Life With Mabel: Part Three

This is the third part of a fiction serial, in 758 words.

Now that Mabel no longer worked at the cinema, she could enjoy being a customer instead. Her twice-weekly dates with Reg fell into a pleasant routine. He would pop round after work on a weekday, and they would just sit and chat in the parlour. Then he would join the family for dinner, before going home.

He mostly talked to dad about work, and dad would talk to him about saving money for when it was necessary. Mabel knew what her dad meant of course, saving for a place of their own, after the wedding. She had not long turned fifteen, so was still much too young, and Reg hadn’t even talked about getting engaged. But they were courting. It was accepted that they would marry in time.

It wasn’t long before Mabel started to wonder why Reg wasn’t very romantic. His idea of smooching was to press his lips ahainst hers, and leave them there. He never tried to feel her up, even though she wouldn’t have let him. But she liked to imagine he would try, at least once. When they went to watch films at the weekend, most young couples sat in the back row, lips glued together, ignoring the film.

She was sure that most of them wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about both the films that had been shown. Reg was content to sit in the circle, near the front. Tickets were more expensive than downstairs, and there was no chance of any kissing and cuddling without being seen from behind. She got used to it in the end, and he always bought her an ice cream during the intermission.

At work in Woolworth’s, the older women talked about sex a lot when they were together in the staff room. Most of the older ones didin’t seem to like it much, and moaned about their husbands still wanting it after so many years together. But some of the women, usually the type you least expected, would smile when they talked about it. Quite a few of them had been with many men, especially during the war. They weren’t embarrassed to discuss it either, not in the least bit ashamed.

Mabel knew enough. How you got in the family way if you weren’t careful. How you were a virgin until your wedding night, and how the man knew what to do. Her mum had told her after her first monthlies, even though she hadn’t wanted to hear it at the time and had a red face for hours afterwards. She had also warned her about what she called ‘giving it away too easy’. Mum’s words were seared into her brain.

“You might think you love him. You might think he will stick by you. But let him do it before a ring is on your finger, and mark my words he will be off as fast as if he had a rocket in his pants. He has to respect you, show some serious intentions. Even then, don’t go all the way. Come and talk to me when it happens, and I will tell you how to keep him happy”.

Thinking about that long chat with mum, Mabel came to the conclusion that Reg had probably never had a girlfriend before. Or maybe his dad had given him a similar talking-to? As her own dad was fond of saying, “The Prices are a respectable family”.

Given all that, there were still times when they sat together in the parlour that she wished Reg would act a bit more excited, and chance his arm for a feel. After all, they were still teenagers. If they didn’t try all that stuff now, when would they? She at least wanted to have to tell him no a couple of times before the wedding. And three years seemed a long time to wait to discover what it was going to feel like.

She couldn’t help but remember the times when she got frustrated with him. Blatantly showing her stocking tops when they were in the parlour, or hugging him tight when they kissed. Reg was either amazingly good at controlling himself or didn’t have a clue what to do, as he showed no reaction at all. There were a few times when she was determined to touch him, to see what happened. But with her parents probably listening at the kitchen table, she didn’t want to chance any dramas.

Her main worry was that he didn’t find her remotely attractive. But then why had he asked her out?

32 thoughts on “Life With Mabel: Part Three

  1. Reg has his hands full with Mabel, but it is odd that he has no reaction, even when she’s clearly encouraging him? I too wonder if it’s inexperience or disinterest in females? I’m sure we’ll find out. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reg is completely inexperienced, and very awkward about sex. He actually feels it is all a bit ‘dirty’. There were many like him, before the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) Since serials always have a header image that relates to the story, I assume Mabel will end up fishing in a meandering stream near the mountains.
    (2) Etymologically speaking, a parlour seems well suited for conversations.
    (3) Henry VIII used to leave the court to go courting. When Anne Boleyn agreed to wear his ring, she excitedly told her parents, “I’m heading off to court to be married!” (I think she should have said that the other way around.)
    (4a) Most young couples sat in the back row, lips glued together, ignoring the film. Let’s face it, that doesn’t make a lick of sense.
    (4b) A young couple sat in the back row of the cinema, their lips glued together. Attempting to throw her voice, the girl mumbled, “So you work at the industrial glue factory near the airport?” The boy mumbled in replied, “Yes. I’m using the product as a lip balm.”
    (4c) Reg once told Mabel that her lips tasted like the back side of a postage stamp. (He was not very romantic, but Mabel decided to stick with him.)
    (5) One evening, they went to see “The Stunt Man.” Thanks to the movie, they had their fill of ice cream.
    (6) The girls at the Chicken Ranch never give it away. #RespectThePrices
    (7) Reg definitely has a rocket in his pants. And it’s loaded with fuel. He’s just waiting for the countdown before sending Mabel into orbit.
    (8) Eve complained to God, “If we don’t try all that stuff now, when will we?” God replied, “Be patient. Adam doesn’t have a clue what to do. Until I have a chat with him, he’s just a hopeless garden gnome.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have published quite a few serials that had no header image. I couldn’t decide on one for Mabel, so left it out.
      I always chuckle at your references to the old serial about the aeroplane glue, David. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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