1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Impressing Boys

Technically, boys should have been swarming all over me like cows on a salt-lick. Yes, I was that impressive. But due to technical difficulties, they ran for the hills.

My mother, David, and I returned from church and found Mom’s cousin and his wife visiting from Maine. They had a boy and girl, Tim and Sarah, around the same age as David and me. Unfortunately for Tim, he sparked my interest.

How the heck did the boys resist this? As I got older, my teeth got bigger.

How the heck did the boys resist this? As I got older, my teeth got bigger.

We kids went outside and ended up on a stone wall under a huge pine tree (behind Janie’s house).

“Watch how high I climb this tree,” said Tim.

I watched him climb high into the tree. He was good, but I was better. I prepared to wow-his-socks-off and scrambled up the tree to where he perched on a limb.

“Toot toot, make way for the best climber in the world,” I called, passing him and sitting a few branches higher.

“You only climbed higher because you’re so skinny you can stand on a twig,” he yelled, climbing back down.

A minor setback; I didn’t give up that easily. I climbed down to the bottom branch, sat on it, swung down by my legs, and prepared to flip off.

In my haste to get his admiration, I forgot I just came back from church. The rough pine bark scraped the skin behind my bare knees and my dress fell over my head. I didn’t break my neck again, but I did crash down onto the stone wall.

“Oh, Poo-pappy,” I uttered.

David and Tim laughed, and chanted, “We saw London, we saw France, we saw Mary’s dirty underpants.”

“They are not dirty,” I yelled, and briefly considered proving it.

“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” asked Sarah.

With the boys still chanting, we walked back to the house.

“Good gravy! Mary Barbara! What have you done to yourself?” shrieked Mom.

Blotches of pine pitch decorated my Sunday dress, white ankle socks, and exposed skin. Pitch is comparable to amber-colored crazy-glue, only harder to get off. I spent days scratching bits of pitch off my arms and legs. It never came off my clothes.

The pitch should have given me empathy for the scrubbing Deedee LaCross endured from my artistic use of her body. And many years later it did, but not right then.

I fumed in my room, still angry at David for saying my underwear was dirty—the dark spots were pine pitch. And I wasn’t too happy with Tim’s lack of awe regarding my superior skills; I should have climbed higher.

I resolved to discover the secret of enticing the male population. I needed to figure out how Olive Oyl managed to get Popeye and Bluto to fight over her. By the way, I’d pick Bluto, after teaching him some manners.

Lessons learned: Change into play clothes before climbing a pine tree. And don’t hang upside down while wearing a dress.

Related posts: Chapter One: Carrot Attack; Chapter Three: Body Art; Chapter Five: Tale of Two Lennys


Now it’s your turn: Did your underwear ever get shown by mistake?


© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Cordelia says:

    Oh YES at my monster dream job interview last week, lucky me! My skirt rode up and the hiring manager gently hiked it down for me. Mt response was “Well, you wanted to know EVERYTHING about me, right?” Ugh.

  2. Cordelia says:

    Which has nothing to do with enticing boys but I obviously still have not healed from the experience and used your blog comments for therapy. 🙂

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      I’m glad I could be of assistance. My worse hiring experience was when I woke up with a throat full of gunk. At the interview I coughed, and had to deposit a mouthful of icky stuff into a tissue. I don’t think he really wanted to shake my hand as I departed. This was before the fist-bump came into being.

  3. Elle Knowles says:

    Yes! Playing baseball on the school playground. I was probably in the 4th or 5th grade and running for 1st base after a soaring hit over 2nd base. Back then girls weren’t allowed to wear anything but dresses to school and sliding into any base was a hazard! I was sort of a tomboy then! Hard to live that down.

  4. […] posts: Chapter Five: Impressing Boys; Tale of Two […]

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