I’ve had this story on the back burner for about as long as I’ve been writing this blog. Tonight, I’m sick of politics and I haven’t done anything blog-worthy lately, so why not tell the story?
Bonus: I get to cross something off my Blog Idea List. I haven’t used anything from it in ages.
I was living in upstate New York, I guess it was about 1991. I had only moved there from Cleveland in 1990 and was having zero luck in finding female companionship, aside from the strip clubs. That made about a 3-year dry spell for me, so I decided to do something drastic… I joined a Personals Dating Club for singles. Obviously this was before the internet age and online dating.
With this group, they had a monthly newsletter, the purpose of which was to post dating ads. You’d write your ad and they’d run it with a phone exchange attached. For a fee, anyone interested could call and leave you a recorded message. Then you could call into your exchange, and for another fee, listen to all your messages.
Not being a dummy, I’d call the line and record all the messages with my answering machine. That way I could listen as long and as many times as I liked, without running up a bill. And during sad times, I’d have a tape I could play full of a bunch of women telling me they wanted to go out with me!
These were “hit and miss” adventures because there was rarely a photo involved. You didn’t know what the other person looked like until you showed up for your date. So I went on a number of dates, and even some second dates, but nothing really took hold.
On one of those dates, I met the Tall Girl. We went out once, had a reasonably good time, but never really got together again. I think she said she didn’t have time for dating. I was like, “OK, whatevs. Back to the tape.”
(I never went out with more than one prospect at a time. I’d pick one, then ride it out to the end. Only after one of us decided we’d had enough, would I go back and pursue what I considered the next best option.)
A couple of months later, the Tall Girl called me again and wanted to go out. I was surprised but agreeable. She said at the time of our first date, she was still embroiled in a somewhat rocky relationship, but now she was free and clear.
Now, when I say this girl was tall, I mean she was TALL. She stood 6’1” and had a 36” inseam to her jeans. Now, I’m 6’3” and I only wore a 34” inseam. She said she carried most of her height in her legs. I’d never been with a girl that tall before. It was thrilling, but a bit unnerving too. I mean, it really messed with my perspective.
To think about it, for every girl I’d ever been with, my default view of her was always looking down at her, and her looking up at me. In some cases, I used to use steps or curbs to raise her up a little bit for a kiss goodnight.
With the Tall Girl, we would hug and I could look straight forward, right into her eyes. It was wonderful… but weird. It's like you've always known how to hug, but suddenly you're with someone whose arms are in the wrong place.
We started dating late in the year, probably around November. I remember going Christmas shopping with her and that was weird too. We’d be walking down the corridor, arm in arm, and people would see us coming and scatter out of our way like we were a couple of monsters.
We went into McDonalds once and when we stepped up to the counter, the cashier went, “Oooooh, are you guys a couple?”
A couple of what, I don’t know.
At that point, I think I had just made it into my company’s home office yet, but the Christmas season was still crazy. I was in a town far from home and missed my friends and family. But that year, I had somewhere to go so I wouldn’t have to be alone.
I remember going to her apartment after we closed for Christmas, dropping my bag, putting the Charlie Brown Christmas CD on the stereo, and standing in the middle of her living room, just hugging, throughout the first four songs on the CD, without breaking. I think that was a world record hug, right there. But I was just so happy to be with someone over the holidays. Our bodies just seemed to fit together so well, it was hard to let go.
Our bodies. Standing up, our bodies fit together perfectly. Lying down was another story.
See, she really was a big girl. And I don’t mean fat. She wasn’t fat at all. She was built in perfect proportion to her height. Great rack, too. But she weighed almost as much as I did. She had an athlete’s frame… when you talk about a “big boned girl,” that was her. There was just a lot of her. So when we went to bed, it was like sleeping with a linebacker.
There’s only one image I can think of to describe what it was like to have sex with her:
I felt like I was balancing about two feet in the air. I could have planked on her pubic bone.
Now I’m not complaining, mind you. It was just weird. Being with her was a one-of-a-kind experience.
It wasn’t all wine and roses, though. We were basically two lonely people who found each other, but that didn’t mean we had much in common. One problem was music. She had a very limited scope of what she liked, which was Madonna, and oldies; Elvis in particular.
I remember going on a road trip to see her parents, just after Christmas. They lived about 2 hours out of town. I was all excited about playing some music with her… I must have had a zillion mix tapes and each song had its own story. But we started with one of her tapes, the Madonna soundtrack to the Dick Tracy movie. We played it all the way through. And then she wanted to hear it again.
I was like, “Seriously? That was 10 songs in 45 minutes, and you want to hear them all again? Already??” (Mind you, this was a grownup, not a little kid. I know how you parents get to listen to the same things over and over. So you know how annoying that can be.) But I didn’t put up too much of a fuss about it. I was more concerned about the object of our trip, which brings me to the other problem… meeting her parents.
My fears turned out to be correct; they hated me. To this day, I still don’t know why. I mean, we showed up, had snacks, ate dinner, shot the breeze, then we went back home. I was polite, friendly, sat up straight and kept my elbows off the table, and never even felt up their daughter. I thought things went fine.
Then later that week, (or maybe the next night, who can remember?), I walk in while she’s having an anguished conversation with them on the phone, about how they don’t like me and are disappointed in her with her choice of boyfriends.
They were small-town, conservative farm people and I suspect I looked like too much of a long-haired freak to them. (Which is a strange rap, for a bald guy.) But they lived two hours away and we just went along as we were; hanging out and trying to figure out how to coexist in a small space, with competing spheres of interest.
It all went to hell on Valentine’s Day. I showed up with a CD rack (she didn’t have anywhere to keep her CDs) and a Phantom of the Opera CD that she had shown interest in. She answered the door and without even letting me in, said we couldn’t see each other anymore because she was going back to her previous boyfriend.
I was shell-shocked because all she ever did was complain to me about how lousy he was… how he was lazy and unmotivated, how he didn’t treat her well and took her for granted, and the kicker: how every time she granted him “a little favor” in bed, she wound up at the doctor’s with a throat infection.
I handed her the presents, said, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” turned my back and left. Never called her again. She never called me either.
You know how you always think of snappy things to say long after the opportunity? I should have told her, “Inside the CD, you’ll find a gift certificate for an Ear Nose and Throat guy. Enjoy your strep.”
But that would have just sounded bitter.
Anyway, shortly after that busted up, I was introduced to Future-Ex, so I didn’t have too much time to dwell on the Tall Girl.
Instead, I had a whole new realm of crazy to experience.