I was so socially awkward back in high school that if I got asked out on a date, I usually said yes to avoid confrontation. The first time I mustered up the courage to say no, the guy’s reaction was undeniable proof that I’d made the right decision.
I graduated from high school in Texas in 1991, during the era of big hair, cuffed jean shorts and dial-up Internet.
The father of a friend of mine was managing a heavy metal band, which had been sequestered in a cabin for a month to record an album. One night, my friends and I were invited to hear them play.
As we entered the lodge where the band was practicing, I quickly realized we were fresh meat. These guys hadn’t laid eyes on a real human being with boobs and a vagina for weeks. The drummer began to flirt with one friend, the bassist targeted another, and I thankfully missed the boat and hung out with my friends’ parents.
However, my friend did not return the affection of the bassist, a swarthy, thick guy with a jet black, feathered mullet and tufts of chest fur peeking out from the top of his air-brushed Guns ‘n Roses tank top. While he looked old enough to be my father, he was going around telling everyone he was a youthful 21-year-old.
Did I mention his name was Bart? Bart. Not quite the rocker moniker you’d see gracing the pages of Teen Beat as the next heartthrob.
When my friend deflected Bart’s advances over and over, he re-calibrated his aim and honed in on me.
One day later that summer, I received a phone call. It was Bart. And it was awkward.
Bart: Yo, G, it’s Bart here.
Me (thinking): Crap. Should I just hang up? This guy’s a total douche and this call can only end badly. No, no, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Here goes nothing . . .
Me: Oh, hey . . . Bart.
Bart: Yeah, so, I was like, uh, wondering if you wouldn’t, uh, wanna go out with me tomorrow night.
Me: Um . . .
Me: . . .
Me: Bart, I can’t go out with you.
Bart: C’mon, why not?
Me: You’re 29!
Bart: . . .
And then, the magic happened.
Bart: Fucking shit, man! Who told you that shit, man? Fuuuck.
While it was pretty hard to resist that kind of classy, romantic persuasion, I rejected him once again through stifled laughter, hung up, then quickly called my friends to pass along the best string of curse words my 17-year-old ears had ever heard.
It became our motto. Our rebel yell. Our go-to phrase when we needed a laugh.
To this day, every time I hear the words “fucking” and “shit” lumped together, I can’t help but mentally complete the sentence.
Rejecting the advances of undesirable men got easier as I got older, but none of the men answered as hilariously as Bart did.
Though I sure would have liked another phrase to add to my repertoire.
This original piece by Gina Jacobs Thomas was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © istock.com/Massonstock.