Writing about the Saturday matinee, yesterday, reminded me of one of my most embarrassing moments. I was in third grade, and Miss D. was my teacher. In our class was a boy named Steven S. Now, Steven was a class clown, of sorts, but he was cute, and I liked him in a third-grade boys-have-cooties kind of way.
One Friday, at school, Steven asked me if I was going to the Saturday matinee. I told him I probably was; and he said he was too. Now I don't suppose anyone else would have called that being asked out on a date, but in my 9-year-old mind it was close! That evening, though, my uncle's wife (at the time) called my mom and asked if I'd take her son, Danny (only a second-grader), to the movie on Saturday. Mom, not knowing anything about Steven, told her that she was sure I would be happy to. Upon hearing this news, I was pretty disappointed, but, being a little embarrassed about my very first almost-date, I didn't say anything to Mom; instead I just accepted my sad fate.
Saturday morning the phone rang. I answered it, and heard a boy's voice on the other end ask, "Can you go to the movie with me today?" Now no one could deny that this really was a date! I could just picture Steven, waiting expectantly for my answer.
"I can't!" I said, and, in an effort to adequately express my regret, I added, "I have to take my stupid cousin to the movie."
"Oh," he said, sounding as disappointed as I'd hoped he would. "Alright." We said good-bye, and I just knew that would be the last time Steven, or any other boy, would ever ask me to a movie.
I had just hung up the phone when it rang again. This time it was my aunt, who, to tell the truth, always scared and intimidated me. "What do you mean telling Danny that you have to take your 'stupid cousin' to the movie! You don't have any other cousins here. Danny is your 'stupid cousin!'"
I had really blown it. I had no answer for my aunt. I just stood there, speechless. She said that Danny would be at my house in an hour, so that I could take him to the movie, and I managed an, "Okay."
And that was the day that I learned a big life lesson . . . never call anyone "stupid."