A Hat ... A Ring ... And No Shrimp.
"Joe, can you believe it? It’s been 42 years."
What does she mean … “Can you believe it?”
Time to remind her ... just what made it so.
I shake my hips, thrust my pelvis like I’m being continuously goosed and gyrate a few times … that’s right … doing my "sexy" dance.
I stopped and with complete confidence, gave her a look as though to say … "Who’s your daddy?"
She seemed to be soaking it all in. A few seconds pass … and then … three and a half minutes later, after she wiped the tears and caught her breath, she says …
"Joe, please, you made me laugh so hard my head is hurting."
I never get the results I expect after busting my move.
Forty-two years ago today, we had our first date.
We were fifteen and sophomores in high school.
I had met her for the first time, just a couple of days before our date. She and her friends were just horsing around at the North End Union, a neighborhood social club that had it’s own gymnasium. It was "girl’s night" in the gym. My friends and I were hanging out and looking to get out of the cold.
Inside the club's recreation room we soon became bored and snuck down to check out the girls in the gym and before long, we invaded their space, stole their basketball and started a little keep-away.
I was a pretty cool dude back then, especially with the chicks. That night I was wearing a beret. Very French.
Thinking back, I was lucky I wasn't beat up more often.
We didn’t know these girls and they didn’t know us.
We were all just having some fun, innocently running around chasing each other. Then, suddenly, my head was naked. I turned around and there she was.
It was the first time I really noticed her. She was beautiful. She was smiling at me devilishly. She was twirling my beret with her index finger. I was awestruck. I walked towards her and she let it fly. We continued to exhaust ourselves with further shenanigans until our trespassing was discovered.
As we were leaving (being thrown out) she approached me, removed my hat from head and handed it to me. She noticed my ring, a star sapphire, and asked if she could try it on. She slipped it on her finger and told me she’d give it back later. She spoke with a slight Italian accent. I could say nothing but “okay”.
The next day I was anxious to meet her again and as if she planned it, the ring was my perfect excuse. We found each other that night at the club and properly introduced ourselves. I asked for my ring back and then asked her if she would go with me.
Go with me = Go on a date.
Go on a date = Maybe make-out somewhere.
Maybe make-out somewhere = Fat chance.
Surprisingly she said "yes" … but only if my two friends would come along and go out with her two friends … A triple date. My heart was beating a thousand times a minute. I told her it was a deal. I was so excited I almost passed out.
It didn’t take much to talk my buddies into it, we were all 15-year-olds and a only few chest hairs into puberty.
January 21, 1967 at 8pm. It was a Saturday.
It was very cold and very windy.
The six of us met near Paul Revere’s statue and began walking towards the harbor, which was only a block away. It would be quiet there. Desolate, dark and a great place for making out. At the edge of the water the wind was stronger and after only a few minutes the girls complained it was too cold and wanted to head back. With a dire need for a “plan B”, one of the guys noticed an empty truck at one of the loading docks.
I ran over to inspect. It was a refrigerated truck with a logo of a shrimp company on the side. Further investigating lead to the discovery of an unlocked back door. Inside the truck box was dark and empty, and it would shield us from the wind. The girls were reluctant while the guys were desperate horn dogs. Using the natural skills God gave us we coaxed them ‘til their noses were running and their frozen ears were about to break off.
We all stepped inside and leaving the door opened a crack, we paired off to our own dark corners. Soon there was enough heat to stop the shivering and all that could be heard was the sounds of inexperienced kissing.
I barely made it to first base, but it was a night I would never forget.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A Hat ... A Ring ... And No Shrimp.