I don't remember how it started or even the first time we kissed. All I know is that he is always all-too conveniently off again with one of his two on-again/off-again girlfriends every time I am back in Los Angeles. I don’t question it. The only trip we didn’t hook up was when I decided I was more into his friend and ignored his advances. We somehow found a way to move past it.
In January, I had a Bar-Mitzvah back home and, if for no other reason than attending an all girl school left me with no male friends in LA, I asked him to go with me. Every woman at the party approached me, excited to meet him, some a little too excited as though shocked by the fact I actually had a date, and either straight to his face or whispering behind his back, peppered me with the questions that plague all single, Jewish girls.
“Are you two dating?”
I told one woman that we weren’t dating; he was just pretty to look at. She agreed, that it’s always nice to have some eye candy.
“Why aren’t you dating?”
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Is he Jewish?”
“Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
And the oh-so uncomfortable, but obvious, observation, “He’s so cute!”
I am short of breath just thinking about it. Even my mother was a fan and convinced herself the long-distance factor was the only reason we weren't dating.
He and I went out after the Bar-Mitzvah and ended up back at his apartment. True to form, he still shared a room with his college roommate. Not an apartment, a room. He turned on the “noise-blocking” fan, a move I was familiar with, and then turned over and went to sleep, a move I was not so familiar with. I spent the rest of the weekend slightly confused (and still fending off my mother's questions) so I was surprised when he showed up at the bar I suggested for my last night in L.A.
I wasn't sitting next to him or being particularly attentive and my friends from high school didn't approve. They nudged me and made comments and then, what should have piqued my suspicions, began whispering amongst themselves when one of them asked me to go to the bathroom with her. Once she had me locked away, she revealed their scheme: her boyfriend was going to take the boy (he met 20 minutes earlier) to do a shot and have some “Man Talk.” I know in high school, I was the biggest loser and that I've never had a boyfriend and that even, perhaps, I haven't totally gotten rid of some socially awkward tendencies, but I do okay for myself. I don’t need a stranger’s help getting some and certainly not when it comes to this particular boy.
Extremely embarrassed, mostly offended, and slightly angry, it turned out man-time was the kick in the butt the boy needed to resume aggressively pursuing taking me home.
We stepped outside and there was suddenly this unspoken urgency in the air. Tonight was the night. He knew it, I knew it, my friend’s boyfriend knew it. The ensuing car shuffle was not unlike the scene from Clueless after the Val party. None of it made all that much geographical sense but everyone had one goal in mind: to get me laid.
My friend dropped us off at the boy’s apartment and only then did we discover that his house keys were with his car keys that were with a friend who took possession of his car during the shuffle. He was frustrated; I felt uncomfortable, guilty, unflatteringly desperate. All we could do was wait. To further set the mood, we took turns peeing behind an air conditioning unit. It was all just so romantic.
Finally inside, he pulled out the sofa bed and I felt relieved I wasn’t going to be sharing my first time with his roommate, who I admittedly have a tiny crush on.
"I'll get naked if you get naked."
This had never happened before. Maybe my shirt came off once; maybe he unhooked my bra. It was all very PG-13 until this point.
Things were moving along as he put in a request for another activity we'd never done before. Unable to maintain composure, I giggled, blushed.
"There's just a lot happening right now."
We continued making out.
"I could get a condom."
I watched as he sauntered into the kitchen and reached into the first drawer. Charming.
He put it on and…nothing. Nothing happened. He rolled off, leaving me, at the very least, bewildered and embarrassed. It was silent for a minute, then I jumped in.
I’m articulate under pressure. He seemed as confused as I was so I asked him questions to try and work through this.
“Do you have a girlfriend? Is it because I didn’t do something you needed to get ready? Is it because I’m a virgin?
No. No. And, no.
“Please don’t freak out. It’s not that big of a deal. And I don’t live here; I won’t be offended if you have someone else.”
With no real answers surfacing and not in the mood to continue our game of 20 questions, I chose instead, to answer the text messages I had been getting every 30 seconds from a friend who had just arrived from San Diego. The constant beeping alerts were annoying when I thought there was going to be a virginity lost, but when that plan failed, they became a relief.
I sat up, began putting my clothes back on, and asked that friend to please come get me. Immediately.
“Don’t do that; don’t put your clothes on. Don’t go.”
“Yeah…I’m going to.”
“There’s still time.”
“Right. I’m not so much in the mood anymore, but thanks.”
“Well, there’s always next time.”
As if this wasn’t humiliating enough, perhaps next time you can reject me before I’m completely naked and you have a condom on.
The next morning I received a text from him, jokingly admitting he had “f***ed up.” Well, at least he f***ed something.