Goodnight, John Boy & Opie
He was a nice man by definition, but hardly compatible with me. But to silence
my neighbor's persistent whining that I should go out with her childhood friend
who was smitten with me, I agreed to have one date with her friend.
She smiled and upstairs I flew to my second floor apartment to get ready. I was
coming home from work to get ready to go out with my friends to see a band on
the next block when my neighbor had stopped me. The man in question was
visiting her. This was probably the 5th or so time she brought him up in
conversation and mentioned that he wanted to go out with me. I didn't really have
a type of man as a preference, but I knew from the little contact I had with him
during his visits with her that he wasn't it. Nice guy, but we shared nothing in
I, on the other hand, must've been his type. At the time I had the Flashdance look
going on and he was attracted to the look and what he told her was my sweet
Maybe I should go out with him, I told myself. He was unlike any of the guys I
knew, unlike my friends overall, in the sense that he and we had entirely different
Though very nice, he seemed to be a character right from Walton's Mountain, as
though he appeared right from that tv program set into the early 80s modern
world. He was definitely from that past 1940s generation, a throw back to it.
That comparison to John Boy made the situation seem more serious than it was
and I started to reconsider, wondering how I could leave without them downstairs
seeing me. I couldn't. It really wouldn't have been fair to uninvite him and there
was no way I could safely get from the second floor out a back window without
breaking my neck. One date it was.
My wheels were spinning. That he was unlike us inspired me. I'd use that
difference to discourage him from ever asking me out on a second date. John Boy
thrown smack into the middle of the Pittsburgh rock night life just might do the
trick. I had a plan.
"He'll never talk to me again!" I said encouragingly to myself, starting to feel
good about my decision. I kept wondering what his reaction would be to being
around my friends and seeing hard hitting rockers Norman Nardini and the Tigers
when his taste in music was Debbie Boone, Gloria Gaynor, Pat Boone, etc. If the
music didn't do it, I thought surely he will run out covering his ears when Norman
brought up any of the sexual topics that he freely ranted about on a regular basis.
As I started to steam a silky button down blouse, I remembered that my neighbor
previously mentioned that he liked that I wore T shirts and shorts, not revealing
trendy clothes as he saw me coming and going to and from work over the summer
months. I turned off the steamer, ditched the blouse and grabbed a low cut top
with spaghetti string straps and a built in bra to go with the crop pants I wore that
Ordinarily, I wore little or no make up. That also was something that he liked. So
after putting on my striped top, I applied much more make up than usual. "He'll
hate this!" I said to myself with a bright red lip stick smile.
While I got ready, I had music blasting through Mr. Marantz and the JBLs that
could wake the dead and scare Debbie Boone fans into a second adolescence. I
asked friends who dropped by and lit their joints to blow the smoke through the
grate in the hallway so that the smell hopefully would make its way to the other
side in my neighbor's livingroom and send him running home or in the opposite
Once ready, I went downstairs, parted with my friends and went to my neighbor's
to fetch my date. When he started the car, without asking I rudely changed the
radio station because I couldn't ride even 2 blocks listening to Barry Manilow. I
turned up the volume on the Stones' "Start Me Up" and smiled at my date.
"I hope you didn't get a contact buzz," I said to him. "My friends stop by to
smoke their weed ALL the time." That wasn't true, but...
"Oh, is that what that was?" he asked, then giggled, stoped, then giggled again.
Good God, no, John Boy had a buzz!
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