Tuesday, September 20, 2011
THE DOOR KNOB
When I hear people railing against the youth of today and about their promiscuity, I reflect on people of my generation and that things have not changed all that much; it was more secretive then.
Once, one of my brothers told me I should not associate with a classmate because she was a "Door Knob." I had never heard the phrase before and when confronted he said, "Every guy has had his turn with her!" I said, "That's terrible; I like her!" She and I were not close friends but we sat together on the school bus and when her brother was killed in an accident; we were on the school bus and we saw that it was her brother in the accident I was the one who held her in my arms. We were 16.
Little did my brother know that the Door Knob was providing me with quite an education. She was "dating" a local guy who was going to college and he came home on the weekends. We were 16 and he was 20. She shared with me his letters to her. From the letters, I could glean that were having SEX! It was the first time that I actually knew someone who "DID IT"! Even though I was living vicariously through her, I also realized that he was just "using" her; they did not have real dates; he was not her "date" for school functions and he didn't take her home to meet the family or take her to any local places. She was just a poor girl being used by someone from a well-known, prosperous family. I was a naive 16-year old who'd never even had a date and in one of his letters he asked if she had any "friends" who might like to meet his brother who was also going to college and was a year younger. I was overwhelmed by emotion when she asked me if I would like to "double" with them. Although I would have loved to have a "date", I knew better than to accept that.
This past summer, I was set up at the Farmers' Market, collecting signatures for a petition, when that same person who'd written those passionate letters years ago, stopped and began denigrating the reason for the petition. He was loud and obnoxious. I stood up and said, "Come over here." Surprisingly, he followed me. When we were out of hearing range of the others, I said, "I remember how you treated (and I named the name of my classmate) and I read all your letters back then, so I know what a manipulative user you are, so just get away from me, you lying hypocrite!"
He had a flushed face which I attributed to his being a W. C. Fields-like drinker. All of my life I have read about "color draining from a face", but this is the first time that I'd actually seen it! He never uttered another word but quickly walked away.
When I went back to the table, my co-solicitor asked, "What was THAT?" I said, "A good memory is sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse!"