Let me tell you a little story about something that happened to me around thirty years ago, when I was in my middle twenties. It was a bit embarrassing at the time, but in recent years, I have come to see the little incident in a different light ...
In those days I worked for a music store, one that specialized in providing musical supplies for schools. Part of my job involved attending 'conventions' - annual events where school music teachers would get together to attend workshops, give concerts, and socialize with other people in the field. Our company always took part in these conventions, displaying our musical instruments and sheet music.
I didn't really like these events at all; I was quite a shy young guy, and I much preferred to be buried in the music 'library' back in our shop, organizing things and studying the new music that arrived. I wasn't very good at dealing with people at all. I was especially not very good at dealing with women, so I wasn't very happy one evening when, back in the hotel at the end of the day's convention affairs, I happened to find myself riding in an elevator together with one of the young music teachers - a gorgeous and very sexy woman. She was incredibly beautiful; she knew she was incredibly beautiful, and whenever men in our industry got together and the topic turned to this woman, everybody would fall silent for a few moments, as every man thought the same thoughts ... 'if only ...'
And suddenly here I was, at the end of a convention day, alone with her in an elevator, heading up towards our rooms. To tell the truth, I was terrified. I had not the slightest intention of 'trying anything'. Just being in the elevator together left me not knowing what to do, what to say; the idea of being alone in a hotel room with her was just inconceivable.
The elevator arrived at her floor first, and as it drew to a stop I tried to be polite and say something; perhaps I was going to say something like "Well, it was a long day today ...", or some other such inconsequential comment. But I never got the chance; I opened my mouth to speak, but she cut me off, "No Dave, I don't think so; I'm going straight to bed. Thanks anyway ..." The door opened, she stepped out, and the door closed again.
Her words had such an impact on me that I can remember this incident even now, more than thirty years later. I remember wanting to shout, "No, you misunderstand! I'm not like that! I wasn't trying to ... ..." And for the remainder of the convention I completely avoided all contact with her (I told you I was a shy little boy!).
In later years I have pondered this episode, thinking about how she must have been waiting all during that elevator ride; waiting for me to 'make my move'. What an awful burden for a woman to carry with her everywhere; she was certain that anything any man said was an attempt to get in bed with her. I think we have the general idea that a supremely beautiful woman is 'lucky' to be so attractive, but I wonder if there isn't sometimes quite a price paid for that.
Next time I see one of my daughters, I'll have to remember to ask her!Story #12, March 19 2006