It was 1969. America had the Viet Nam War, Kent State, the Civil Rights Movement, Woodstock, and THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION.
I was a 28 year old woman that had been safely ensconced in a marriage. I had gone from my parents home to my husbands. I had quit college. My husband started college when he got out of the Navy and had been bothered by my 4.0 average. He asked if I would delay my education until he had gotten his. I had never held a full time job. I had worked at several part time places, but that had been more for fun then anything else. I had a four year old son.
America had changed. I hadn't.
I was naive, trusting, set with 50's morals, totally virginal in knowledge about sex, and didn't know a diddly damn about men. I was unprepared for what I was about to come crashing into ------- the world of the divorced woman! I had to find a job, I had to find a way to finish my education, I had to emotionally support my four year old son, and I had to learn how to deal with men. I had to do all this and I had to try to stay sane. It was not the best of times!
At the time that I asked my husband for a divorce I was the president of the group I had joined to lose weight. When it became common knowledge that I had left the 'perfect' husband it became a mini scandal. I received so much negative input that I decided that I needed to bow out of the presidentai position and concentrate on the more important issues. There was one friend that knew why I had asked for the divorce, and while she didn't share the knowledge with the general population, she did tell people to tend to their own business if she thought that they were gossiping. She was going through a divorce too, and the two of us used to bounce our heartaches off one another. One day she asked me if I would be interested in sharing the rent on a house on the beach. She had two boys and I thought that would be nice for my son. Very nice for me too; I would never have been able to afford the rent on a house on the beach by myself. So we packed up respective households and moved to the beach.
Life on the beach! Physically, it was absolutely beautiful. Emotionally, it was almost as traumatic as the divorce. I was instantly thrown into a world I had no idea how to deal with. My friend blossomed in the atmosphere of open drug use and multi-partner sexuality. She threw herself into the world of being newly single. I was the total opposite Neither one of us was right or wrong. We just handled the whole divorce thing differently and the two polar opposite life styles did not always co-exist well.
She was lookin for work, but not very hard. She felt that her ex-husband should have to support her and the boys until she found a job, so she stalled a bit about going to work. I was working as a flower arranger at a local flower shop. I really enjoyed the work, but it was not something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was going to school in the evenings attempting to finish my education. She accepted every date she was extended. I stayed home and took care of the boys. We were very different, but we had a nice friendship going.
One evening we decided to go dancing. We went to one of the 'in' places. The minute that we had found a free table a man came up and asked me to dance. I said yes and handed my purse to my friend. I enjoyed the dancing and when he asked me to dance another and yet another I stayed with him. After three dances I told him that I better go check on my friend and took off looking for her. When I found her she was on the dance floor. She told me that she had left our purses on the table and we headed back that way. Back at the table we found that both of our purses had been stolen. My whole paycheck had been in that purse. Her purse contained $100 that I had loaned her. We searched everywhere in and outside the club but the purses were gone. On the way home she informed me that she had borrowed the $100, but she had not used the $100, the $100 had been stolen; therefore she did not owe me the $100 that shehad borrowed. Sort of a moot point, the money was gone either way, but I felt guilty about leaving her with the responsibility of the two purses so I didn't make a big fuss. But I was in big trouble; my rent, food, and gas money!!! I eventually was able to borrow the money to see me through. I paid back the loan a bit each week and absorbed the loss on the money that I had loaned her. We got through that and maintained our friendship, though it was a bit strained for a day or two.
She introduced me to a man that she said was a family friend that was going through a divorce. She said that he needed a friend because his wife had had an affair. She thought that we might find each other attractive. He was a fireman. He and I seemed to be good for one another. We spent a lot of time together entertaining our children. The children on both sides liked the arrangement and we were having fun. Then one evening I got a phone call from a woman that said that she was the wife of the fireman. She said that she wanted to come over and have a talk with me. It turned out that she didn't care what I did with her ex-husband, but she was jealous because her children liked me and talked about me and she threatened me with dire consequences if I ever saw her children again. The she begged me not to ever see her children again. Since the fireman, that was soon to be her ex-husband, had the children more than she did I was basically told not to see him again. When I went to my roommate and asked her what this confusing ex-wife, ex-husband business was all about she gave me this explanation: when the man friend found out that his wife, that was refusing to have sex with him, was having sex with another man he trapped her, tied her to the bed, and raped her. He had raped his wife. The husband was riddled with guilt, the wife was using the guilt to punish him. She'd heard that he was happy seeing a woman that the children liked too, so she went about trying to hurt him again. That was an unusually nasty explanation of why the two were going through a divorce. The fireman then called me and asked me to please not let his soon to be ex-wife interfere with his relationship with me and would I please have sex with him so that he could prove to himself that he was still capable of pleasing a woman even though he had had to force his wife to have sex with him. I was very upset with my roommate for introducing me to the fireman, but we got through that and maintained our friendship, though it was a bit stained for a day or two.
