Her name was Donna Lowrey. My father was a doctor and my mother was a nurse. Because of this, people who flowed into and out of my life were often described as something relating to the word “patient”. For example, a family friend would be described as an old patient from way back. Our maid was a patient’s aunt. Well Donna was a patient’s daughter. We were both students at Wynn Seal Junior High School in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Everything I ever learned about girls was learned either in the boys’ restroom at school or surreptitious glances through the ladies undergarment section of the Sears Catalogue. The boys’ restroom was a temple, a place to flee to between classes. For some reason, hanging out there after relieving oneself was the social thing to do. Here there was banter, boasting, shoving, laughing, and the tallest stories that could be imagined. And yes, occasionally there was the smell of cigarette smoke from a few of the ninth graders. The really big deal was flushing a “cherry bomb” down a toilet and running like hell. This may have been strictly restroom folklore because I never personally heard one of these explosions but stories were told.
Donna sat close to me in several of my classes and she was really cute and sweet. It was about that time, perhaps 1956, that I began noticing girls and the fact that they were somehow different than boys. Boys in the restroom were starting to talk about dating and getting to first or second base, whatever that meant. Everything about girls was very mysterious. The learning curve was very steep. In those days you couldn’t just hop on the internet, that’s why we had the boys’ room and the Sears catalogue.
There are many logistical details involved in the first date. First are the plans, what to do. Next is how to pay for it. And finally how will you get where you are going. It was decided that my mother would take us to an afternoon movie. There was plenty of money in the “chores kitty”. That being done, I finally worked up the nerve to ask Donna for a date. Oddly enough, she accepted.
True to her word, my mother took me to pick up Donna and then on to the movie. It was a Saturday afternoon and I have no clue what the name of the movie was. I was so nervous that I could barely serve as an escort to our seats. Juggling refreshments we settled in and made small talk before the movie began. Things seemed to be going okay although I couldn’t see what the big deal was in all of this. The refreshments were finished and the movie forged on. Somehow my left arm mysteriously lifted and positioned itself around Donna’s shoulder. I nervously waited for her reaction. When none came I felt relieved and relaxed, and made myself more comfortable.
The movie ended and we went out front to wait for my mother. Girls did not kiss on the first date, so when we dropped Donna off in front of her house, the adventure was over. I really liked Donna and think of her sometimes. Maybe I will see her at my 50th high school reunion.