I’m 77 years old. I went to an all-girl school my last two years of high school. A Catholic school, with nuns as teachers and monitors. So how many years ago is that? Maybe sixty?
In any case, I remember a party in my junior year. It wasn’t a party that involved written invitations, it was more on the order of: “Hey, Mary Beth’s parents are out of town and she’s having a party. Want to go?” So a bunch of us did.
A party meant booze. We probably raided the liquor cabinet of Mary Beth’s parents and substituted water for what we’d consumed. That’s usually what we did. That’s what I did when I encountered my dad’s stash of Old Granddad in the basement of my own house and took a sip or two.
Anyway, the party. We danced to records. I do remember something suspicious going on that involved the boys. They were going upstairs, not all of them at once, but seemingly one at a time. That was just something vague that I noted, and I didn’t think it was any big deal. Just weird.
After the party, three of us girls were left to clean up. I went upstairs. There was an unmade bed in the room on the right. Yes, I distinctly remember that it was the right. I remember the lamp on the bedside table, and the way the light from it caught the wastebasket in its circle. A sort of spotlight for the used condoms in and around the wastebasket.
I was sickened. I called a friend upstairs and we both stared at the evidence of what had gone on, and we went downstairs to tell Mary Beth.
None of us knew who the girl might have been. There had been maybe ten girls there, some we’d never seen before. We all recalled the conspiratorial way that boys had, one at a time, stopped dancing and gone upstairs. We remembered them punching each other in a congratulatory way. We remembered them laughing. And now we knew why.
I don’t recall the names of the boys or the girls who had been there. I’m pretty sure the hostess’s name was Mary Beth, but she wasn’t a friend, just someone I knew. I don’t remember the address of Mary Beth’s house or the date the party was held. I don’t even remember us talking in any depth about it even when we were confronted with the evidence of what we’d found.
It was as if we three wanted to pretend that something like this had never happened. It was a level of sleaze that I, for one, never thought possible: boys I knew lining up to have sex with I guess a girl and maybe even a girl I sort of knew.
I still went to parties after that. I still sneaked sips from my father’s hidden bottle. But even now, when I write about this, or anytime I have thought about this since it happened, I tighten up inside. My face screws up in pain. Really. A physical response to something ugly that happened decades ago, a crystal clear visual memory of that part of the bedroom, the lamplight, the wastebasket. Everything else surrounding that visual a permanent blur.
Yes, I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.