When I was a high school freshman I finally went out with Candice. She was stunningly beautiful. Lucky for me she was also my best friend’s cousin. I have never been more nervous with a woman than before that date. I might as well have been dating Kate Upton and Selena Gomez and their twin sisters.

We went to see a rerun of the movie “Where The Red Fern Grows.” Short synopsis: Dirt-poor Appalachian family. The kid wants coon-hunting dogs. They have no money. The kid cuts fields for a penny. Takes him five years to save enough money.

One night he runs away, takes a train, goes to this town, and buys two bloodhounds: Old Dan and Little Anne. Carves their names on a tree. Comes back and raises these dogs. They end up winning the state coon-hunting championship.

One night not long after that, they’re hunting and a cougar attacks Old Dan. They take him back home, try to nurse him. He dies. They bury Old Dan in the yard. Then Little Anne will not eat. She just lies out on Old Dan’s grave and moans. Pretty soon Little Anne dies from a broken heart. They bury her next to Old Dan.

Soon the family decides to move on. They’re loading up the wagon and the boy says, “Let me say good-bye to my dogs one last time.” At the beginning of the movie, the kid’s mother had told him a story: “And the place where the greatest love on earth is,” she said, “a red fern will grow.” So he runs over the hill and there, between two mounds of dirt, grows a red fern.
Now, I am dating the most beautiful girl in Benedictine Abbey School and I am sobbing uncontrollably. This movie made “Schindler’s List” look like a comedy. I cannot quit crying on our first date. This is the saddest story I have ever seen. We’re driving home and I’m still crying. I’m so broken up I didn’t even care about what Candice thought of my blubbering.

Finally, I parked in front of Candice’s house and started kissing her. By the way, parking in front of your date’s house is, contrary to conventional wisdom, a very smart move. You can get away with almost anything.

Even if her parents look out the window and see someone’s heels pressed against the left rear passenger window, they don’t really see them because they can’t imagine you’d have the nerve to try and climb on top of their daughter RIGHT IN THEIR OWN DRIVEWAY.

As for Candice, she kissed me enthusiastically. Apparently, not being ashamed to let her see me get in touch with my female side made her happy to let me get in touch with her female side.

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