Lessee now

I was dating a boy I really liked, so when another classmate made a pass at me, I explained that I was going with someone else, and I turned him down. The next morning, my “friend” – let’s call him Rat – told classmates that I’d slept with him. Since I had declined to have sex with the boy I actually liked, the ugly rumor made me look like a lying hypocrite. Hurt and humiliated, my boyfriend promptly broke up with me, leaving me heartbroken and bewildered. I hadn’t even done what I was accused of doing – and yet that didn’t protect me from public scorn, let alone the loss of my first love.

But there was worse to come. When I started college, I was 16 years old. On my first day, I met a sophomore whose blue eyes were speckled with gold. Soon we were spending every free moment together. He knew I was a virgin, and he was respectful of my wishes – until his roommate went home to Boston for the weekend. In a diabolical coincidence, the roommate was invited to a party where he met Rat, who was attending college there. When he learned the name of Rat’s hometown in New York, he asked if Rat knew me – whereupon Rat gleefully regaled him with a sordid account of what a tramp I had been in high school.

The roommate was astonished, because he knew me as the clueless virgin who wouldn’t sleep with his friend. But of course he came back to our university in Philadelphia and told all his fraternity brothers I was a deceitful slut. Like my high school boyfriend, my college boyfriend responded by ending our relationship.

Not yet 17 and still a virgin, I had now been slandered up and down the eastern seaboard by a single false rumor spread by one boy who managed to wreck my reputation in high school and in college, which had in turn cost me both my high school boyfriend and my college boyfriend.

And? And what?

The losses left me reeling, but the emotional blows were greatly exacerbated by the fear they generated. The power of malicious gossip was terrifying; even when it wasn’t true, it could ruin your life.

The pain of being shamed that way has never left me. Fifty years later, I couldn’t bear the thought of going to my high school reunion. This month, when I was invited to the latest get-together, I stayed home once again.


It seems to be so easy for men to forget the damage they’ve wrought. Do they know that the women they hurt will never be able to forget, let alone heal?

Err, teenage dating? What are we supposed to do about this?

Oh, and when do we get to hear from the male side of this? Not the male side o this particular story, but all teenage girls have always ad everywhere been just perfect in their treatment of teenage boys, right?

24 thoughts on “Lessee now”

  1. “Fifty years later, I couldn’t bear the thought of going to my high school reunion.”

    Rest of her class breaths a sigh of relief.

  2. And your boyfriend didn’t believe your strenuous denial of this scurrilous accusation?

    Or you didn’t strenuously deny? Or what?

    And which side of the debacle does this support or illustrate?

  3. Forget Kavanaugh’s show trial. It’s all about her and her still wanting revenge for high school gossip that happened over 30 years ago.

    (But her story doesn’t really add up. If the school bullshit artist is going around telling people that he shagged your girlfriend, who you know is a virgin, you’d punch him out and make him publically admit that he’s a liar.)

  4. Shame for her adolescent angst.

    Much better for her to have been a teen in 30’s Moscow . Where a malicious gossip could have denounced her and she would have been raped at least once in the back of the van going to the Lubyanka. Then torture, public “shame” and 25 years in a freezing Hell–or a bullet.

    So sad she had to endure gossip in a well-off, reasonably free society.

    PS–How stupid is she? What stopped her from spreading a rumour that “Rat” was turned down cos she knew he swung both ways and was just looking for a beard. She didn’t want to catch anything nasty. That would have caused her foe quite a few problems. I’m sure loads of her sisters could provide her with a PhD in malicious gossip skills.

    Silly Cow.

  5. Notice how, when they’re complaining about something else, the feminists forget to maintain their usual fictions. This woman, in effect, admits that looks are important to her (“blue eyes speckled with gold”), that monogamy matters, and obviously expected that her boyfriends should be chivalrous types who would defend her honour.

  6. “Err, teenage dating? What are we supposed to do about this?”

    well if nothing else there ought to be some good game theory that comes out of this. Doesn’t sound like Leslie followed the optimum strategy.

