In the summer after my junior year, I got a job at the local mall, probably as a result of my local basketball fame and some clever lobbying by my mom. As a result of my summer job, I got quite a bit of interaction with Lois Chandler, who was a receptionist at the mall and also the hottest looking babe at Tonderburg High.
My mall job was strictly manual labor, delivering packages or supplies to the shops in the mall. However, the packages mostly arrived at the receptionist desk and I would pick them up there and then deliver them to the various shops in the mall. The receptionists also controlled some of the supplies and I would also pick the supplies up and deliver them to the shops. So, I got to know the receptionist ladies pretty well.
I made decent money, for a kid, as a mall worker. As a result, I was able to date a bit. One of the girls I dated was Lois Chandler.
Lois was the girl that at least most of the young guys in Tonderburg wanted to date. She was, as I said, the hottest looking girl in Tonderburg High School and she could handle people better than most, possibly because of her appearance and the experience from her receptionist job at the mall. Because I could date Lois, I was the envy of a lot of guys at school.
One day Lois asked me an innocent question that made me stop and evaluate my path through life, Lois’ path through life and several other people’s path through life.
The question that Lois asks me was, “Where will you go, after you graduate from high school?”
I just laughed and told Lois, “I’m gonna get a scholarship and play basketball for some big-time college.” I then asked Lois, “Where will you go, after you graduate?”
“I’m going to be an actress. I don’t really know where, but I’ll be on a stage or a movie set and my name will be up in lights.”
“When I get to Hollywood or New York City, I’ll call you and ask you for free tickets.”
Lois assumed a ‘famous actress’ pose. “You can just pay for your ticket, I’m worth it!”
I, in turn, assumed an interviewer pose, with an imaginary microphone. “Miss Chandler, do you think that your lack of confidence will handicap you in your future career?”
Okay, we continued to joke around for a bit. However, the question that Lois asked me, sticks in my mind.
No one in the local high school plans to stay in Tonderburg. Even those who want to teach will go away to college and then maybe come back. We’re, all of us high school students, voyagers planning a trip into the unknown future.
I’m good at basketball and my future path will most likely start with a scholarship to a big time basketball college. Where I go after that depends a lot on how I do, playing the college game. I have grown to six feet five inches tall and about two hundred twenty pounds. That’s a good size for a shooting guard but I have to score a lot of points, to attract the college guys who have a scholarship to offer. I’m in good physical shape, what with regular workouts at the school gym and the physical exercise I get moving stuff around the mall. I realize that I do need to work a bit more on my shooting, so that I can score a lot of points and get good scholarship offers. I then realize that I need to also get some practice at being interviewed by college recruiters, so that I can do well with that and get good scholarship offers. I also realize that I probably need to do more things to make sure that my voyage goes to the kind of places I want. I’ll talk to the coach and see what sort of useful advice I can get.
I then think about Lois. Okay, Lois is the hottest looking babe in Tonderburg High. That’s good, but there are a lot of other hot looking babes in other high schools and Lois can’t really count on dazzling the people who hire actresses, with just her looks. Lois does take drama class, but then any girl who wants to be an actress will also take drama class. Lois doesn’t take choir and at least some of the other girls will take choir, or whatever, and they’ll be able to offer singing, as well as acting. Lois doesn’t take dancing and at least some of the other girls will take dancing and they’ll be able to offer dancing and maybe singing, as well as acting. Also, Lois works summers at the mall, earning money, and some of the other girls probably work as unpaid or very low paid actresses in community theater, or whatever, gaining valuable on the job experience. It appears to me that Lois plans to start out on her voyage through the life that she plans, without several skills that she really should have.
While I think about Lois, I realize that I may also be planning to start out on my voyage through the life that I plan, without several skills that I really should have.
As a result of my thinking about Lois, I do go and talk with the basketball coach. I ask him, “What’s the strongest part of my game and what’s the weakest part of my game?”
The coach says, “Shooting and rebounding are the strongest part of your game. You have a good shooting motion and you use your size and strength to get the ball on the rebound. Your defense needs to improve, your passing needs to improve and you need to learn to move without the ball better.”
I get some drills, from the coach, to improve my game and I begin to work on my basketball skills some, after school and on my own. It’s lonely and hard work, but I need to prepare for my voyage to my future.
Lois doesn’t like the fact that I don’t always walk her home or hang out with the people that she usually hangs with after school.
I explain to Lois, “I have some work that I need to do on my basketball skills. It’s lonely work but an important investment in my future.”
Lois still doesn’t like it because, “You waste too much time on that silly game.”
I don’t attempt to argue with Lois. I do begin to find out a bit more about Lois.
I manage to talk to another drama girl at school and I find out some interesting things.
Lois wants to play the lead role in the school play. She’ll probably get to do that, since she’s the best-looking girl in school. However, the drama girl tells me that Lois doesn’t want to bother to learn the roles of the people who’ll play parts that interact with her role.