It was just a movie date and I was nearly paralyzed with fear.
Who could blame me? I was, well, me — a 16-year-old with a miniscule amount of self-esteem who’d never been on a date and he was legendary. Not legendary in some kind of a Sean Connery way (who knew he’d come up somewhere besides during the Balding Men week?) but in that adolescent, BMOC way. Not only did he go to the cool public school, where all the real guys went, but he was in a calendar that school made of its most attractive men. Yes, they start the objectifying at a young age in Marin — this high school actually selected the 12 cutest boys and gave each of them a month (I want to say he was May, but I honestly don’t remember), providing teenagers already prone to idealizing and freaking out about the opposite sex a reason to obsess further, and me with a perfect justification to feel ridiculously inferior.
He’d asked me out at an Easter party I’d randomly attended with my mom, where I’d consumed roughly a bottle of wine and been a vision of charm. But now he — beautiful, older, famous in my little world — was coming over to my house to pick me up for a movie and I was jumping out of my skin with anxiety and fear.
I did the only thing I could think of — walked into the kitchen where, uncharacteristically, an enormous group of visitors or family friends or people working on the house seemed to be gathered, grabbed a beer (I’ve always been a firm believer in the fact that it’s best to do something egregious out in the open, where no only will suspect you), brought it to my room, and chugged it.
And now I can hear everyone thinking, Ah, here goes Anna with her tale of alcoholism for the week. And let me just say, I wish I had new material! If I did, I’d happily give it to you. And as long as I’m wishing, I should also note that I wish I could remember my stories better — I don’t recall exactly what happened with my Redwood calendar boy. All I remember is that the movie date went fine, a few days or weeks later, he made me an astrological chart (Marin = rich hippies = into that kind of stuff) and some time after that he gave me a jacket of his before informing me that he met another girl at a concert. Years later, I heard through the grapevine he was gay.
I actually have an essay in a fabulous anthology coming out this June from Dutton called Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys. While my essay isn’t about this, I had plenty of other material to choose from. Turns out liking boys who ended up being gay was to become a bit of a theme in my life. Who knew my first date would be so prescient?