The 50th Reunion of El Dorado Union High School’s 1961 Class was approaching like a runaway freight train. Emails from Placerville California were filling my inbox. Ancient memories kept bubbling to the surface. Fortunately time and a sense of humor had smoothed off the sharper edges.
Something happened between my eighth grade in Diamond Springs and high school in Placerville. It hit me right between the eyes with all of the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Here I was a happy, well-adjusted and relatively successful young man one day and a serious candidate for a strait jacket the next.
Pimples popped out on my face overnight and my voice became dedicated to practicing random octave jumps. Teenage-hood, which had promised to be a mild adventure, arrived with a vengeance. I was being hormonally challenged; I had a terminal case of puberty blues.
Things I had taken for granted became illusive, almost impossible to obtain. Take girlfriends, for instance.
I expected to lose a little ground in the field of romance when I became a freshman in high school. Sophomore, junior and even senior boys cruised the hallways in a mad scramble to harvest the new crop of freshmen girls while the older girls weren’t about to date a freshman boy, that lowest of low creatures.
But I didn’t expect to bomb the way I did.
I became intensely, almost painfully shy. I would walk down the hallways staring at my feet in fear that some young woman would look me in the eye. If a girl tried to talk to me, I would mutter inanities and make a run for it. The strangest statements came out of my mouth. As for asking a girl out, the odds were a little less than being struck by lightning and the latter seemed like a less painful alternative.
It wasn’t that I didn’t notice girls. My body was one huge hormone. I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything about it. I pined for a young woman who sat in front of me in Mr. Crump’s Geography class. She was gorgeous and came with a full complement of accoutrements: smile, brains, hips and breasts. I was in deep lust.
My knee and her fanny were mere inches apart and her fanny was like a magnet. I had the most intense fantasies of moving my knee forward until it made contact. In my fantasy she would of course turn around, smile at me and suggest we get together after school.
In reality, she would have turned around and bashed me with her geography book, or worse, told Mr. Crump. I would have died. I kept my knee where it belonged. It is a strong testament to my love for geography that I didn’t flunk the class under the circumstances.
Next blog: Desperate times call for desperate measures. I sign up for dance classes in PE.