1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Two Corridor Misunderstandings

Me, a couple years later, modeling a dress I made (1968). Notice the modely pose.

Me, a couple years later, modeling a dress I made (1968). Notice the modely pose.

Waiting in a school corridor for your parents to pick you up after school should be quite simple, if not downright boring. The key words are ‘should be’.

I sat on the corridor window’s ledge, watching for my father’s car. Mom usually picked me up when I stayed past the late bus, but this week Dad got the chore. Several other kids stood waiting for their rides along with me.

His car pulled up and I hopped in. The following day, same time and same place, Larry and Len approached me. Their expressions were a mixed bag of curiosity and reappraisal.

“So, who’s your new boyfriend,” asked Len.

“I’m not seeing anyone right now,” I admitted. Actually, I wasn’t seeing anyone before either.

“C’mon, tell the truth,” Larry demanded. “We saw him pick you up after school yesterday.”

A brief moment of confusion passed over me before the truth of the matter hit my brain. Crap! They thought my father was my boyfriend. Time to burst the bubble.

“You guys are nuts. That was my father!”

Baby-face Daddy-O and Mom, a few years later (1969)

Baby-face Daddy-O and Mom, a few years later (1969)

Len squinted through skeptical eyes. “Then your father must be really young.”

“No, he just looks young. Everyone thinks Dad is a lot younger than he really is.”

Dad’s car swung into the circular drive. Larry and Len walked out the door with me and casually walked past Dad’s driver’s side, checking him out.

“Who are your admirers?” asked Dad.

“They aren’t my admirers, they’re yours,” I grumbled.

I explained the misunderstanding. Dad perked up with a sparkle in his eyes and couldn’t wait to repeat my story to Mom.

After Dad’s gleeful repetition, he got Mom’s famous “Go stoomp”. We never knew the English interpretation, but her meaning was clear.

Paula, Susan, Bochi, and me (circa 1972)

Paula, Susan, Bochi, and me (circa 1972)

Fast forward six years: Seven year old Paula’s corridor experience was different. At twenty-two, I was home visiting.

Mom returned home after picking Susan (13) and Paula up from school. Paula ran past me and into her bedroom, crying.

“What’s wrong with Paula,” I asked.

“I have no idea,” said Mom. “She began crying as soon as she got in the car and won’t tell me why.”

“She seemed fine at school,” offered Sue.

I followed Mom into Paula’s room where she lay sobbing on her bed. When questioned, she became hysterical and refused to talk. After much prodding she finally choked out the cause of her distress.

“I think I’m pregnant,” she wailed. “I don’t want a baby.”

Mom almost fainted.

“What on earth makes you think you’re having a baby?” I asked, none too gently.

“While I was waiting for Mom to pick us up, Jason (a boy in her grade) touched me in my private place.”

Now, we both almost passed out.

“Tell us exactly what happened,” Mom and I demanded in unison.

“We were both standing by the window in the corridor,” she sniffled. “For no reason at all he said ‘Hey’ and poked my chest with his finger.”

Mom and I exhaled as relief flooded us.

“Wait a minute,” I said, “Did you have your winter jacket on?”


We relayed the news that no baby was in the works, but Jason was wrong to poke her, even though the poke was through her winter padding. Mom informed Paula’s teacher, who included a discussion about good touch/bad touch the following day.

Lesson learned: As usual, boys were the source of annoying bumps in the road, whether in high school or grade school.

Now it’s your turn: Did you have a misunderstanding with the opposite sex?

© 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. mikesteeden says:

    Another trip in your Tardis! Great post – but then again they always are!

  2. chsuresh63 says:

    Hahaha! One more of your gems

  3. suzjones says:

    Bwhahaha. I bet your Dad was over the moon with that! rofl
    Did I have a misunderstanding with the opposite sex? More than likely. They generally saw me as a ‘mate’ and someone to talk to about their relationship woes and not as a girl who actually mattered. So I had lots of boy-friends but went through highschool with no boyfriend. 😦

  4. Ralph says:

    Hi Mary 😀

    I just love your little stories. You write them so well. You must put them all into a book. I expect tens of thousands of Americans can relate to what you have experienced.

    Misunderstandings with the opposite sex? Constantly, normally and I always lose 😉 heehee. ❤

  5. Mary, I’m 65 been married twice ‘misunderstanding’ is too ambiguous a term to use in male female relationships. “Does my butt look big in this?”
    We males are always ‘misunderstood’ there is no right answer to any question delivered by a female of the species – therefore being misunderstood is a way of life for us ‘misunderstood’ males. Perhaps that’s why relationships are never boring. Not mine anyway.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Grant, thanks for stopping by. You have my sympathy regarding your quest for the ‘right’ answer. It does exist, but only the sphinx knows.

  6. Brightened up another gray day here. Great memories.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Thanks, Molly. My father is 87 and is like the energizer bunny. And he could easily pass for 70.
      As for gray, Paula almost gave Mom and me gray hair with her misconception. This was before any sort of education on the matter in school.

  7. Glynis Jolly says:

    I always hated being picked up by one of the parents. I lived close enough to my elementary and junior high school that I could walk to and from. That first year of high school was fine until the last bell of the day and then I had to get into my mom’s car.

    As for worrying about pregnancy, it didn’t happen with me. My mom made sure I knew the facts even before starting junior high school. Her last line with that discussion was, “I better never hear that you have taken off any of your clothes.” The fear of God has spoken.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Glynis, now kids know the vague facts about birds and the bees from TV before they can crawl. Well, a slight exaggeration, but you get my drift. I think it’s great that they learn about good touch and bad touch in school early on.

  8. Afraid my life is peppered with misunderstandings like those. I used to do a monologue which involved some participation from a married couple in the audience. Always dangerous! One night I picked out two people who had never met each other, another I picked out a father and daughter. Ah, memories!

  9. spunkybong says:

    Skinny, you outdid yourself on this one. What does ‘Go stoomp’ mean anyway? Was your mom being jealous? I’ll never unnerstan you Yanks. 😀

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Spunky, Mom was Polish, and we never got the actual translation. I’d say it was similar to ‘Go stuff it where the sun don’t shine’.
      Mom wasn’t jealous, but Dad liked repeating stories like the one above. And it wasn’t the first time. Before we kids were born, Mom was in the hospital and just had her tonsils taken out. Obviously not looking her best. A nurse announced Dad’s entrance by saying, “Mrs. Norton, your son is here to see you.”

  10. Hahahaha! I literally fell off my chair laughing when I read the pregnancy part.
    My father also looks very young for his age…While waiting for the school bus with him my friends would often confuse him with my brother. What was even more mortifying was when a shopkeeper once thought that my father was my mother’s son…My mother could have murdered him!

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Thanks, DW. My college suitemate used to think babies came out of a hole in your leg, right behind your knee. Ouch!
      Your poor Mom. My mother had a nurse come in immediately after getting her tonsils out. The nurse announced, Mrs. Norton, your son is here to see you.” It was my father! Mom tried to croak out a correction, but the nurse wouldn’t have heard her even if Mom could talk, because Dad was laughing too loud.

      • OMG! That’s really inventive! I, on the other hand, just thought that kissing would make you pregnant. That’s pedestrian in comparison.

        I can imagine her mortification! In retrospect though it sounds very funny…

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