Timid as a child, I remained so as a teen. This mindset carried over into my young
adult years. In particular, I didn’t want to be touched by a fellow, because I felt fat. I had
reached my sixteenth birthday and “never been kissed,” and that continued kiss less state
remained until after graduation and art school. Talk about being naïve! My mother and
several of her friends tried their best to introduce me to young men, and occasionally I
went out on blind dates, especially if I would be part of a foursome or group going
dancing or to a movie. There was safety in numbers.
One lovely summer evening, I readied myself for another of these blind dates, not
really looking forward to it, even though a friend had arranged for it. “A man I know is
going to be in town this weekend, but I already have plans,” she said. “Please, please will
you go out with him? He hates to dine alone.”
I hesitated, not really in the mood for chit chat with a stranger. On the other hand,
maybe it was better to have dinner with a stranger than to stay home and doodle on an art
pad. “Okay,” I said. “But you owe me big time!”
John Doe arrived exactly on time. He was older than former dates (about thirty) and
that took me aback. He was certainly more mature than I was. By far. He lived in
Chicago and was in Los Angeles on business, but he knew Los Angeles well. “I have to
come here pretty often,” he said.
He was attentive, affable, gentlemanly and a dusty blonde with sparkling blue eyes. I
“I’ve made reservations at a small restaurant near my hotel,” he said, once he’d
escorted me to his rented Lincoln Capri convertible and taken his place behind the wheel.
He chatted about his love for the city and state and its access to an ocean. “We have Lake
Michigan, which can seem like an ocean at times, but it’s not the Pacific.”
I listened and offered a few shy smiles.
The maître d’ led us to a booth near the back of the dimly lit restaurant. We talked
about my interest in art and, of course, about Daddy’s career as an orchestra leader. It
was a subject I could comfortably discuss. I finally relaxed enough to enjoy my meal and
our conversation about the changing music scene.
And then the subject drifted to sex.
I twisted the napkin in my lap into a knot and peered at people seated near us at
tables and wondered if those in the booths backing both of us could hear.
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