I Shoulda Coulda Woulda

Nov 8, 2023

In 1962 I was 15 years old and I got invited to a party where there were girls. What did I know about girls? They didn’t play poker. They didn’t cut grass or shovel snow. They didn’t play stick ball or stoop ball. Actually, I didn’t know anything about girls. And, here I was at a party with girls. Well, it didn’t take long before they rounded up the boys to play Spin the Bottle. We sat down in a circle and set a bottle in the middle of the circle. It didn’t take long for me to realize this was some sort of kissing game. All of sudden I’m looking across the circle and there was the girl who I dreamed about in school. She was a cheerleader. The game started and before I knew it, it was my time to spin the bottle. Now, mind you, I never played this game but boy did my testosterone kick in when I saw that girl. I never gave much thought to the kind of bottle we were spinning. But, I soon realized we weren’t spinning a round glass bottle. It was, in fact, a square glass milk bottle. Anyway, I grabbed the bottle in my hand and proceeded to spin it with all of my might. The bottle turned and twisted, danced on its side, flipped up in the air and crash landed into a mess of broken glass. I guess I wasn’t too subtle about my early interest in this game. Too bad about my rock hard grip.

The party was not over though. We proceeded to another game called, Post Office. It wasn’t really much of a game. The girls were in charge. They picked a guy and asked him what kind of “delivery” they wanted. Pretty much anything from a Penny Post Card to Special Delivery). Being a shy sort of guy I picked … you guessed it … a Penny Post Card. Well, that was the equivalent to a kiss on the cheek. The girl who picked me .. who was clearly well equipped for more sophisticated services … told me I missed out. “You should have requested a Special Delivery.” To this day, I still wonder what she had in mind.

I shoulda coulda woulda ..
Some years later I was in a movie theater with a first date. “It’s a Mad Mad Mad World” was playing on the screen. About twenty minutes into the film I finally got the nerve to put my arm around her shoulder. My heart was pumping hard with all jets wide open. And then, about fifteen minutes later my hand fell asleep. And, even worse, it limped its way down over here shoulder and right onto her right breast. My hand was numb. I didn’t feel a thing. But, that excuse just didn’t cut it. My mad, mad, mad world turned into chopped liver for the night. Fortunately, there was a second, third and fourth date. And, thank goodness, my hand stayed awake for all of the subsequent dates.

I shoulda coulda woulda
It was News Years Eve, 1968. I was living in Los Angeles. My friend, Larry flew back home for a funeral. I had nothing to do so I walked a few blocks over to the Playboy Club and asked them if they needed any help that night. They offered me a job as Bartender’s Helper. Well, there I was in the fantasy place of all fantasy places for any red blooded American boy. I was washing dishes. It was getting close to Midnight. One of the waitresses asked me if I wanted to go to the After Hours Party. Oh, was I excited. And, oh was I tired. I went home after work to change my clothes and fell asleep. I shoulda coulda woulda.

I studied film making at City University on Staten Island. In 1973 I applied to continue onto Graduate School. I chose three universities; Temple University, NYU and USC in Los Angeles. Since I was mediocre student at best I thought all of my choices would be considered a stretch. But, since I produced a pretty good student film while I was studying at City University, my credentials carried some weight. Two out of the three universities accepted me. NYU said I could skip the first year of a three year program. And, USC wanted to know why I wanted to study there since I already knew how to produce a film. During this time I got married and we had a baby. So, I passed up on the film schools and got a Graduate Degree in Performing Arts Management. No regrets. It all turned out well. I owned a film production company for 31 years.

I met a girl in college. Well, actually she picked me up. From Day 1 we were bashert (Yiddish for meant to be). Two kids, a bunch of Grandkids, a bunch of houses, a few cities.
I coulda … I shoulda .. I woulda .. I did a … good thing.