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A Stroll Down Memory Lane

WHAT’S PAST IS PERFECT

I hadn’t seen PAST PERFECT for 40 years before he arrived at the restaurant in a white 1979 Mercedes convertible, wearing an Armani jacket and a vintage Rolex chronometer.  I knew him as a C-average high school athlete from a poor farm family. Now he’s a corporation lawyer. We weren’t at the table for 30 seconds before he clasped my hand and began fondling it with embarrassing intensity.

PAST PERFECT was happy to see me, but less for who I am than who I had been.  For PAST PERFECT, it’s all about Homecoming, the Everly Brothers, Drag Races, and the Senior Prom.  He wasn’t lunching with a grandma in her sixties, but with a high school cheerleader who had thrilled to his basketball and football prowess.

Cheer

FOR SOME GUYS, IT’S STILL 1963

PAST PERFECT seems to know the location of everyone in our high school class of 366 people and he wants to talk about almost all of them. I feign fascination with the renovation of Harriet S.’s mansion and the marital difficulties of Joey C. (whoever he is).  PP explains his induction into an obscure football hall of fame and how a huge killing on a real estate investment enabled him to buy a shopping center.  It seems no accident that one of the stores there deals in memorabilia.

PAST PERFECT’s dating method has not evolved. It resembles the full court press he and his basketball team used in high school. I half expect him to steer the car onto a woodsy back road and pull me into the back seat for some 1960’s-style petting.

high school

IT’S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL BUT I LIKE IT

Only because I shared lots of high school fun with him is PAST PERFECT’s conversation engaging. I like the rock and roll tapes he keeps in his cars.  I get a kick out of going with him to hang out with members of our old basketball and football teams. But I can’t help wondering why his friends are all the same ones he had in high school and why our mutual friend Lizzy is still wearing her senior yearbook hairstyle.

I hate to admit this, but one reason I enjoy his company is that he has plenty of money and enjoys spending it. He likes fine dining, new clothes, cutting edge electronics, and gambling.  He shows up for dates in a variety of cars – all of them vintage, a few of them collector’s items – convertibles for sunny afternoon excursions, an old black Bentley for arriving at posh downtown eateries.  As for the gambling, he wants to go to Las Vegas and he wants me to go along.  He promises to get a room with two beds. It’s a daring plan, and I promised myself I’d do something daring before I enter my dotage. I told him I’ll think about it.

LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE

bentley

I really want to feel something for PAST PERFECT, but the relentless chasing of material pleasures to the exclusion of cultural and intellectual pursuits is way too limiting. I’m trying to convince myself that in the absence of any other offers, it can’t be bad to dine in great restaurants or to jump on a plane now and then for a trip to Vegas or the Bahamas. But what about my own interests? PP isn’t the least bit interested in theater, jazz, the symphony, or foreign-made movies.  

It might appear that pure enjoyment is PP’s only focus, but what he seems most interested in is building an empire that will impress people who spurned him socially a full half century ago. That being said, I must also observe that he seems at peace with himself, unapologetic about his goals, one of which is simply to find a woman he wants to be with 24/7.   I am in the running, along with a former cheerleader, a couple of majorettes (remember them?) and the gal who, back in the day, edged me out for Homecoming Queen.

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'A Stroll Down Memory Lane' have 7 comments

  1. November 10, 2012 @ 10:07 am Sienna

    Thanks for your very nice compliment, LB! You can indeed guess who this is. I do try to keep from exposing the identities of my gentlemen friends, but you were there way back when Past Perfect was a high school sports hero.

  2. November 8, 2012 @ 8:46 am LB

    Sienna – You and this medium were made for each other. Superb writing.

  3. May 9, 2011 @ 7:08 am LB

    Ha Ha, I know who PP is!! Or after whom he is modeled.

  4. May 2, 2011 @ 3:34 pm Madame X

    I’m inclined to think there is one in every crowd. I hang around with friends I knew in high school and there is one person, this is a women, who is always talking about the past, and some of her best times were in high school. I think we’re all bored by this by now, but she keeps going. She has talked about guys she knew there and how she’d like to meet up with them again. I wouldn’t want to live in a fantasy world like that.

  5. February 19, 2011 @ 1:42 pm Rachel

    I was a wallflower in high school and I guess I still am, so I can sort of see this man’s point about wanting to show off what he has gotten in his adult life. It’s an intersting story and I really like your writing style.

  6. February 18, 2011 @ 11:50 am ElizAnn

    I’ve read some of the other guys in your Dating Gallery, and this one would not be a favorite. Money isn’t where it’s at. Also, why are you regressing (majorettes? oh, please!)?

  7. October 18, 2009 @ 10:12 am Betsi

    Just wondering if that’s you in the cheer photo!


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