The Husband: I turned 16 in April of 1982, which meant I got my driver’s license, which meant I could ask girls out on dates. I wasn’t going to ask girls out until I could drive; no way was I gonna have my mom drive me to pick a girl up for a date.
Lisa: That would have been okay, though. I’d been going out with my friends and with other guys this way. Besides, your mom rocks. She had a cushy ride, too: a beige 70’s model Pontiac LeMans; a monstrous vehicle with a vinyl roof and off-white leather interior. Bench seats. I remember that because I sat in the middle next to you. That car probably got more than 10 miles to the gallon. Highway driving, anyway.
The Husband: That spring, on the last day of school I went to Mr. Hand, our homeroom teacher and also the teacher for several of the girls on my list of girls to date. Mr. H. had everybody’s phone number on his class roll, and I asked him if I could look at his roll sheet and he said Sure. So I copied down the names and phone numbers of Kelly C, Cassie C, and Lisa C. Maybe also Elizabeth C; I can’t remember if I copied hers or not, she was further down the list and once I got to you I stopped.
Lisa: Our homerooms were divided alphabetically, obviously. Good thing my name wasn’t Krzyzewski (for more reasons than one). Elizabeth C. was my best friend, incidentally. Alphabetically she was ahead of me, so I’m guessing you meant she was below me on your personal “who I wanna date” list. If you had gone out with her there would have been issues. I wasn’t one of those sultry siren man-stealers, but I’d have given it a shot to get you.
Also: Thank you, Mr. Hand! Did you empower other geeky teenage boys this way as well? It was kind of a ministry, wasn’t it?
The Husband: I started with Kelly and Cassie, probably because I knew them the best. Cassie was in the band with me. Kelly had been in the band, but at the time I copied down her phone number she was a cheerleader so she was automatically hot. I didn’t know you as well so you were farther down the list.
I went out with Kelly twice and Cassie once.
Kelly was very nice, and I made the mistake of thinking that because she was nice to me that she liked me, but she was just nice to everybody. After the second date I realized she wasn’t really interested in dating me, largely because I hadn’t been able to get her to kiss me goodnight. I figured that was probably a good indicator.
Cassie was very quiet, and it wasn’t good for me to be dating quiet girls because I was quiet too, and if we’re both quiet it’s just too… yeah.
At the end of the summer I called you. I didn’t know you as well as the other girls, but I knew you were very social so there wouldn’t be a problem with you being too quiet. Also, you had the best chest of any of the girls on my list, and that was definitely an asset. I asked if you wanted to go to a movie, but you said you couldn’t go because you were grounded. I wasn’t sure if this was just a variation on the “I have to wash my hair that night” brush-off, so I asked if you could go out the following weekend, and you said yes.
Lisa: I’m stifling my embarrassment over having traded my Maidenform training bra for a regular one. I’m also working on overcoming my amazement that I was the Chosen One because of the desirability factor of a Girl Who Talks A Lot. Most of the girls in my high school could have easily limbo-ed in under that bar.
I’m also aware that MY version of this story includes the fact that when you called, it took me a minute to place you. And I recall that I was the one who kept the whole thing from dying in the water. Since the conqueror gets to write the history and it’s my blog, here’s my version:
Boy phones: Hi, this is Lance B. We’re both in Mr. Hand’s homeroom.
Girl: Oh, yeah, I know you. [I would have said this if Mike Krzyzewski had called. To admit that I didn’t know someone was still outside of my experience at that time.]
You sit in the back? [A shot in the dark.]
You wear glasses. [Waiting for affirmation.]
Girl: [getting closer to the target] I think you helped me with my math once before!
Girl: Yeah, I know you!
Boy: So, I was just wondering if you wanted to go to a movie Friday night.
Girl: Um, I’m grounded this week. But I probably won’t be next week!
Boy: Next week sounds good. I can pick you up at 7. [Because I’m sixteen, dammit, and can drive.]
Girl: (Startled that it appears the conversation is ending, when it only just started) Uh, ok, sounds good. I’ll let you know if I get grounded again!
Boy: Bye. (hangs up)
For the record, every phone call we ever had, and most we have now, are approximately this same length. It’s a Clark Kent kind of characteristic in you that I once found baffling, but now experience as endearing.
The Husband: I remember we went to see The World According to Garp, which is not really a great first date movie for teens, but I hadn’t seen it so I didn’t realize that at the time. I think we went to McDonald’s afterwards and got ice cream, but that might have been our second date. I took you home and asked your permission to kiss you good night which sounds really dopey now, but it apparently got me big points with you so I’m glad I did it.
Lisa: Heh. That was the day that I determined that chivalry was in fact not dead. The movie was most assuredly NOT a good date movie but it wasn’t as bad as say, Platoon. I don’t think we went to McDonalds; I had a pretty tight curfew and usually had to be in by 10 or 11 pm, else be grounded. Again.
Walking me to the door and asking my permission to kiss me good night were the best parts of that date. A few months later we would discover that passionately kissing in front of the kitchen door of my house was not a good idea at all. My mother liked to wait up for me at that window, and she would rap sharply on the glass if we got started. But we were quick learners.
And that’s the story, as it actually happened. In our opinions.
(My God, you were skinny! This picture was taken our junior year of high school, and since then you’ve gained at least 10 pounds. Thank goodness.)