“A man is only as old as the woman he feels.” (Groucho Marx)

There is nothing fair about the fairer sex. Having grown up with 2 older sisters, I was pretty intimidated by women from the start. Next to atomic fusion, women are the greatest mystery in my life. They are less dangerous than fusion but I have no clue how either works. Both of my sisters are very intelligent and motivated women and they wasted no time asserting themselves in my young life.  Frankly, they scared the crap out of me till I was about 12 or 13.  By then I was physically able to stand up to them and mentally I just tuned them out. Thank God for teenage immaturity.

The real problem came from the other girls in my life. I made it to sixth grade before any girls ever gave me the time of day. For some reason, that year was one disaster after another for me. I had a traffic accident on my bike, I vandalized my teacher’s car on April Fool’s Day and I had my first official steady girlfriend. Her name was Lynn and she was to-die-for cute with blond hair and beautiful eyes. I even gave her a ring that I had purchased from a gumball machine. Unfortunately, we were going steady at the same time that I was grounded for the April Foolishness. I guess she couldn’t wait for me to get parole because she dumped me just one month after we became a couple. Personally, I think she just wanted to free herself from me before we went to junior high the next year.

That worked out for me as well because there were a lot of girls there who didn’t know anything about my checkered past. My junior high was exactly like the Wonder Years TV show. If you weren’t around for the late 60’s and early 70’s, you really missed the golden age of  hormonal teenage behavior. Since this was the era of the miniskirt, I really had no chance. My eyes were hardwired directly to my hormones and I pretty much wanted every cute girl I saw. I saw so many cute girls I was afraid to blink for fear I might miss one. Little did I realize that walking around with my tongue hanging out was hardly an effective dating strategy. Lucky for me, I was half way cute myself and some of these girls took pity on me and befriended me anyway.  Lynn and her best friend Missy were like 2 blonde rays of sunshine and they must have felt sorry for me because we stayed friends all through secondary school.  By the time ninth grade came around, I was doing better socially. I actually attended school parties with a date. At the end of ninth grade they passed out awards for the lucky few. The awards for best dressed, best couple. smartest and most athletic were all out of my league but somehow I managed to win Most Typical. I shared this trophy with Lynn and another guy, Jim. I’m still not sure how I feel about this but it was the only popularity award I ever won, so I’m not complaining. I suspect that Lynn and Missy were behind this, since they were part of the in-crowd and controlled the voting. I was never part of the in-crowd, more like halfway in or possibly stuck in the door. I guess even teenage girls can over look cluelessness, if you’re at least cute and funny.

At the start of high school, the next fall, I was right back to square one when it came to girls. I had steady girlfriends but they never lasted more than a few months. I always found a way to ruin a good thing. There was one other girl who I was very close to but we never dated. Her name was Becky and she was nothing short of a vision. She had dark hair and bright eyes and she laughed with me all the time. The only “date” we ever had was one day when I tried to teach her how to drive a stick shift.  It did not go well but we were both laughing so hard it didn’t matter. Why that sticks in my mind I will never know but it was just one of those timeless moments that make growing up such fun. We did have one other night together but I never thought of it as a date, more like the dumbest thing I ever dreamed up. I thought it would be fun to scare some girls at a haunted house for Halloween. We didn’t have commercial haunted houses back then, so I improvised with an old farmhouse and my friends dressed up with bloody masks and knives etc.  Becky and Missy were my dates for this adventure. I took the girls out to the house and scared the living daylights out of them. They were shaking so badly I immediately took them home while I begged them to forgive me. Becky forgave me but I’m not sure Missy has gotten over it. Becky and I are still in touch through Facebook and we laugh about this stuff now but Missy hasn’t friended me yet. Missy, if you’re out there in cyberspace, please forgive me. It was supposed to be funny.

I am so thankful for all these friends. Writing this blog has given me a perspective on life that I never had growing up.  I was not the most popular, or best looking, or smartest or most likely to succeed. I was just a regular kid who liked to laugh and tried hard not to be a complete dork. Somehow these girls  and a few others saw something in me that was worth a deeper look and their friendship made my teenage years very special. Everybody needs friends who care and are willing to accept our imperfections in exchange for our sense of humor or whatever we have to offer. I guess writing this blog is my way of saying thanks for the memories.

©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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One Response to “A man is only as old as the woman he feels.” (Groucho Marx)

  1. Becky says:

    Hurrah!!! Fun memories relived! And it is so enlightening, that as we get older (damn that has to happen!) we reflect on our youth, and out pops those special friends and special moments…the memories that made us who we are today!
    It is so important to look back and smile,the fun crazy innocent antics; to look back and cringe, then exhale a sigh of relief that we made it through; and to look back and cry, wiping away those old tears knowing that we have to be thankful for even that pain, because without each experience, our lives would be different. I am not sure about you, but I know I would not change one thing, NOT ONE! Thanks again for the memories! And especially thanks for sharing, as only you can.

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