Zelma was a blue-eyed strawberry blonde whom I couldn't help but notice in History class. Like myself, she seemed kind of shy and stayed mostly to herself.
But one day she stopped by my desk and asked if I needed any pencils sharpened. She explained that she was on her way to sharpen hers and thought she'd ask if I needed mine sharpened too. This took me completely by surprise and I didn't know what to say.
Well, I finally concluded that I didn't need any pencils sharpened, so
I said, "No – but thank you, anyway." Then I spent the rest of the period trying to figure out if she was just teasing me, or really trying to be helpful. I finally decided she must be teasing.
But she did the same thing the following day.
Again, I didn't need any pencils sharpened, but, again, I thanked her –
and became more confused than ever.
Well, when she stopped and asked again on the third day, I began to think maybe something was going on here. This time I actually smiled, and said, "No, but I'll probably need one sharpened tomorrow."
She smiled back and said, "Okay."
Sure enough, there she was the next day – right on schedule. This time I smiled and handed her two pencils with broken points. (I'd broken them on the way to class.)
She smiled back, and returned in a few moments with my freshly sharpened Ticonderoga No. 2's.
This was beginning to look interesting, I thought. (I've always been
a slow learner when it comes to females.)
Well, the pencil sharpening routine turned into a daily ritual, with each of us now taking turns asking about the other's sharpening needs. This was not lost on the other kids, who were starting to give us knowing looks and occasional winks. The teacher just seemed annoyed by what she perceived to be a lot of unnecessary trips to the pencil sharpener.
Well, the next obvious thing to do was ask Zelma for a date. But I'd never asked a girl out before, and wasn't sure where to begin.
Next Page: Asking Zelma for a Date...
Here's something I found when I recently Googled Zelma's name.
The night I called for her I discovered that, like so many of us, Zelma was being raised by a single mom.
What I didn't know was that Zelma had three older brothers, who by then, had moved out on their own).
This probably explains how she knew a lot about guys, and why she was so cool and comfortable with me that night.