Alan was a sophomore when he got asked to junior prom by an older girl. He rented a tux from his date’s father, Mr. Cohen, who owned the local men’s shop in Monterey.
Alan’s dad had to play chauffeur in his 1962 Chevy Bel Air, since Alan didn’t have his driver’s license yet.
When they go to her house, Alan went inside and had to talk with Mr. Cohen since his daughter wasn’t ready. But first he reached over and shook the hand of a woman in a wheelchair,who turned out to be his date’s grandma and a quadriplegic.
Faux pas number one.
“Have a seat, son,” Mr. Cohen said.
Alan sat in a recliner. He pushed it back but felt as though he was falling, so he grabbed onto the pole lamps on either side of him and pulled them down as he went backwards.
Faux pas number two.
Alan’s date and her mom came running down the stairs.
“Are you okay?” they both asked.
They saw the destruction Alan had accomplished in a short time.
He was still holding the corsage box.
“Will someone else please pin this on?”a nervous Alan said. “I don’t think it should be me.”
Mrs. Cohen pinned on the corsage, and the two young people went to the dance with no further issues.
The next time Alan went to the men’s shop to buy a shirt for $5.25, Mr. Cohen said, “I’ll make sure to barricade the store, so you don’t destroy anything.”
Mr. Cohen was only teasing, but Alan knew he’d blown the first impression. Alan never took Mr. Cohen’s daughter out again.
Couldda Wouldda Didda
Alan drove to his junior prom the following year with a more age-appropriate date. No pole lamps were destroyed that evening.