Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fern bars (6)

It's funny that they call it adultery because it makes people act like children. (an old one liner)
When I was still under-aged, I went to a fern bar called Brandy's and a woman tried to pick me up. It made a big impression on me. At seventeen I was so sex-crazy that this might have seems a dream come true sort of like what kids dream of a world where everything is made of candy.

I was seventeen and all alone because none of my friends would have been caught dead in a fern bar. She was in her late twenties and was an employee of the federal government. She was wearing a slinky red dress that clung to her in a  way that made it obvious that the dress and a pair of strap sandals was all she was wearing.

And we talked about relationships. Well, she did. I was keeping my mouth shut because I had no idea how to behave in adult society and was certain that I would soon be spotted as an impostor and told to leave if I did try talking.

The sentence that has stuck with me all these years was when she said, "The thing I insist upon in a relationship is absolute freedom." Even at seventeen I knew that was a great steaming pile of crap.

I'm not sure she was trying to recruit me for "a relationship". Thinking about it now, I think maybe she was really trying to explain why the relationship she was in (and which she incorrectly assumed I might know about) was not a barrier to our having sex together. She was old-fashioned enough, however, that she would not make the key move. She dropped hints and expected me to pick up on them and make the proposition (it was still called "making a proposition" then).

And that wasn't going to happen. I didn't go through any set of logical steps and fear probably had more to do with it than prudence but I wasn't going to go there. That was the right decision even though I replayed other options in my mind many times afterward. There was a time when I used to regret things I could have done but had not. Nowadays, I'm far more likely to thank God for what I didn't do.

But boy did I love it. Just being in a setting where that sort of thing might happen felt so grown up. I don't regret that at all. I especially don't regret that I ignored the cult of youth and spent my youth looking forward to adulthood.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say I agree with you. I went through a period where I regretted not doing some of the things my peers were doing in our youth, now I thank God I didn't do them. Neither did I get into the cult of youth as you call it, although I could understand why others did and never judged them harshly...well almost never. I think it has to do with self-respect, which I got from my parents, and maybe Catholic high school to a lesser extent.