I have to admit that I really am enjoying this one local rock station that we recently discovered. They will play Billy Squier, then some Led Zeppelin followed by Morrisey. Just when I think I can’t bear anymore bad 80s rock there is Robert Smith, it is the best of both worlds. The other night when I was driving home from Safeway, Bad Company’s song Feel Like Making Love was on that station. I loved that song when I was in High School. I was one of those in between kids, the kind that didn’t fit into any one group but moved between and through them all, invisible for the most part.
I had friends who were druggies. I had friends who were tough. I had friend who were jocks. I never had a boyfriend from my high school which strikes me as odd today. Isn’t that the best place to meet guys? The easiest….all there, all accessible on a daily basis. Apparently not. We used to have to go to homeroom every day so we could be accounted for before heading off to our classes. In my homeroom we sat in alphabetical order. I guess it was just easier for the teacher to know who was absent. I sat in front of this girl named Darlene. She had been badly burned in a fire when she was young and her arms and her back were covered with that odd slightly melted looking scarred skin. It had been a house fire. She didn’t talk about it too much. For some reason I think there was a lawsuit.
This guy Russell was also in my homeroom sitting close to me. He was just a big guy with sandy hair who was always wearing bad 80s rock band t-shirts, like Rush and Night Ranger. We chatted about the band Bad Company. We both liked them a lot. I think that homeroom with its assigned seats was the great equalizer. Kids who may have never interacted ended up chatting on a daily basis. That’s how it was with me and Russell. Imagine my surprise when he showed up at my job one day out of the blue. I was working my very first job at 16 years old. I was responsible for filling the salad bar at Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips, a local fast food place. It was pretty awful and I didn’t stay there too long. Then there was Russell, awkwardly approaching me and giving me a cassette tape of Bad Company. I think that I was completely clueless as to why he was there and then he asked me out. And, I was shocked. It had never occurred to me that he liked me like that. I was dumbfounded and I said no.
I was thinking about that the other day after hearing Bad Company in the car. Thinking about Russell and how hard that must have been to do. To put himself out there like that. The first guy to ask me out ever and I just said no without much of a thought. I was feeling badly about that tonight. Feeling like a mean girl. I don’t know that Russell and I ever spoke again after that. I’m sure that he was horribly embarrassed and potentially hurt. Part of me wishes that I would have said yes. To break out of my shell; my own preconceived notions of “who I should date” and the circles that I thought I should move in; to live my outside real-life more like homeroom; inclusive and non-judgmental. I would like to think that now, I am more homeroom-like and less mean girl but some days, I’m not so sure.