Brother, Back to the Bleachers

high school dances, bleachersI could never get picked up in a bar, or even a high school gymnasium.

Not that I tried that often. I’m not a bar-hopping, party-loving kind of girl.

But still, most women, teenagers to octogenarians, want to feel attractive and desirable.

But even back when I was 16, when I hoped to catch the eye of a cute guy or two, I couldn’t even catch an eyelash, particularly – especially – of the one I had a huge crush.

Skip Greene.

He was a tall drink of water in the small muddy pond of my junior year of high school.

He was Heathcliff, Captain Kirk, and Ricky Nelson, all rolled into one.

I’d attend the darkly lit gym dances monthly on Friday nights for half a year and moon after Skip, wishing I could be the one star in his sky.

He never looked past his nose, much less past the dusty dirty gym floor over to my secure spot in front of the bleachers.

The rejection hurt, even though I knew that I had set my sights too high.

Flash 14 years later.

I was newly single, mildly attractive (so my married friends told me), and ready to find a wild side. Could I possibly have one?

My brother and his long-time girlfriend insisted on taking me to a bar. I think they felt sorry for me, the “poor older sister who didn’t have a man” kind of thing.bar, girls night out, dating

They sat me down on a stool in a dark wood-paneled bar. My brother’s girlfriend whispered, “We’ll be at a table in the back corner so we don’t chase anyone away.”

So I sat, alone, drinking my Chardonnay, not catching one hooded eye, much less a man. I watched the other women nearby pull their heads back in wild arches, laughing uproariously at the witty words of their male companions. They dressed in tight t-shirts and tighter skirts, breasts half-exposed as if pearls at a jewelry display.

I felt like a cheap trinket until, miraculously, my glass half empty, a nice-looking man sidled up to a stool next to me.

“Is this seat taken?” he asked.

Before I could answer, a dark ominous male figure loomed over me and my brief companion.

“What’s your name?” the second man challenged.

I groaned.

“I’m just getting a drink,” the first man explained, defensively.

“Well, this is my sister. And I’ll be watching.”

The first man didn’t even order his drink. He slowly left his stool, walking backwards, keeping his eyes on my brother.

I laughed out loud, picked up my wine, and joined my brother and his girlfriend at their corner table.

Back to the bleachers for me.

brothers and sisters, siblings(Sending a Happy Birthday to my bro, who always looks out for me.)NJ seashore, Ocean City NJ

98 thoughts on “Brother, Back to the Bleachers

  1. Pam, you have me laughing in the end when you describe that bar scene.
    Did your brother really do that? 😊 . I now wonder why as the aim of their game was to let you meet new people. Confused but laughing at a brother’s protectiveness. Better too much than too little care.
    Still grinning
    miriam

  2. Oh dear, I’ve done the brother thing! Even worse I was so protective of my post-grad students at conferences – I can well remember one, a Japanese girl just finishing her PhD, I was helping her get exposure for want of a better word, asking me to help her shake of a persistent guy – I put myself between the two of them and said I was her Dad! It kind of worked apart from her almost wetting herself laughing! A decade and more later she keeps in touch, so maybe I wasn’t that bad!

  3. Brothers are like that. Gotta love them!! My brothers were all younger than me so I was often looking out for them but they still can be overprotective. Love the story.

  4. Uproarious! My little brother wasn’t born yet, so not help from him.

    By the way, I was always last (or nearly last) when kids were picking players for games. No matter: I ended up with a prize – a tall drink of water, and more.

  5. Oh My Goodness…. How I can relate… not to the brother part but definitely family and friends…. “Sharon, we need to find you a man!” “You dress too nice…. you look like a business person!”, “you’re too smart, you scare men off” LOL… Well, that’s too bad because I am who I am! And guess what, I am making it through life just fine. a successful single parent with three grown sons….A successful business lady… happily retired after 35 years of Corporate America! And tons of friends! Loving Life! Not to mention my wonderful grandchildren… and I don’t have to share with grandpa….
    Thanks for the reminder, Pam!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    • Thanks! My brother and I just found some of my mom’s old albums, and I’m digitalizing the photos and making them into two albums: one for him and one for me. Fun finding the photos of us when were, I’m guessing, 2 and 3 1/2. xo

  6. Brothers! Great entertainment here, and a happy birthday to your protective brother. My brother and I used to fight all the time when we were kids, but to this day we still love each other dearly.

  7. Great brother story. I had three of them, one older, two younger. Remind me sometime to tell you about the night I came home and the three of them were standing on the corner of our street, arms folded, waiting for me to come home. It is funny now but not then. 😳
    Happy Birthday to your brother.

    • If I had written a fictional tale here, I definitely would have run into Skip. Oh, and if he was the pot-bellied bartender it would have been even better!!! But, sigh, I’ve never run into high school Skip for all these many years….

  8. So funny, Pam! Your brother sounds terrific…although if you had wanted to chat with the guy at the bar, you had my permission to smack him just then!

