My First Date

My Real Memoir

I was in love with my life. More specifically, I was in love with theatre, music, and girls, all girls—with “Womanhood,” I told my pen pal Judy (above), and so I was “playing the field with enthusiasm.” Which was code for the fact that I’d never actually been on a date (unless you count imaginary ones).

Appropriately, at the start of my sophomore year, I was cast in Petticoat Fever, a vintage 1930s play about a love-starved telegraph operator in remote Labrador (I also drew the program cover). Ironically, Little Seal, the happy-to-oblige Eskimo woman my character had to say “no thank you” to during every performance was played by my grade school crush Belynda. In truth, I’d have been thrilled to rub noses with Little Seal! But alas, it was not to be.

For a time, fellow bachelor Fred Torres became my default date. Funny guy Fred (he’d played the dad in Bye Bye Birdie) was a junior, so he had wheels, and by “wheels” I mean an intergalactic Plymouth space cruiser with gigantic fins. Hence, although Fred was merely pudgy, we dubbed it the “Fatmobile,” I painted a winged logo on its hood and fins, and we became the dynamic duo Fatman and Ribbon!

Just as Fred’s car frequently did, my love for music needed a push-start. I dreamed of playing in a duo or even a band, but my guitar skills were “pathetic” and I sang off-key. It was Fred who gave me that push by insisting I audition for our a’capella choir, the Madrigals. Somehow, miraculously, I got in. And it was there that I developed an ear for pitch and tone.

I did finally go on a date, by the way. It wasn’t the cute girl Kelle from down the hill; we wouldn’t rediscover each other until that spring. Nor was it the pretty Eskimo, Belynda. It was a newbie thespian Paula, who’d served as Petticoat Fever’s house manager. Paula was simply the brightest, most fascinating person I’d ever met–and a brilliant actress, as well. We filled every moment we could with conversation. And so, when the first girl-ask-boy dance of the year was announced, Paula asked.

My mom drove us to and from the dance (neither of us was 16), then discreetly went for coffee while we sat and talked in Paula’s dad’s truck. We finally kissed. It was timid and awkward. And it was our last. My brain, it seemed, was in love with Paula, but my heart wasn’t. Even though I wanted it to be. Sometime later, I wrote a short story about sharing a moss-covered cottage with her, where, intellectually in love, we would write our great works, I under my “sophisticated” pen name Jules Paris Casino.

Incidentally, a month ago I bought my longtime dream guitar, an Epiphone Casino, the iconic model used on so many classic Beatles recordings.

I named it Jules.

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to My First Date

  1. beth says:

    I love how this grew and came full circle

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Rhonda says:

    I was in a singing group in high school also called “Madrigals”. I loved being part of that, in spite of the ugly peach colored dresses (that someone’s mom made) that we girls were required to wear for performances!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You wrote that you “loved to brag” and that’s so comically honest. Your letter was a hoot!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Judy Ramsey says:

    🙂 I’m glad I’m getting to read these again!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Flowerpoet says:

    Passing through youth is such an adventure! 🤗✨

    Liked by 1 person

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