The dumper and dumpee

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2003

A few explanations should begin this confession. Growing up I was very popular. Never lacked a steady boyfriend, but I was cruel. I changed them often. One thing I don’t do is lie – I just can’t be bothered – so you see it isn’t a saintly virtue. You can believe what I write even though it sounds like bragging.

Let’s begin the sad love story. In my day it was more important than life that you had a &uot;steady&uot; boyfriend. Well, I had one that had the gals’ eyebrows raised and the jealously showing. Why? Here is the reason: 6 foot tall, good, good-looking, in college (I was a senior in high school – a senior ), son of the president of our local bank – credentials were very important in my group.

Where you were taken on a date loomed very important. So far I was heading this list. President Doblin’s son had taken me to New York to see Benny Goodman at the Plaza and none of my crowd could come close to that date – a six-hour drive from Boston. Now I’m reigning as queen of exciting dates and exciting boyfriend. But for all of his money, car and letting me be boss of the couple, Bill Jr. wasn’t exciting.

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Went to a church supper. Father Foley of my church was a close and dear friend of my family and was at our house constantly. So my dad said, &uot;If you take off to dance at t hotel in New York, you can make Father Tom’s supper. Be there, No excuses.&uot; The general speaks. One does not disobey the general.

So with little enthusiasm I went. Met Father Tom going in. He took my hand and pulled me over to a group of boys all gabbing. He pulled one out of the group and said, &uot;Gene, I want you to meet the nicest of the Coyne family.&uot; I looked up (I’m 4’11”) he was 6’3” and I knew I was about to die. Meet Gene Fahey – good, gorgeous Irish young man. I could handle guys. I was cute (everyone said so.) I was smart (show you my marks) and I fell for the Irish lad then and there.

He never left my side – walked me home, kissed me and made a date for next night to go dancing. Not the Plaza, but it could have been my back yard and I’d be there. Took some handing with Bill Jr. and Gene, but I managed.

Now a bad time came up – senior prom. Custom was that your steady boyfriend was to go with you automatically. Bill had been asked and he knew nothing about Gene. Gene knew nothing about Bill.

So I decided I’d say nothing to Gene, but make an excuse for not seeing him that night. Went to the prom, looked gorgeous and had a lousy time.

Broke with Bill on way home. Told him of Gene. What a time. He cried. Never saw a guy cry.

Next night Gene called to say a friend at my prom told him I looked beautiful and he (Gene) told me he never wanted to see me again. Said I broke his heart. Wow! Wait till this gets around. I was dumped! I went against my upbringing and cheated and now I’d pay for it.

No more Gene. He never called again and I was miserable, but I got over it, You know another guy is bound to show up. He did, but he wasn’t Gene. Sad story.

Luckily, I was young.

The one and only dumping in my life. Could be worse. I did deserve it.

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular News-Herald columnist.