Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me. If you need to catch up, read Part 1 and Part 2.
During the course of the party, Ben and I spent a lot of time talking, making sure to slip the following pertinent facts into the conversation: we were both single, I liked the beach but (sigh) didn’t have anyone to take me, he really missed the social life he had in college, etc. He also said he wanted to travel around the world as a circuit preacher. Major points in the minus column for that one. But I could overlook it for someone new to hang out with. Kristy had her long-distance boyfriend to talk to on the phone, and my hard-partying suitemates and their lacrosse boys were not my thing, and I was tired of trying to fake it. (There was another boy showing some interest, but I was pretty sure he was gay, which made me realize a lot of my post-high-school love interests had feminine tendencies, and I didn’t want to think too hard down that path.)
Ben is a go-getter. If there’s something he wants, he goes for it, no playing games. And, he wanted to see me. Who could blame him? I did look pretty cute in my button-fly jeans. He was sensitive enough to be aware of the ribbing Scotty had gotten from his teammates on account of Ben’s interest in me. So, he figured the decent thing to do was to take Scotty aside and feel out the subject. As I understand it, the conversation went something like this:
Ben: Scotty, I had a really nice time talking to your sister today and I’d like to see her again.
Scotty: No words. Just “The Look.” If you know him, you know that it means, “You are a moron.”
Ben: So, I just wanted to talk to you first and make sure you were okay with that. I’d like to ask her out.
Scotty: No offense, but you’re not good enough for her.
Ben: All the same, I’d like to call her.
Scotty: She’s moving back to Indiana next month, so you guys can be pen pals if you want.
Obviously, that was not the way Ben had planned the conversation to go. So, he just figured he’d do the reasonable thing and ignore Scotty’s clear wishes. He was only a freshman. I think Ben paid for that decision for at least a couple of years, probably until Scotty fell in love with Barb. But, now they’re friends and we just don’t talk about the aforementioned permission debacle much.