Ah, the 1970s. I was a teenager who knew everything and life was great. 


As the Fall semester approached, I was talking to this girl named Mary Lou. We were in biology class together and had mutual friends. I wanted to date her and I decided to take the same Human Sexual Behavior class that she was enrolled in so I could woo her. 


I probably should have just asked her out, but decided this crazy “I Love Lucy” scheme was the best plan. 


It was a weird class.  About 20 people, some who treated it seriously, some who thought it was an easy joke class and then there were a couple of really strange, older guys. Once I had to tell one of them to stop breathing heavy, it was creepy. 


I’m sitting next to Mary Lou and in walks Pam.  She and I had a class together and I liked her, too. Now I have the best of all possible worlds. I’m sitting in a Human Sexual Behavior class and I have two girls on each side of me that I’m interested in. Yay for the 70s. 


I’m not quite sure which way to go but Mary Lou mentions in passing that she is dating a friend of mine. Okay, I’m disappointed, but I still have a chance with Pam.


The teacher was wonderful. A smart, attractive woman who was passionate about the subject. So passionate she organized a field trip to an Adult Book Store for a Friday afternoon. 


This was a real, hole-in-the-wall, “Boogie Nights” kind of book store. When the class walked in, all of the patrons ran out the back door. The guy behind the counter was a sleazy stereotype of a guy who worked in a porn shop. Soon he and the teacher got into a “lively discussion” over what devices worked and what didn’t. He eventually threw us out since we “weren’t going to buy anything."


While that was going on I was preparing to ask Pam out on a date at lunch after the field trip.   All of a sudden Mary Lou drops the bombshell she is no longer dating my friend. So now I have to make a decision. Go ahead and ask out Pam or go for my original choice, Mary Lou.  That decision was made for me when Pam became so freaked out being in an Adult Book Store that she turned to me and said.


“I can’t do this.”


She quickly walked out the front door, never returned to class and I never saw her again. 


So I figured this was a sign to ask out Mary Lou. Why I thought an Adult Book Store was a romantic place to ask her out I will never know, but I say this hanging my head in shame, I did. And she said...


“No."


She had a conflict due to a school play she was in. 


So I left that porn palace an unhappy young man. 


A couple months later Mary Lou and I were talking to a mutual friend and the friend said she was having a party and invited us. In fact, she felt we should go together. This time Mary Lou said “yes."


I use to tell people how we had tried to date and we couldn’t (leaving out the porn shop part, too long to explain) and that I had given up and luck had brought us together. 


Mary Lou confessed to me a few years later.


“If you are going to tell that story, I want you to know it wasn’t luck. I set our friend up to get us together.”


I got a “C” in Human Sexual Behavior that semester but on the upside, Mary Lou and I have been married for almost 40 years. 



Dan Farren is a writer living in California.


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A Very Romantic Story That Takes Place in a Porn Shop

Dan Farren