    • Haha, thanks Donna. The thing was, I didn’t even want to be in that bar in the first place, so my brother gave me a good reason to get outta there. That said, my daughter was quite (too?) discriminating in her dating choices, thus she seldom dated. Her mother (yes, me!) kept on telling her – “go to a bar with some friends.” What a mom! ;-0 Well, finally she took my advice. And she met her (now) husband at the first bar she went to. Go figure. Love/life is odd….

  9. Pam, I’m groaning along with you at your brother’s words to the guy – no wonder he scarpered! Very sweet of your bro but still..! 😀 I’m sure the three of you had a great evening afterwards. You describe those school dances (discos) perfectly, blimey, weren’t they the most painful of events?! And there’s always a Skip…A great post, Pam that has me chuckling. As for going out…maybe with some female friends and no brother? Enjoy yourself! ❤️

    • I was kind of a loner back then, Annika. Thus, my brother decided to take it on himself to ‘get me out there.’ Ha. Lo and behold, I found my main man (my guy for over 30 years now) a few weeks later. NOT in a bar. :–0

    • I like that – brothers are helpful and at time a hindrance. I’m actually grateful for my brother’s interference that night. The man I’ve been with for over 30 years found me a few weeks later. And NOT in a bar. 🙂 ❤

  10. I expected a totally different ending as I was reading – wondering for a moment if Skip Greene and you were finally going to connect. Brothers! (fathers too, sometimes). You might as well have joined them at their table if your bro was going to chase everyone away from you at the bar – lol.

    Having lived in Manhattan for 20 years during my younger days, my experience was quite the opposite. I met MANY men in bars (women too) – bars and restaurants were where most people socialized. Most didn’t have the room to entertain in those small NY apartments, so I never thought of myself as “a bar hopper.”

    And, since I LOVED to dance, you would never have found me on the bleachers. (actually, our high school bleachers “accordioned” into the wall, so they weren’t even available during those gym dances, so you wouldn’t have been there either.)

    Fun post, Pam.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

    • Ah, what a difference a small town makes. Yes, if I lived in the city I’m sure I would have been a ‘player.’ 🙂 Although, I’m quite an introvert, so maybe not. The BLEACHERS spelled SAFETY to me. I love your perspective of meeting people happily and safely in bars in the Big Apple. And dancing the time away. xo

  11. I had a major crush on a guy from 5th grade to high school. He never gave me a second look. Then in high school when he WAS interested, he was known as a player so then I got to turn him down! LOL! Fast forward many years and we reconnected on Facebook. He told me how much he always liked me in high school and wanted to go out with me because I was different from all the other girls! HA HA! Whatever…. I always had a boyfriend in school and dated the same one throughout my junior and senior year so I wouldn’t have had time for him anyway. Besides that, I would much rather be friends as adults than to have burned that bridge in high school…so to speak. He’s a great guy (now) but still not my type even if I weren’t married. So glad I am and don’t have to worry about the dating scene at my age. I feel for those who are trying to find a partner in this day and age. The single world out there is weird! :-/

    • I bet we’d have quite a book of fascinating short stories called “CRUSH” if we considered publishing one on the stories of a two dozen women or men, Courtney. Yes, I think most crushes leave people….crushed. You were a smart high schooler! I’ve never seen or heard a word about Skip since he graduated (a year ahead of me), so can only guess through my imagination what he’s like now. I agree with you, it’s only gotten harder in the dating scene now.

  12. I really enjoyed this story, Pam!
    Happy belated birthday to your brother! 🎈 🎉 🍻
    Having had two brothers who were close in age, I liked their friends and they liked mine. I didn’t get kissed until the weekend before my 16th birthday. I let this fact be known at a Girl and Boy Scout camping trip (nearly 16 and never been kissed) and after the campfire, one young man told me to meet him at the bottom of the steps of our girls’ cabin and he gave me a really good kiss! We ended up going to his winter formal.
    I have always been close to my Mom so I told her, he tried to put his hand up my long dress. She made me write him a note that we couldn’t date again. “Too fast,” which I was relieved. I was a little immature. 😊

    • What a memory of 16, Robin. Ohh, you brought it all back to me, too. Like you, I was a late bloomer (we don’t have to think of ourselves as immature then, just a bit more innocent than others..). :-0 Your comment speaks to how important it is for moms to have good relationships with their daughters, so they can share info and give great advice. Your mom’s was fabulous.

  13. I think your brother got a bit ‘conflicted’ there! I have no brothers but sisters who have been a constant source of support in my life – one just moved out of London (not that far away) but I had a sudden flash of all the times she helped me move flats/house and it was a real jolt not to have her living in the same town as me anymore.

    • I’ve always wanted a sister. Fortunately, my brother’s wife calls me “Sis” and we get along well. Hope you still get to see your sister often even though she’s outside of London now. (And hopefully you don’t move since it will be harder for her to help you.) 🙂

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