These are the collected memories of my spent and misspent youth. Names have been changed to both protect the innocent and to subvert any statutes of limitations that may still apply. I will also take liberties with the truth as in who did what, or maybe combine a couple of stories together that really didn’t happen together. Such is the nature of a memoir. I am seeking to entertain, not write a documentary. Hope you enjoy
Three Short Girl Stories
The stories are short, not the girls. Well, one was short. Anyway, height is beside the point. The point here is that there are stories that involve girls. At the time we thought of ourselves as true ladies men, young men with what the kids would now call swagger (we couldn’t afford anything that would be considered swag though), cool and smooth like, um, like, um, well like something that is cool and smooth. The truth is rather different. The three of us stumbled and fumbled around girls that it might have been comical if not for the fact that we were living it. Cisco was pretty good with getting to know girls, but that’s as far as that went. Hymie had girls crushing on him, but he was quiet and broody so that they were afraid to approach him. As for myself, I found it such an odd thought that someone would be interested in me that I really didn’t consider it a possibility. However, even with those facts and the rest of what comes with being a teenager working against us; we did each manage from time to time to have dates and even some girlfriends.
Story One – This is Dave
There were two new girls at Hymie’s bus stop. They had just moved in and were going to our high school new. Hymie got to know one of them well enough to muster the courage to ask her out on a real honest to goodness date. They went to the biggest fair in our county, the Sandwich Fair. For years elementary classes from our district went to the fair to learn about farming, animals and good values. What I remember is the combined fair/farm smell, lots of agricultural equipment, and acres of old people. When we got older, we came to appreciate the fair as a break from the norm and a time where the adults would cut loose. Rules were more lax, police more tolerant, and people more open to meeting new people at fair time. In addition, there was always an increase in the availability of illicit substances. I miss county fairs, but back to our story. Hymie and the new girl, I’ll call her Kim, went to the fair. They walked around, had some drinks, went on a couple of rides, and even played some silly carnival games. Let us just say that he won some little stuffed animal for her as part of the narrative (I really don’t remember if this happened, but it makes for a better picture). As they were walking around the fair, they ran into a couple of guys from our high school. She knew them and said, “Hi guys, how are you doing? This is Dave, do you guys know each other?” and she motioned to Hymie. Hymie did know these guys, in fact, had known those guys since elementary school. It was a small town. While they were not what you would call friends, they did know Hymie. They also knew that his name was not “Dave”. So Hymie stood there looking at the two guys and their puzzled faces. He did a little emotional math in his head and came up with an answer. He reached out his hand, shook each of theirs and smiled. Each party went on their way. There was no second date.
Story Two – Out the Window
Cisco and Laura had been going out for a little while when she invited him over to her house. These two were in complete teenaged heat for each other, so much so that you could not be in the same room with them as the temperature quickly became uncomfortable. Cisco walks over to her house and when he gets there, she says, “My parents are gone for the evening.” If ever mere words were accompanied by a beam of light and an angelic host singing praises, this was it for Cisco. This was the opportunity, the first opportunity if you get my meaning (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). The couple sat down on the couch to watch some TV, all fidgets and sweaty palmed. Eventually they relaxed enough and settled into a good old fashioned make-out session. The fervor rose as time ticked by until she stood up, took his hand and headed down the hall. In this context, “down the hall” is a thinly veiled stand in for “the bedroom”. If ever a mere act were accompanied by a beam of light and an angelic host singing praises, this was not it. In this case, the light was a deep red and the only singing was more of a Barry White variety. Things progressed in the bedroom until it was clear that this was it. All the way. This was really going to happen. Cisco and Laura fumbled with each other clothing until it was just the two of them, their skin, a single bed, and stuffed animals averting their eyes in the room. Even Barry White stopped singing a let the music do the talking. That is when they heard the garage door opener rattle and creak as the garage door opened. Panic. They sprang out of bed. “You’ve got to go,” she said. As they gathered up clothes, he said “How?” You see, these were little working class houses. Three small bedrooms, 1 ½ baths, under 1500 sq. feet. We all knew the layouts of all the houses. Cisco knew one critical thing about this house – The door to the garage was in between him and both the front door and the side door to the house. Double Panic. They both looked at the window and nodded. The windows in these houses were about chest high. He struggled with opening the window (surprising given the efficiency of clothing removal earlier) while she wadded up clothes. When he got the window open, he pushed the screen out and watched as she threw the bundle out the window. He looked at her and she simply pointed at the window. Cisco, still au natural, scrambled up the wall and outside only to land in a not so soft bush just as he heard her father’s voice. He was still clearly visible from the parent’s bedroom, as well as to any neighbors. He gathered up what he could find and searched for some cover. A few minutes later, minus a sock and underwear, he was walking home.
Story Three – Wardrobe Malfunction
This is my story. Cisco and I did a double date to one the school’s turnabout dance. We each had regular girlfriends, who happened to also be friends. This was my first high school dance and my girlfriend and I had only been going out for a couple of weeks. We did some dinner (I think it may have been Ruby Tuesday’s, classy.) and the dance itself. It was fun; though I felt so awkward the whole time it must have been a drag on the others. I did a few dances, but otherwise we mingled or just talked. After the dance, we went back to Cisco’s girlfriend’s house to “watch TV”. “Watch TV” is a thinly veiled stand in for “Make-out” (for anybody born after 1990, “Make-Out” is what we used to call “Mashing”. Some previous slang terms for this starting with the ‘70s and going back in time are “Getting Down – early ’70s”, “A Love-In – mid ’60s”, “Getting some Action – late ’50s” and “Dingling the squiggly fer goshkeknockin” – late 1880s for Norwegian immigrants). As expected watching TV quickly became much less about watching than doing. Cisco and Janice were on the love seat entangled like two squid wrestling over a king crab while Karen and I lie on the couch tentatively getting to know each other. Things were going quite well (in my opinion, but I might have been biased), when I could hear some distinct groaning from the loveseat. It was too dark to see exactly, and I really wasn’t going to divert my attention, but it struck me that whatever was going on sounded like fun. This inspired me to try to go from first to second. It wasn’t even a stolen base, in fact, the “defender” was probably wondering what took me so long. After some time, I grew bolder and thought that I should be working on the inside of the dress rather than the outside. I moved my hand to the buttons on the front of the dress. In expert hands, one-handed buttons can be done well. My hands were far from expert, in fact in most jurisdictions they wouldn’t even qualify for a learners permit. I was not deterred, how hard could it be? (To this day, whether it is in the context of plumbing, auto repair, or new health coverage options, the words “How hard could it be” have always been followed by learning just how hard it can really be). I gently pushed, pulled, fiddled, and twisted. Then I poked, tweaked, diddled, and fumbled. All the while maintaining lip contact and appropriate levels of enthusiasm. The buttons would not budge! No matter what I tried, the buttons would not become unbuttons. The promised land, the land of plenty (yes, there was plenty) would be denied unless I found a way past these infernal 16th century clothing fasteners. I went in for another try, determined to rip on off if I had to when she grabbed my wrist, broke off lip contact and said, “Those aren’t buttons, just decorations”. Loudly enough to turn Cisco and Janice’s sounds into full out laughter. Needless to say, the night’s festivities were over.
So, there you have it. Not every teen story is about illegal activity, police, or vandalism. Some also have sex. Those were good days.