The Morning After

Molly really wanted to go watch out the window for Joe's car. She really, really did. But that would be too forward, she thought. It had taken every bit of courage she’d had just to call him and ask him for this date, and that was forward enough. While she waited for him to come to the phone, she’d thought she was going to pass out.


Every Friday night, there was a sock hop at the Community Center. All the kids in the neighborhood went. Molly loved it.  She went every week with her friend Vicki, who lived across the street, and they always dressed up for the dance. Her favorite outfit was her blue skirt with the little plastic 45s sewn on the rickrack musical bars that circled the skirt, with her wide black elastic belt. And of course, the hoop crinoline petticoat beneath, just like Alice Lon. As soon as she was out the door, she put on her Tangee lipstick and took off the socks her parents made her wear with her ballerina flats. Even though they called it a “sock hop,” none of the cool girls actually wore socks.

 Bah-bah-bah-bah, bah-bah-bah-bah
Bah-bah-bah-bah. bah-bah-bah-bah, at the hop!

The Community Center was a big rectangular hall with a little stage at the end.  The disc Jockey sat on the stage with his record player and speakers, and down both long sides of the room, there were chairs set up.  As soon as kids arrived, they went to sit with their friends. The boys sat on one side, and the girls on the other. The lights were low, and the disk jockey spun the Top 40.

The dance floor was usually full, but only a few of the older boys and girls danced together. Mostly, it was just girls, dancing together and pretending they were on American Bandstand.  The boys sat along "their" side elbowing each other and joking that dancing was dumb, just like the girls.  But the girls all knew it was because they were too scared they'd make a fool of themselves in front of their friends. Their loss. They were the ones missing out. It was groovy.

Well, you can rock it you can roll it
You can stop and you can stroll it at the hop


Tonight, Molly thought, the dance was going to be even more exciting. It was Sadie Hawkins Day. The girls got to ask the boys to the dance and she had a date!

Joe lived down the street, and he was an older man, a teenager!  He was so cute, tall with dark curly hair.  She had had a crush on him for-ever!  Since he was three years older than she was, she was pretty sure that he’d never noticed her. She thought about asking him, and then told herself, don’t be stupid.

But Vicki egged her on.

“C’mon! This is your chance! The worst that can happen is he says no. What’ve you got to lose? Don't be such a scaredy cat!”

Oh, sure, that was easy for her to say. She was going with her brother Bob, so she was all set.

When the record starts spinnin'
You chalypso and you chicken at the hop
Do the dance sensation that is sweepin' the nation at the hop

Heart pounding, she picked up the phone, put her finger in the dial, then hung up. Pick it up, put it down. Pick it up, put it down. Over and over. On the fourth try, she actually dialed his number, and as soon as his mother answered, she hung up. Finally, she managed to stay on the line long enough to ask to speak him, but as soon as he said “Hello,” her voice deserted her.

“Hello? Hello?”

Playing Vicki’s words over and over in her head (what've you got to lose?), she blurted out, “Um, hi. this is Molly.  I was wondering if, um, you want to go to the Sadie Hawkins dance with me.” Phew!  She got it out!  And then she listened to several seconds of silence while her face turned beet red. See, you idiot! He’s gonna say no.

Finally, he said, OK, sure.”

OH!  MY!  GRAVY !!!   She was going to the dance with Joe. She could hardly stand it! Wait until she told Vicki!

Well, you can swing it you can groove it
You can really start to move it at the hop

Somehow arrangements were made. And now, in just a few minutes, Joe was coming to pick her up.

The doorbell rang. Her father answered it, and asked Joe in. After a bunch of really embarrassing questions about when they would be home and stuff, and even more embarrassing, standing beside Joe while Dad took a picture, they left. They walked out to the car and got in the back seat.

“Hi, Mrs. Antonio.”

Joe’s mother was driving, and his little brother Mikey sat beside her. As she drove, Mrs. Antonio chatted on and on about something and Mikey sat peering over the seat, grinning like a fool.  But Molly was so nervous, she hardly noticed. And then, thank heavens, they were at the Community Center.

She and Joe went inside, paused inside the door and looked around.  And then he said, “See you later,” and sauntered over to join his friends. She found Vicki and the other girls from the neighborhood, who were all giggling like crazy, and sat down with them.

Where the jockey is the smoothest
And the music is the coolest at the hop

And then, too soon, it was 10 o’clock and the disk jockey played the last song. She and Joe met at the door, and they went out to the parking lot where Mr. Antonio sat waiting. Just before they got to the car, Joe leaned over and quickly kissed her. He kissed her! Joe Antonio kissed her!!!

On the ride home, Mr. Antonio didn’t say much, but she was so thrilled, she hardly noticed. At her house, Joe walked her to the door, and said, “See ya,” and then he was gone.

Floating on air, she went inside, dreamily answered her mother’s questions about the dance, and went to bed. She could hardly wait to go to sleep, and dream about Joe.

All the cats and chicks gonna get their kicks at the hop
Let's go to the hop, (oh baby)
Let's go to the hop


The next morning, she awoke with a smile on her face. And then a horrifying thought occurred to her.

Joe was 14! And he’d kissed her!

What if she was pregnant???

Bah-bah-bah-bah, bah-bah-bah-bah
Bah-bah-bah-bah. bah-bah-bah-bah, at the hop!



This was written for The Tenth Daughter of Memory 


  1. You have my smiling, tapping my feet and then laughing out loud with that last sentence! You wrote that girl from the inside out...

  2. ha. love it patti...kissed her, she might be pregnant...lol.

  3. Haha . . nice ending! Very cute. And I didn't know that going sockless was the cool thing to do. Must remember that next time I go to a 50's night!

  4. Ha! Fun post! The things parents would say to make sure their little girls stayed chaste. I remember one about 'holding hands' with a boy.

  5. Pregnant, lol. Those were such innocent days.

    Very nicely drawn scene.

  6. Brian & Jeff: Thank you!

    Baino: Oh, no leave those socks on. Especially if they're bobbysox. So much better for dancing! But socks with flats? No wonder Molly was eager to be rid of them. What was she, 11 years old? oh...wait, she was 11 years old.

    00dozo: Kids back then probably came up with this one on their own, because parents told them nothing!

    AA: You're right. Even 11-years-olds are not that innocent these days.

  7. Love the glimpse into another time and "teenage" themes that will always be current. The ending had me laughing!

  8. Haha I love this! I honestly wish that my generation was as innocent


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