Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dating Disaster

Not me...it's Napoleon Dynamite

Any guy who experiences his first date as a thirteen-year-old is destined for disappointment. At least that was my heartbreaking introduction to the dating game.

The summer of ‘59 ended and I became a celebrity for a day or two. On Labour Day morning I won the Senior Championship of the Soap Box Derby run on the Hunter Street hill in East City.

My photo graced the Peterborough Examiner on my first day of High School at PCVS. I was a hero or so I thought. That self-inflated bubble was soon to burst.  Things continued downhill from there.

Helen Hotchkiss and I had gone roller skating at the Memorial Centre during the summer but this would be my first venture into a Christian venue with a pretty girl by my side. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

The Youth for Christ Rally in September of ‘59 featured a black and white “Christian” movie entitled Teenage Rock. To encourage other teens to attend I made up some posters and taped them to the side of my Grade 8 graduation gift, a brand new bicycle. Try to picture a tall, skinny, red-haired, buck-toothed Christian geek pedaling around town with hand-made movie posters stuck to his bike. Weird! I was trying to do my part to evangelize the hell-bound, sinful, God-forsaking teens in our city.

The long-awaited evening came and Helen Hotchkiss was going to be paraded before my friends. Yes, I actually had a girlfriend and everyone would be surprised…and envious. Helen and her sisters were going to be on the program at the YFC rally, the much-acclaimed Hotchkiss Sisters Trio. I was dating a celebrity!

I arrived early, anxious to get a seat near the front where everyone would see me. Helen was nowhere to be found. Finally as the Rally was about to begin the Hotchkiss Sisters made their entrance, sat in the front row and the fun (???) began.

This shy, backwards beanpole was too scared to get up from his seat and sit with the girl of my dreams. I sat alone and gazed on this beauty. As she and her sisters harmonized, I agonized. They would sing another “package” before the flick began. Did Helen even remember that I was her date? Did she even care? Did she even know I was there?

The talented trio musically prepared our hearts for the movie and as they descended the PCVS stage, the lights dimmed and we were in total darkness. Teenage Rock began and I sat alone, dejected and broken-hearted.

Afterwards when I got the nerve to ask Helen why she didn’t sit with me she used the lame excuse that she couldn’t find me in the dark. Sure! Likely story! How can you miss a 6’ 5” redhead sitting near the front?

Now, fifty years later I chuckle at the ineptitude and naivete that was “me” as a teen.

Over forty years later Joshua Harris would pen a book entitled “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. I could have waxed eloquent on the subject in the Fall of ’59.

Helen and I never dated again. Ten years later this Pentecostal cutie married another “brethren” piano player, who was just as geeky as I was and moved out of town.

I’ve never seen her since.

I'm still in the dark.

David W. (for weird) Fisher

NOTE:  The names in this story have been changed to protect the guilty. 

ANOTHER NOTE:  If we can't laugh at ourselves we have a problem.  As I recall this true story from time to time...I can't help but chuckle to myself.

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