  7. Leaving all the angst over typical teenage crap like this by growing up, used to be something one aspired to and celebrated. Cultural decline, infantilisation by the state and the glorification of “victim hood “ has left us with very few adults of whatever age to run the playground.

  8. @Hector Drummond: there was an interesting column in the Spectator Life mag last week, a woman who writes on ‘Single Life’ was describing a recent dinner she attended, and the differing approaches to seduction employed by the two men she was seated beside, and how she found one repellent and the other attractive, yet was self aware enough to realise, and admit in writing that her attraction to the latter would have still continued had he behaved in the same manner the repellent former had done. And admitting that her behaviour was completely hypocritical.


  9. Millions of men came home from WW2 having seen terrible things, been in fear of their life almost daily, some saw friends blown to unidentifiable pieces.

    Nearly all of them managed to put it behind them and get on with their lives.

    This woman is still reeling from some fucking gossip said about her FIFTY YEARS AGO. Fifty fucking years!

    Get a life you sad loony.

    Oh, and as others have said, when it comes to catty vile gossip boys aren’t even in the same league, the same competition as girls, but hey, men yeah?

    Fuck off, and then fuck off again.

  10. Serious point and all that, and yes I think that this woman is hopeless, but I do think that one of the consequences of welfarism, that is the cancelling of personal responsibility, leads to men (boys) who do not know how to behave from a young age.

  11. @Rob

    I’ve just read E B Sledge’s account of his time on Peleliu and Okinawa – dramatised as The Pacific – which included digging foxholes through recently buried corpses, shitting in tins whilst hiding in foxholes, living under constant shelling and the likelihood that any moment some crazed Jap would jump in and knife you, units that suffered 150% casualty rates (including replacements), watching friends torn apart or seeing comrades who had been captures and tortured by the enemy and that’s just the bits he could write about.

    As you say, though, he must have counted himself lucky that a girl didn’t spread rumours about him at high school. That would indeed have been traumatic.

  12. She was already in college at 16?
    If the boyfriends were ready to believe the rumours instead of her and dump her then they most probably weren’t worth staying with anyway so I’d say someone did her a favour and showed her what they were like early on before she committed too much

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    Andrew C,

    For a more up to date version try the Declassified podcast, Johnny Mercer’s We Were Warriors or any of the books that came out of the front line in Afghanistan.

  14. Ljh,

    “Leaving all the angst over typical teenage crap like this by growing up, used to be something one aspired to and celebrated. Cultural decline, infantilisation by the state and the glorification of “victim hood “ has left us with very few adults of whatever age to run the playground.”

    But really,you need to get away from London/New York bubbles of Guardian, lefty politics, the BBC and all that gang. These are mostly pathetic, useless establishment women with more in common with frail dainty spinsters than normal women. And they environment they exist in is full of other wasters, so they all back up the victimhood.

    You get to flyover country and it’s normal women. They’ll tell other women to grow the fuck up to their face if they act like this.

    The real problem is that tough, real women walked away from feminism. Because really, women got equal rights. It’s done. So sensible women just went off and used those rights to start businesses or become engineers. Feminism filled up with these useless pathetic creatures that are no good for anything else.

  15. Exty years later, I couldn’t bear the thought of going to my high school or Uni reunion.

    I’m sure many others feel the same.

    Tom Utley wrote about his in today’s DM

  16. try explaining that you believe something terrible did happen to her and you are even prepared to accept that she genuinely in her own mind believes it was him that still doesn’t mean it was him, that’s what due process os for etc.and apparently you are a evil rape supporting scumbag

  17. I went to a school reunion once. I got a kiss from a girl I’d always fancied. It was just a hello, glad to see you, kiss. But still.

    I also got to remind a bloke three years older than me that he was the first chap to punch me on the rugby field. Since I was now bigger than him he looked briefly uncomfortable. Less fun than the kiss, but still.

    All in all, it was a pleasure to be there. I’ve never been to a uni re-union. Has this been a mistake?

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