I don't want to get into any trouble here, but I suppose I owe it to my readers to come clean here: I wasn't a virgin when I got married. I had considered this a distinct possibility all the way into my senior year in high school. Again, I wasn't the one making the choice for celibacy. This choice was made by the girls that I dated.
By the time I was a senior, I could recite the various choruses of the "Just Good Friends" speech from memory and I was well on my way to earning my merit badge in abstinence. I was not, as I have mentioned here before, much of a "closer." As I type this, I am listening to Meat Loaf sing "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and marveling at the operatic scope of the back seat tango:
"I remember every little thing
As if it happened only yesterday
Parking by the lake
And there was not another car in sight
And I never had a girl
Looking any better than you did
And all the kids at school
They were wishing they were me that night"
In my junior year, I was driving my friends around, picking up their girlfriends, and heading up to a secluded corner or Boulder for them to bump uglies while I stared straight ahead. I fiddled only briefly with the knobs on the stereo, and at some point I might be asked to hold somebody's watch or glasses. I didn't look in the rearview mirror because I didn't want to see what I was missing.
It fit in well with the carefully crafted nerd persona that I had established over the past decade. I had several dates that year, but in hindsight I can see how the chance for slap and tickle evaded me. They were primarily "event dates" - school dances that required a certain measure of decorum. I know that there were kids having sex before, during and after the Homecoming Dance, but not if it was their first date. Making that smooth transition from "How about some punch?" to "Whaddya say we check out the upholstery in my Vega?" was never clear to me. I blamed it on the fact that I had been sick on the day in junior high school that the boys were shown "that film" and the girls were shown whatever it is that girls were shown.
Was I bitter? Terribly. Did it stop me from driving my friends around town for their regular make-out sessions? No - I didn't want them to think any less of me. I'm a nice guy.
I was a nice guy until the spring of my senior year. My girlfriend and I had been dating for four months. It was her birthday when we decided that maybe it would be okay if I wasn't such a nice guy for just a little while. I remember that "2000 Light Years From Home" was playing in the background, and then KOAQ (103 on your FM dial) went to news. Somewhere in there I misplaced my virginity. One door opened, and another closed. I lost my "loser" cred forever.
"Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed" -Meat Loaf