When my version of Mary Bailey had a sexually transmitted disease
I was watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life earlier this evening, and it made me think of an experience from a few years ago.
I had been traveling quite a bit, and landed in a small town for several months. Once a week or so I would walk over to a small, local bookstore and either buy a book or rent a movie. There was a pretty, shy girl that worked there, and over time we got to know each other a little bit. I’m thinking of her tonight because she reminded me of the Donna Reed character in It’s a Wonderful Life.
So anyway, we went out a few times, but initially it wasn’t anything sexual. I wasn’t interested in a sexual relationship at that time, so we were just having fun. But as we had more fun, the topic of sex came up. We started making out one evening, and then she stopped me, and said the last thing I expected to hear from her: She had a sexually transmitted disease, or STD. She wanted to let me know before we went any further.
I have to say, I was stunned. I didn’t know how to react. I am “clean” in that regard, I’m older, I’ve never been with anyone who had an STD, and this girl reminded me so much of Mary Bailey (Donna Reed), it just blew my mind.
I’m sure I didn’t handle the situation very well. I remember asking something like, “What does this mean?”, and other questions that probably seemed dumb to her, but I really was in some form of shock.
I left that evening without us making love, and in fact, we never did. I ended up traveling for another ten days, and then moved about ten days after that. I did see her a few more times during that last ten days. We had one walk on a beach that I’ll never forget, and we also had a couple of dinners, but I never could wrap my head around my image of her being so much like Mary Bailey and having a sexually transmitted disease.
Well, as you can see, there’s no real purpose to this story, or if there is, I can’t figure it out. As I sit here tonight, I don’t know much more about STDs than I knew about them then. I will say that I really liked this girl, and I hope that if I would have stayed in town we would have talked about this and worked through this.
I guess if there’s any point to this story, it’s that last line. As I mentioned, I still don’t know much about STDs, but for her, and for me, I would have learned more about them so we could continue our relationship.