One afternoon we sat with the boys on the beach. Some people that she knew wandered by and she introduced them to me. They spred their blanket in the sand by ours and we all spent the afternoon visiting and watching the boys while they played in the ocean. One of the men asked me if I would like to go to a party the next night. I automatically said, "No thank you." My roommate over heard the conversation and asked if she could go to the party and the conversation got all turned around and up side down and before I knew it everyone was going to go to the party. That was the beach crowd, everything and anything was OK. So the next night we hired a baby sitter and off we went to the party. The man that had invited me greeted me at the door and asked me to dance. He told me he was a schoolteacher at one of the local schools and I thought it was nice that I had met a man that liked children. While we were dancing he said, "Are you going to let me fuck you tonight?" I had never heard a man say that before. I had never heard a man say that to me before. It didn't make any difference whether I had wanted him to or not. I didn't know how to handle 'that' question just thrown at me so I turned around and tried to walk away. I took a hard fast step and my feet hit the highly waxed floor just right and I started skidding. I couldn't get my hands on anything to stop my feet from skidding so the skid just kept skidding and I went flying across the floor until I hit the edge of the carpet. The house that the party was being held in wasn't very large, but you wouldn't have known that if you had been skidding across it with me. The skid seemed to go on forever, but when my feet hit the carpet the stop was so abrupt that it flipped my feet and legs into the air and my butt landed on the hardwood floors and knocked me flat on my back. I was so embarrassed. All I wanted was to get off the floor and quietly go home. So much for my first invitation to a beach house party! My roommate stayed at the party and I went home and let the baby-sitter go home too. We got through that and maintained our friendship, though it was a bit strained for a day or two.
When I got home from work several nights later my roommate said that she had invited some friends to dinner. Then she announced that one of the friends she had invited was the schoolteacher. She said that he was really taken with me and he wanted to apologize. I told her I wasn't really excited about the dinner apology, but if she had already invited him then I could be an adult and get through the evening with the smile. We ate dinner and chatted. We cleaned off the table and chatted some more. My roommate and the teacher's friend disappeared into one of the bedrooms. The teacher took that opportunity to apologize and said that he probably should go home. I walked him to the door and he asked me if I would like to sit on the stoop and talk for a bit. We talked for about an hour. He was a very nice man, but he told me he was living on the beach for one reason. He wanted to live the sex, drugs, and rock and roll thing for a while. He told me I didn't belong with the beach crowd. When he saw that that had stung me he explained that he was very attracted to me, but all he wanted was a woman that would fuck and then get up and go home. I thanked him for being honest and we said goodbye, but I was left feeling like a fish out of water. Where in the hell DID I belong in this society! We got through that and maintained our friendship, though it was a bit strained for a day or two.
One morning I was driving to work and all of a sudden the whole world blurred. I was living on the beach in a world I didn't understand, I was paying off a loan that consisted partly, of a loan I had made to my roommate, a man had asked me if he could fuck me, a fireman had raped his wife and wanted me to have sex with him to verify that he could still make a woman happy in bed, I was working in a shop that didn't pay enough for me to do anything but survive, I was going to school at night, I was trying to raise a son without a father, I had outdated morals, and I hadn't had sex with a man in 5 years! I was virtually a virgin in knowledge trying to function in a world of bed hopping and pill poping. I was going out of my mind!! The next thing I knew I had rammed into the car that had stopped in front of me. The light had turned red and I hadn't even seen it. I just sat there and cried. Two men go out of the car and came over to my driver's window. One of the men pulled a badge out of his pocket. They were undercover cops! They were in a hurry, but they gave me the name and phone number of their Captain and told me I would have to go to the station to talk to him. I went home to the house on the beach. The repair to the car cost me $300 . The Captain gave me a lecture on driving when you are in emotional pain and told me I had two months to pay the $300 We got through that and maintained our friendship, though it was a it strained for a day or two.
My roommate told me that she had met a Mexican man that she was totally crazy about. She said that he was doing all sorts of exciting things to her sexually. One night I answered a knock at the door. Standing there was a Mexican man with my roommate draped over his arm. He said that she had passed out and he didn't want her at his house any longer and he dumped her in my arms. I dragged her into the house. She was very unhappy about being home. She struggled to her feet and weaved her way outside. I was tired. Tired of being the constant babysitter, tired of not understanding the life I found at the beach, tired of being told I didn't belong. I went to the bathroom and drew a hot bath. As I was stepping into the water I heard my roommate return. She was unhappy and high. She had been told he didn't want to see her any more. She took off her clothes and got in the tub with me. I was a confused, exhausted woman. I had no idea what she was doing until she put her hands on my breasts and asked me if I had ever made love to a woman. OMG!!!!! I had hardly even made love to a man; I knew nothing about making love to someone of my own sex. I got out of the tub and went to bed. We got through that and maintained our friendship though it was a bit strained for a day or two.
The next day, when I got home from work, the minister from the neighborhood church dropped by to welcome us to the neighborhood and after a bit he said, 'What are you doing here. You don't belong in this atmosphere." OK!!! I had had enough. Did he think he was telling me something I hadn't been told before? I got up, went to the phone and called my parents. I told them about EVERYTHING and asked if I could live in their spare room until I could save enough money to rent an apartment on my own. My father came over that night and helped move my things. We did not get through that. Our friendship was strained so badly that we were never able to patch it together gain.
I was sorry to lose the friend, but I had found my sanity! I stayed with my parents for 6 months. It took me that long to pay off the loans, the damage to the police car, and save enough for a small aprtment. When I moved out on my own again I went AWAY from the beach. This story is one of the stories that I refer to when I say I went a bit mad. It took two years for me to feel whole again and secure enough to feel that when I walked out my front door I belonged to the world outside.