My Horny Hump Day post is here.

I got my first job when I was 19, as a bagger at Stop and Shop. I worked there from July to October 1999, until I had to quit because it was becoming impossible to work around my school schedule. I did like the job while I was there, though, and I got an early taste of standing up for myself when I said I couldn’t work Saturdays. They didn’t hire people who couldn’t work Saturdays, which I didn’t know when I applied and was accepted. But what were they going to do when I told them it was for religious reasons?

I had my bat mitzvah on 31 July 1999, Parshat Eikev. My first time reading Torah had actually been that March, Parshat Vayakhel, but that hadn’t been a bat mitzvah. It was a small ceremony, no peers, but it meant a lot to me. I wanted to have it done as soon as possible. Everyone at that shul marvelled at how quickly I’d learnt how to read Hebrew, taking to it like lightning. I don’t think the rabbi had ever taught anyone who learnt it so quickly.

While I was working at Stop and Shop, a 32-year-old mildly retarded co-worker got a crush on me and wouldn’t stop hassling me for a date. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as forthright with him as I’d been with the assistant manager (or whatever she was) about not being able to work Saturdays. I never came right out and told him that I wasn’t interested in dating him (or really anyone at that point), and that I couldn’t date outside my religion anyway.

Even after I stopped working there, he still rode the same bus to work as I rode to community college. He still kept trying to hit me up for a date on the bus, and frequently sat next to me. I felt sympathy for him because of his mental condition, but that didn’t mean I wanted to date him. I was grossed-out when I overheard him telling some woman on the back of the bus that he was 32. WAY too old for me!

Who knows, maybe he thought he stood a chance with me because I was sort of dressing in a way not really befitting a 19-year-old in the late 20th century:



My little brother hasn’t been littler than I am in a long time!

I’m just horrified when I look at old pictures and see how I was largely dressing in clothes from the Menopause and Virgin sections. I had no reason to be dressing so frumpily and asexually when I was so young and hoping to find a husband. There’s a person in my community who dresses much like I used to, and I recognize so much of my former self in her. It was hardly a shock when I found out she’s never been on a date at 31 years old. When you’ve been an antique virgin yourself, you recognize the signs in other people. I’m proud to say I did NOT leave my twenties still a virgin!

3 thoughts on “Age Nineteen

    1. I’m not ashamed of the fact that I was a virgin till I was 28, though in hindsight, I realize that I certainly wasn’t helping my relationship status by not dressing in more fashionable, figure-flattering, young-looking clothes. A lot of my clothes weren’t necessarily bad, just better-suited to lounging around the house, not the type you’d wear to a party or the mall. At least I wasn’t as bad as this other person I know, who often dresses like one of the Golden Girls.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I had to do the same thing with a few employers except it was Sundays. Since I live in Utah and no one wants to work Sundays and everyone claims it for religious reasons, it was a hard argument to win. But I really do care about my religion and I stuck to my guns. I also had a few creepy co-workers. Like a 19 year old who asked me out at 15. Um, no thank you! *shudders*

    Liked by 1 person

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