Was I ever embarrassed!

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

Embarrassing moments are not on any hit list. Why are they called moments? They last longer than a moment while happening to you and can be carried in the mind for a lifetime. Moment? You should be so lucky!

I am going to tell you a few of mine. Remember, I am 87 so forget this &uot;moment&uot; bit. You don’t get rid of them. I’m a freshman in college. No entrance exam necessary. I’m a good student. My father’s family (3 of them) have already attended and left marks the stock exchange would kill for. All three successful on a larger scale now. Along I come ready to shake the world a bit.

Found I disliked greatly one professor who had my uncle and two aunts and never stopped crowing about them and their brilliance. From me he expected the same. By now the other students were looking at me and wishing I was in the Sudan. He was sickening. So I seldom went to his class.

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At least the others didn’t have to listen to the Coyne drivel as I named it. I went beyond the cut number allowed. One morning professor and I met in the hall. Good mornings were exchanged. Walking away he called to me.

&uot;Miss Coyne, just a moment. I have a proposition for you.&uot;

Wow! Have that imaginative mind of mine and look out. Remember, I’m just 17. I see faculty teas as I come in on his arm. Attending school team games, I was shining! Ego, ego, ego. You have to have plenty for thinking like this. Then it came.

&uot;I will pass you in this course (here it comes!) if you promise me (wow! Promise!) you will never take a course of mine as long as we both are in this college or any other college.&uot;

He waited for my answer. So far I had A’s and a couple of B’s and a D. Not complete failure, but with A’s and B’ s pretty bad. I had no other choice. I agreed and gave up on teas and games and lectures. I was reduced to every day student with the fervent hope he would never meet one of the brilliant Coynes. Of course I could always say I was adopted.

No.2 in this gripping true confession. Jump to Virginia. (Suffolk, in fact.) I was married to a doctor in the Naval medical corps. He was stationed at Camp Perry in Suffolk. He had just received orders for overseas duty. You know, the kind that sends you where the fighting is. I was a new bride so you can guess how I received this.

I hated everything Navy. Hated the president, the Japanese, Suffolk. You name it, I hated it. Plan was I would stay as long as humanly possible. When Frank left so would I but he’d go by ship and I’d drive from Virginia to my folks’ home in Massachusetts – a long drive alone.

Amid tears and hugs Frank left. A few minutes later I was off from the south to the north of my birth. Went along fine but with little or no traffic I was speeding. I was pulled over and imagine my surprise when the trooper opened the door and sat on the passenger side and locked the door. He chatted nicely and I was getting nervous. I watched his eyes and what showed was not what I wanted to see. I had dated a good deal and had seen that look so now I’m on my own. I said I was sorry to be breaking the law, I had just left my husband heading into the war and as an afterthought had just found out I was pregnant.

I got a surprised look and an angry one. Here’s what he said, &uot;Damn! Go on. Maybe my luck will change next time.&uot; (Now I knew my feelings were right.) &uot;Don’t speed.&uot; This helped lift my spirits. I actually felt like I have been saved from prison. Maybe I had.

Florence Arena is a regular News-Herald columnist.