senior Prom, I invited the next door neighbor. It wasn't exactly a "disaster date," but a real "nothing date." I don't even remember dancing with him.

Toward the end of my senior year, I landed the romantic lead in the school play. We always had to import guys for the male roles from the aforementioned boys' school. But they couldn't find my romantic lead, so expanded the search to the public schools and Randy showed up. In my naivete, it never occurred to me that he was gay (a fact I pieced together, in retrospect, thinking of the things that had been "wrong" with us), but obviously the gaydar that became honed in later years was humming because we hit it off right away and we "dated" (I'm sure I made a good cover for him) for several months until I started college.

When I moved to Berkeley to begin school, I chose the smallest dorm on campus. They had just built new dorm complexes with multi-hundred rooms and huge dining facilities. I chose the 60 room unit at the top of the long hill. The Smyth-Fernwall complex. (Lord--was I in Smyth or Fernwall...I'm sure Char, who was our grad resident, will remind me!)

There was a men's dorm in the complex as well and we did get together in the dining room.

I don't remember how I happened to be talking to him. I don't remember his name. And I don't remember anything about him except that he might have played football, because he had that build. He was obviously sizing up the new freshman and I wasn't too bad to look at in those days.

There was a hayride coming up and he invited me to go with him. It seemed all very strange. I'd never had casual dates before. I'd only dated three people to that time--Bill, the one date with the neighbor, and gay Randy.

In truth, I wasn't sure I wanted to date him, but I never learned how to say "no," so the date was arranged.

Then the tittering began in my dorm. Apparently this guy was a real lothario and preyed on unsuspecting innocents like me. I don't know how much of that was true--maybe he really was a nice guy--but as the day of the hay ride grew closer, my panic level rose and I was terrified. I don't remember even talking to him between the time he invited me to go to the hayride with him and the actual night of the date.

If that guy were writing this piece, he'd very definitely be talking about that night as his very worst date ever. Char, my now-good friend, was along on the hayride as a chaperon and I really don't remember how the evening progressed but I stuck to her like glue (ruining her date as well!). Not only did my "date" not get to first base, he never even got out of the dugout. I kept a wide distance between us, I looked for excuses to be elsewhere. I hated every single minute and was terrified if he even looked at me.

Needless to say, I was never invited on a date by any other guy in the men's dorm in the year and a half I lived there. And that was just fine with me.

I never did become expert at the dating scene. Just never learned how it was done. But by the time I discovered the Newman Club, we began traveling in packs, going everywhere in groups and that was decidedly more comfortable.

(And I've never gone on another hayride!)


BTW, I added a Google search function at the bottom of this page.  Supposedly you can search not only the Internet but Funny the World itself for...whatever you might want to search for.  I tried it out on someone else's site and it was fun to see the way it all displayed.  Try it!

Quote of the Day

I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

~ Stephen Wright

Yesterday's Photo

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The senior class play--
that's Randy holding my hand

One Year Ago
Bill and Andy
They do sell paintings by Bill. They sell for an outrageous price, of course, but how often do you get the chance for some authentic chimpanzee art?

Two Years Ago
Comments from the
Countess of Condoms
"That’s the best thing you can do to someone with HIV," she said. "Just listen to them." As I drove off, she flashed a big smile and gave me a wave. I drove home.


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Pounds Lost:  67.2
(I really, really hated to put that down!!!)

(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

URL Total 741.6
Blue Angel Total 594.3
2003 YTD Cumulative:  112.5

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