This is one of those occasions.
This started on a Tuesday night in 1973 with a phone call.
“Hello?” Picking up the harvest gold phone on the second ring.
“Hi. This is Jan. I wanted to know if you’d like to go to church with me on Sunday.”
“I don’t normally go to church,” I replied.
“That’s the point. The minister told us we should invite someone who doesn’t go to come with us. You’re the only person I know that doesn’t go to church.”
She had me there. It had been at least 10 years and then I went because it was my sister’s wedding.
“Won’t your boyfriend, Russ, get upset?”
“No. He already goes to a church.”
“Fine. Pick me up at 9:30 Sunday. We don’t even have to stay for the whole thing.
Sunday rolled around. I dressed in my best looking Levi’s and a white shirt. I didn’t have much else to wear since all my money from my part time job went to keep a 6 year old Camero running. Wasn’t going to spend money on clothes I wouldn’t wear to school and work.
I went to Jan’s house and we rode together to the church. I stayed awake during the sermon but otherwise it wasn’t memorable. There was a point during what I assume was a final song, Jan turned to me and said “let’s go.”
No one seemed to notice us sneak out the church door.
On the way back to Jan’s house we engaged in a bit of small talk. But during a pause in the conversation Jan said “just so you know this isn’t a date. I don’t think of you that way.”
“I know. You and Russ are an item. I’m not going to hit on a friend’s girl.”
“That’s a relief. Russ and I had sex for the first time several weeks ago. I was afraid I was pregnant. I planned to accuse you of rape to keep him out of trouble, but don’t worry. I’ve got my period now so there’s nothing to worry about.”
Stunned silence filled the car. Jan babbled something more but I didn’t hear it.
I carried her home in silence.