My Senior Year
Without going into details, my senior year ended with a disappointing whimper as I watched my classmates graduate from High School. As is often the case there were rollercoaster highs and lows during that year.
I had a serious girlfriend whose name was Betty. Her twin was Barbara. Her parents were Christians and had a rule about dating their daughters. You must attend at least one service a week at their church. I found that Sunday evening was the least intrusive for me and satisfied her Dad. I was not a Christian.
One night as the service drew to a close, the pastor asked for heads bowed and eyes closed as he began the prayer time. This time he said, “If you need prayer, please raise your hand.” I recall that moment quite well. I was thinking about where Betty and I would get a hamburger and maybe a kiss or two. Just then my hand raised to the sky! In shock I turned my head and looked at my hand as if to say, “What did you do?” It was the strangest thing. And shocking. I shall never forget that moment.
Later, Betty kicked me to the curb and I went into depression, skipped a lot of school and my grades plummeted (throughout all my school years I was an A and B student—until the final part of my senior year. Finally the Dean of Boys arranged an appointment with my mother and I. He told her I would not graduate unless something changed on my part. I had no idea why I was so troubled and I really didn’t care. It turned out that I was one credit short of graduating so the Dean arranged for me to arrive early three days per week to set up the audio/visual cart for the first class. My mother was relieved and the dean was happy. I showed up twice and then refused to come again. The Dean talked with me one last time but saw it was hopeless. I didn’t graduate and didn’t care.
After graduation I just hung out with friends, slept in and goofed off. My mother and I lived together. One morning as she was on her way to work, she knocked on my door and stepped in. I was in bed.
“I think three weeks is long enough, don’t you?”
“What?” I said.
“You’ve been taking it easy for three weeks and now you have to get a job. You have one week to get a job or else move out!”
I knew she was serious. I just stared at her.
“Have a good day and I’ll see you later.”
I had a job in three days. It wasn’t a great one but it was a job.