Photo by Gerrie Vernon
While still in 2nd grade, inspired by the Little Rascals, my buddy Jeff and I formed a “He Man Woman Haters Club (No Girlz Allowed!).” We met a couple of times in a “secret” (not really) clubhouse in Jeff’s garage, and talked about “man stuff.” It was kinda boring.
Two weeks later, I resigned. Which left Jeff as the only remaining member, so he resigned too. The problem was, I liked girls. I liked talking to them, and especially liked looking at them. But what sealed the deal was when, after I’d skinned my elbow on the school blacktop, a tender-hearted 3rd grader saw me crying. She rubbed my shoulders as she escorted me to the nurse’s office.
“That must have hurt,” the nurse observed.
“No, it felt good!” I said. I was thinking about the shoulder-rub, not my elbow. Still, I had no future with older women.
Then I met Lisa. She was a tall, dark-haired beauty (i.e. she liked me) who loved books–I’d met my soulmate! So I walked her home. I told her I couldn’t stay, but then we talked about our favorite books. Still, I had to go. But then she opened the door, pointed at a chess board in her living room, and said, “I could teach you.”
So, you see it really was woman who first tempted man.
I don’t know how long I stayed, but when I left it was almost dark.
“I was worried sick about you!” Mom yelled when I walked in the front door. (“Sick”? Honestly, I never once saw her throw-up when I came home late.) I told her about Lisa. “I think she’s my girlfriend.”
Mom grinned. “Well, not until you buy her something.”
“How about a ring?”
I went to the world’s most sophisticated store, J.J. Newberry’s (pre-curser to that bastion of fashion Walmart), and spent all I had (35¢) on a handcrafted ring with a rare gem, probably a ruby.
Still, you know how things are. Over time we drifted apart. We last three days. Adventure was calling, in the form of Jeff. So I answered.
Years later, in high school, a short, platinum blonde smiled at me. I smiled back. “Don’t you remember me?” she asked. “I’m Lisa.” I was stunned. Alas, the magic was gone.
Still, we’ll always have our memories.