I’m sure I did it more than twice in my life, but these stand out. Remember, I was a very shy child.

Yes, I did try to take shop in grade school instead of home economics and the principal turned me down so I was team lead of our home Ec team and we decided whatever they gave us, it would be chocolate.

I refused to lose in ping pong in my home, during high school, to a boy. He berated me and said I should have let him win because he’s in charge! You’re in my home at our table and I’ll play. That’s the way it is. He never talked to me again. Fine with me.

Also in high school I met a boy, I was 16 and Dad stared him down and my parents chose the movie. Four years later my father was asked for his blessing and they came to my college for him to ask. I accepted but something was wrong. Three weeks later I took buses and trains to break it off. He said “put the ring on the table.” I did. “Call your parents.” I did, Dad said could do as I wish. I couldn’t deal with the control mechanisms.

One weekend when we were both home from school, we went to Mass. He said we had to sit on the right so God would know he was conservative. I replied that God, behind the altar, would see that he was sitting on the left. That was the beginning of the end. He’s now married to one of my younger sister’s friends and is probably cheating on her, too.

College was great. One guy brought in a pillow and blanket and slept outside my door the first day of Freshman orientation. I only knew because I had to step over him to go to the ladies’ restroom. He found me over 20 years later online and I thought my husband was making a joke. We’re still friends and I introduced him to my husband years ago. The turning down was an elevator conversation in his building. My roommate’s 14 year old niece was visiting and smitten with him. I came in as what he called a “storm trooper” and sent her back to the girls’ dorm.

I think we spent six hours in said elevator, he brought in comfy chairs and stopped the elevator. We talked about men and women and I think we both learned a lot. That we are still friends over 30 years later says something for our friendship, though I beat him up on this case. He made me drive him home, a few hours away, to meet his future wife. They have two wonderful kids.

You don’t want to hear about bosses, not yet. Or devious people at work. I went to work to go to work. I didn’t wear Crocs back then. They were not yet invented. There are also “the dog wars” but we’ll get to that another time.

One guy, we spent many hours on a plane then had three long-distance dates, one overseas. I was set up apart. He was very bright, and much older but we enjoyed talking. He asked me to marry him out of the blue. I told him I didn’t know if he loved me because he had never said so. “Of course I do. Now you know you need to quit your consulting job, get a real job and stay where I live and I’m going to be overseas six months a year, and you have to support yourself.” I said bye, now. Three dates.

A couple of years later I met my husband of over 15 years, who I dated since two weeks after 9/11. This is not a refusal, but an acceptance. One must make wise decisions, and I think our little family is just fine. Cheers, Dee




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