Friday, September 5, 2008

A 40-year old Guilt-Trip

Maybe I need to stop listening to the 60s station on XM radio. I was just reminded of a painful experience during my first year in college. The trigger was hearing Cherish by The Association. By some miracle, I blossomed out of my shyness and became attractive to boys/men that year! Of course we freshmen girls were "fresh meat" to the upperclassmen, but it was still cool to date senior men! Ha! Just remembered we had to wear freshmen beanies -- purple and white -- goofy lookin' things. Anyway, after several weeks, I guy asked me out. He was also a freshman but I didn't know him. At least he was taller than me. He walked me to a movie in town. Coming out, it was pouring rain, but he'd brought an umbrella. Until we started walking together under his umbrella, I hadn't really noticed his bouncing walk. Each step ended on his toes, then the umbrella would hit me in the head when his heel came down. Not fun . . . Every Friday night there was a dance at the student union. We danced together a couple of time but I didn't feel an attraction. Then he started dedicating a song to me on the tiny campus radio station. Yup -- Cherish. Dorm-mates came giggling down the hall to my room every time he did this. It was sorta sweet, but ultimately embarrassing. Then I made the mistake of accepting his invitation to go to home-coming. Just our luck -- an ice storm hit two days before and it remained frigid during the game. We had to sit on bleachers covered with ice! He was miserable watching me shiver through most of the game. After several hot chocolates, I finally suggested we go back to my dorm. Of course he readily agreed. Now don't go getting any funny ideas. Males were not permitted anywhere beyond the lobby and the "dorm mother" made sure everyone was within eyeshot. There would be no hanky panky in her dorm! Before the dance that night, I told "Rick" we needed to talk. When I met him on the second floor in the student union his expression told me that he already knew what was coming. Mind you --I was no beauty nor a sparkling conversationalist, but for some reason, he thought he was in love with me. Stifling a groan, I told him that was impossible because we hardly knew each other. No good; he knew better. All I could do was apologize for not feeling the same way and for hurting him. My roommate and another friend were waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. As we walked back to our dorm, they looked back and saw him standing in a window crying. He dropped out within days. Being an empathetic type, I cried for hours that night. That was only the beginning of many more heartbreaks -- mine and others'. SO GLAD I'm not young anymore. Don't think my heart could take it!


Foilwoman said...

That's tough. I never was much of a heartbreaker, but I was so eager to be kind to people that in my twenties it was almost impossible for me to reject people, which of course made the inevitable worse and more painful. I agree with you on the not wanting to be young again, too. That vulnerability (and those of those around, equally young of course) is like being skinless.

dcpeg said...

Ah, so you had/have the "disease to please" too. It surprised me that I'd been able to bury that memory for so many years! Just hearing that song brought it back so clearly -- even at my advanced age!! :o}