Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Was it really all about self-confidence?

When I was at the reunion last October, I remember showing my wife a picture in the 1967 yearbook. The lovely and gracious Dale Morgan turned to my wife and said, "He was hot."

To be fair, I don't think Dale and I ever knew each other in high school.

I knew of her. She was one of the real beauties in our class, one who moved in all the right circles and had all the right friends. Me, I was different. Most of my friends were younger back then. I had skipped second grade and didn't turn 16 until midway through our junior year.

Unless I'm mistaken, I never asked a girl in our class for a date the whole time I was in high school. Without a license -- I got mine a week before the prom -- dating just didn't seem like an option. I did go out twice with my dad driving, but both of those evenings seemed to me like something of a disaster.

I don't know if it was the Woody Allen in me, but I always had this fear that if I asked someone really lovely out, she would look at me incredulously and then start laughing hysterically. The story would spread quickly and everyone in the school would know within 24 hours.

I would have had to develop a life-threatening condition so that I could do all my schoolwork from home.

Of course it wasn't like that. Well, maybe if I had asked the lovely Karen Theurer (pictured) out, it would have been. But I think an awful lot of girls were probably nicer people than I gave them credit for.

There was that one girl, who will remain unnamed. I went up to her and asked her to dance, and she said, "Get the hell away from me."

"Is it because I'm not cool enough?" I asked.

"No," she said, glaring at me. "It's because we're on the school bus."

Things got better, of course. I've actually managed to get married twice and stay married once, and I've had good, friendly relationships with numerous women as an adult.

I guess it really was all about self-confidence.

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