Saturday, September 08, 2007

While I am collecting my thoughts on my recent Las Vegas trip, I thought I would first write about some other things, both current and past, as I am experiencing some severe pangs of nostalgia.

A Tale of Two Homecomings: Part I

It is homecoming at my daughter's high school this weekend. Heather, who is a sophomore, plans on going to the dance with a few of her female friends -- which is certainly alright with me. However, one of her acquaintances, Samantha, is going with a boy a few years older.

Samantha and Heather used to be friends, but just grew apart. However, Sam is still part of a car pool arrangement, and occasionally I take her home from school. Today, it was just Sam and light.

I asked her if she was going to the homecoming dance, and she said yes. She had worked this past summer with a guy who is a few years older than her. He sent her a dozen roses and then asked her to the dance. Sam said that she really wasn't interested in the guy but accepted the invitation since he bought her roses. She said that he understood that they were going "as friends."

Sam is a nice girl and recently has been blossoming into an attractive young lady. She lives with her mom (I think that Sam's dad died of cancer some years ago), who is barely making it. I've always felt this fatherly feeling toward Sam since she has, as far as I can see, no positive male figures in her life.

Anyway, when Sam was telling me that she was going with this guy because he bought her the flowers and she felt like she owed him something, alarms went off in my head.

I told her that she should never feel like she owes a guy anything no matter what he gets for her, and filled her in on some of the ways guys think and act -- a topic on which I'm pretty sure she has little knowledge. I probably went a little overboard, and now am wondering if I should have just kept my mouth shut. Was I out of line?
A Tale of Two Homecomings: Part II
It was August, 1975. I was at the beginning of my senior year in high school and was the Student Government president. I was active in sports, was having fun working at McDonald's, and was looking forward to an excellent last year in high school. Life was good.
I went to my high school for senior picture day and met Karin, an exchange student from Germany. Karin had just come to the USA and was still struggling with English. She was quite attractive -- tall with a thin, tapered body, and a huge chest. She appeared to be friendly and intelligent, so I filed all this information away as I prepared for my pictures.
A local celebration/carnival was being held in September, and I decided to ask Karin out. I guess I didn't realize what a big deal that would be -- her first "American date." We went to the carnival, but one thing bothered me: her lack of understanding of English. Although we seemed to get along quite well, I had this feeling that she wasn't really able to understand my personality -- which largely revolved around making lame puns and "clever" jokes. Also, I was wondering why I would want to start a relationship with someone who would be going back to her home in another country in less than a year anyway. Geez -- was I seriously an idiot, or what?
Although I was extremely busy that fall with Cross Country, Student Government, my FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) club, of which I was president, and work, I still had a little time to get to know Karin. As I first suspected, she was really nice and very intelligent. Karin would come to my lunch table almost every day to fawn all over me -- which, of course, made me a god in the eyes of the socially backwards male crowd with whom I ate. I have to say, I ate up the attention and the admiration. But ... there was still that little detail -- Karin really didn't understand who I really was.
As homecoming grew closer, Karin fawned even more, wearing the most attractive outfits possible. My geekish friends were astounded that I hadn't asked her to the dance, and I told them that I just didn't think that I was too interested in going with her. I then started thinking that perhaps I was being really foolish, but alas -- it was too late. There was no way that the foreign exchange sponsors were going to let this girl go to the dance without an escort, so apparently a guy (a dweeb and most likely gay) was persuaded to ask her. She accepted, and I kicked myself for being so stupid.
I went to the dance alone (felt I had to go as StuGo president), and saw that Karin's date was the ONLY guy to not be wearing a suit or a sport coat with nice slacks. Geeeeez.
Later that fall I tried sidling up to Karin, but it was too late. I had already screwed up. Why did I have to be so freaking serious?
I try to live my life without regrets. We learn by making mistakes and then finding the right way to do things. However, botching this relationship with Karin makes my all-time Top Ten Mistakes in Life list. Some memories are happy, some are painful, and some just make you shake your head and wonder what the hell you were thinking.


Blogger MurryTheCat said...

Your old Light (lol) Mine was Lori Kempler. Oh to be be young ,drunk, and stupid again.
Get back in here with that Vegas update!!!

2:36 PM  

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