When I lived in Omaha for eight years in my twenties, I dated almost all the eligible men I met in my age range, at least once — shorter guys, smokers, non-dancers, younger guys, poorer guys (I was a school teacher!) and guys with facial hair. But I NEVER dated a guy with back hair (that I know of) until that fateful night in 1980 . . .
He was a large guy, polite, well-dressed, and he had the bucks to spend. We had a tasty dinner at a little Italian place off of 72nd Street. It was new, trendy, and crowded. I wore my khaki dress pants that hugged every inch of my (much higher than now) butt. With long legs and a short body, let’s just say I had figured out how to emphasize my best features.
I excused myself during dinner to use the restroom, feeling his eyes follow my backside past the tables and down the hall.
Okay, I was a little creeped out. We hadn’t even kissed, and Yogi was openly ogling me on Saturday night in front of all those trendy couples spending big bucks (did they still call it spaghetti back then, before the price doubled for pasta?).
When I got back to the table, Yogi seemed to be in a hurry to finish the meal. He asked to skip dessert, saying something about a nightcap at his place (do people still say nightcap? It is not headwear, it’s a drink). I agreed, and off we went.
I am pretty sure he drove a sports car, but I was/am so clueless about cars, I only remember it was red.
He had his own house (it was Omaha, after all), and he had a lovely front porch. We sat outside, but he said he was hot and took off his summer dress shirt. He had on a wife beater undershirt, so he was still clothed, but dark tufts of hair stuck out on all sides around his arms, front, top, and back. He even had hair on his shoulders. Then he kicked off his shoes to reveal matching fur on his toes, like a hairy grizzly (not that I’ve ever gotten close enough to see bear feet).
The males in my family were light on chest hair. I’d never seen so much body hair in my life. It was dark, it was thick. It was everywhere. Yogi pulled me into a kiss, those bear arms wrapped around me so tight I struggled to breathe.
“I can’t wait to get my hands on your cute little a –,” he said as I pulled away and made an excuse about having a lot of papers to grade the next day.
“Okay, okay, I get it,” he said. “You’re not ready.”
You’ve got that right, oh hairy dinner date, and I may never be ready for this brute treatment. If this is what you do on the first date, I don’t want to find out how you ramp it up on the second.
So what if my derriere was cute? He went about it all wrong, and he needed to invest in some body waxing (did they do that back then?).
Looking back on the Omaha years, I wonder how I ever got out of some of the aforementioned situations. I asked Yogi to take me home, and he did. I am sure he got a goodnight kiss or two, but I was turned off by his crass approach to romance.
When Yogi called for the second date, I made an excuse about having to wash my dog or vacuum my sweaters (it was summer, so he took the hint).
I still wore those khaki pants out to dinner until they got shiny from all of the ironing. They were my lucky charm for second dates with guys who had more class than Yogi, the hairy bear.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
If I would’ve fallen for Yogi, we would’ve gotten married, traded in the red sports car for a new minivan and had a bazillion kids since he wouldn’t have been able to leave me alone. Our kids would’ve all been born with back hair, thus reducing our winter heating bills in Omaha, where we would’ve lived in a mansion with a six-car garage and a dog named Booboo.