It could be the anal retentive part of me, but part of the dilemma of recounting my past incidents involving the opposite sex in chronological order is deciding the right placement of certain events or anecdotes along my sequential narrative. Some people have more “total recall” of things than I do and can perfectly place dates, times, etc. and order them like they’re retracing steps through a haunted mansion or a crime scene. For me, while certain events run through a clear procession, others seem to overlap and I occasionally forget their exact “placement”. At any rate, in honor of this past April Fool’s Day I figured I’d talk about a short but easily embarrassing (yet darkly amusing) incident from my college era.
Is this just some filler because I am running out of longer, meatier recollections with women from my past? Perhaps. But as the purpose of this blog is getting out stories I’ve never or rarely told anyone, I may as well play it up to the hilt.
This incident would have taken place during my later years in college, going back more than seven or eight years by this point (probably closer to nine if I am honest). As I have mentioned more than once, usually whatever parties I attended during my college years were affairs run by my friends at various gatherings at sporadic times of the year. They were almost always loose excuses to assemble the troops and drink, with or without food involved (but always with heavy metal music). Unfortunately, they almost never involved women who were single; usually if any woman was there who was unfamiliar, she was the either someone’s current lover or barely legal relative (and the latter was only one person). This party in question was no exception.
Several of my friends celebrate their birthdays in the summer, so that was usually when we had semi-annual BBQ’s in their honor. That meant finding a place with a grill and large enough space to accommodate a dozen or two of our assembled friends and acquaintances for the occasion. At the time I didn’t have a cell phone so I usually knew in advance (via AIM chats or email) or called my friends from the land line when I knew the time was close. It was the birthday of my friend Tee (an alias) who is one of the second eldest of my social circle; he’s only a few months younger than I am. Not only was this his birthday but it was also his first few years as a rookie of the police department. Joining the police was a family affair for him; his uncle was a police officer and at the time he was renting the upstairs apartment of a building his aunt and uncle owned. The place had a backyard and we attended quite a few birthday and New Year’s Eve parties there. The temperature was moderate and sunny on that summer day, and I was among the first to arrive at the party. As always, there was plenty of food on the grill and plenty of alcohol to be had. Many brands of beer in the cooler and a running competition among most of my chums as to who could bring the hardest liquor, it seemed.
At the time Tee had just ended a fairly dysfunctional relationship which had dated back to high school and was adjusting to going back on the dating scene, especially as a cop (which, stereotype suggests, is a turn on for many women). In that time he transitioned through a few different lovers and his latest one at the time was attending the party. I wish I remembered her name, but I do not; only that she had black hair and blue eyes, and was quite an extrovert. I’d met her a few weeks prior but I didn’t know her very well. After a while, most of us assumed our regular roles. All of my friends were engaging in their usual round robin of seeing who can get the drunkest the fastest, while I was performing my role as the human appetite. As I didn’t like to drink much (and rarely to excess), I usually compensated at BBQ’s by showing off my appetite. While I am not skinny, my metabolism is high enough that considering how vast my appetite is compared to the average person, it can seem freakish how many burgers and hot dogs I can consume without being obese or massively overweight for my size. I sometimes wonder if with the right “training” I could have been a “professional eater” (like the folks who compete at the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest), but if I had I’d likely be nearly 300 lbs. Usually I boosted this along by skipping breakfast before the BBQ so I was on “empty” for the event. It seems unusual, but when you’re hanging around a bunch of men and there’s absolutely nothing to make yourself distinct besides age and being the “wet blanket” of the group, one clings to any detail one can.
By now the house was fairly full of people, mostly lounging in the backyard where the food/grill were or on the front porch. Also, by a certain point, several of my friends and Tee’s girlfriend were “falling down drunk”. I was used to all this so I took it in stride, but I usually did my best to make sure nobody got hurt to the best of my ability. It seems that many of the women in our circle (at the time, at least) had a far lower alcohol tolerance than my male friends did, and Tee’s girlfriend was no exception. She was very far gone by this point and while she was hanging out on the front porch with Tee, myself, and about 2-3 of my other friends and having a grand old time, we also were trying to make sure she didn’t tumble off her feet (or seat) or down some of the porch steps at certain points. At one point in our chuckles and chatter, she took a dive towards me and I reached out with my arms to catch her quickly, which I did. Unfortunately, in the effort one of my hands happened to brush the lower side of her chest.
I am not sure how certain terms involving physical exploration are phrased in other countries, or even with much of the slang today; I am over 30, after all. Men in particular at the time usually named and rated them as close to macho stereotype as possible – that is, in terms which mixed physical conquest with sports phrases. It’s such a guy thing, isn’t it? Anyway, when I was growing up and younger they were termed in similar ways to “rounding the bases” in baseball. Kissing was “first base”, while full on genital intercourse was considered “scoring” or naturally a “home run”. Where it got trickier were the “bases” in between (which in theory you would “round” over the course of a successful night of love making). The best way it was explained to me was that “second base” was “touching with clothes on”, while “third base” was “touching with clothes off”. Because I never actually experienced this sort of thing, I had to have these terms explained to me by others, after all. And while my friends and I didn’t keep track of each other as rigidly or strictly as plenty of other gangs of “bros” do, we still threw the terms around at the time or at least used them as a frame of reference. They’re regressive, sexist, and probably disgusting, but I was in my 20’s and I didn’t know better. Having now explained this entire diagram, it becomes clearer to understand why I am recounting this story. This moment, an awkward moment of trying to catch my friend’s drunk girlfriend before she face planted on his porch from being wasted, was as close as I got to “second base” by pure accident. Especially since I’d never been near “first base” in elementary, high school, or college by that point.
My reaction was one of horror. It was not my intention to ever touch her there; I was only trying to catch her under her arms. I apologized to her immediately and profusely; she seemed highly amused and laughed at me. I am not sure she was aware what’d happened at all (it was only a split second). I was unsure of what to do and I told Tee about it before apologizing again. I wanted to make it clear to both of them in no uncertain terms that it was deliberate or that I had any desire to try to make a move with her. Tee was just as amused as his girlfriend was about it, if not more so. He was also pretty drunk by that point (only he was wise enough to remain seated), and his retort was one which has stuck with me for all these years.
“You’re the absolute last, last, last person I’d ever expect to do something like that. You wouldn’t know what to do with a girl if she sat on your lap.”
I suppose if this was happening in early or mid high school it’d have been par for the course for the average American guy. But the fact that it was happening in my early to mid 20’s as I was wrapping up college and was the lone virgin in my entire social network likely added a bit more oomph to it.
Eventually everyone sobered up and was in good spirits; the incident long forgotten. Tee broke up with her by the next year and there would be many more drunken parties which came after. However, this one always stuck with me, because as ridiculous and absurd as it was, it was the closest I ever got to a “real woman’s breast” in my entire life. And it was with a person and at a time when I never wanted to. Such is life.