The pitfalls of dating are a category of experience that has not changed over time. Women young and old can relate to Helen Hampton’s dilemma after a lovely dinner with someone she knew from work. Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center. Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. Curated by Carol Kearns
By Helen Hampton
Years ago in 1961, when my babies were 2 ½ years old, I was working at a small hospital in Bellflower called St. Helen’s. I worked the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift in the office. I was single at the time, so when one of the doctors asked me out, I decided to go.
We had a lovely dinner at the Lafayette Hotel in Long Beach. We talked and laughed and had a delightful evening. On the way home, he asked me if I would like to see his office with his brand-new vibrating table.
He was so proud of it, as it was very expensive and the latest thing. So I said yes, and we proceeded to his office. We went in and he turned the lights on, took my coat, and hung it on the coat tree.
He proceeded to walk me through the office, showing me the business office, the kitchen where the nurses would make coffee and have lunch, and Examining Rooms #1, #2, and #3. Then we came to the room with the vibrating table, and I exclaimed how beautiful it was. He asked if I would like to lie down on it and try it out. I said sure, why not?
When I was resting comfortably on it, he started it up. It was vibrating slowly and felt really nice. He cranked up the power and it was vibrating so much that I was flopping all over the table.
Then he tried to jump on top of me and I let out this ungodly scream and pushed him off! He got really mad, stopped the table from vibrating and curtly told me that he would take me home.
He stomped out of the room and started turning off all the lights as he went along, leaving me to find my way out in the dark. He retrieved my coat and threw it at me. We didn’t speak all the way back. He let me out two blocks from my house, sped off with tires squealing, and left me to walk the rest of the way home.
Needless to say, it was a bit awkward back at the hospital whenever I would see him in the hallway or the break room. At least it taught me a lesson – never go to see anyone’s office at night, especially if they have a vibrating table.