Time Travellers from the 1960's : Ch.8 : Cheryl, The Modern Woman (Part 1)
Chapter 8 : Cheryl, The Modern Woman (Part 1)
Ted was finding the modern women were all possessive. One lady, Cheryl, almost wanted him to marry her before she had let him do more than kiss and cuddle her. She looked him seriously in the eye and demanded to know that he was committed to her before they could let the relationship develop further. Ted believed he was an honest guy, and, although he wasn't averse to telling the occasional white lie, he wasn't keen on giving a false commitment, which was important to her. He could have embarked on a nice little relationship; it would have been so easy, but he did not want to upset the lady, so initially he tried to keep his distance.
The ladies of 'the future', as he still called it, reminded him of many women in the sixties. They were angling for the best man they could find, and when they found him they wanted to claim him. The 'straight' people of the sixties, and in the years before, felt the pressure of marriage dragging at them. Many had viewed marriage as necessary before they could be seen to be living with someone. Some, quite a large number even then, would not sleep with a man unless they were married to him, so the finding of the right partner assumed primary importance in their psychology. He could see, after being here in 'the future' for some time, that almost none amongst the 'modern' women would insist on marriage before sex, although he had heard that there was a big religious revivalist movement which held such an opinion, mainly in the south and the midwest. He had seen little evidence of that here in California so far, but he supposed that its impact might well be affecting those women he was meeting, making them less open to casual flings. The 'modern' women he found were quite prepared for sex before marriage. It was just that many of them wanted the real promise of marriage first.
Ted was finding it hard work with the women of his future. The slightest mention that he had a ‘partner’ was enough to dampen any possibility of a new relationship with most of these women. And yet, on the surface, a sexual revolution, of a sort, had occurred since his day. Sexual ‘deviancies’ such as being gay or lesbian, or being open to both possibilities were well understood and accepted by most of the population. The movements for a more open society of which the New Seminary was one, of his own time, had not persuaded the population of all their ideas, but they had encouraged a more liberated society. Now hardly anyone but a few oddballs insisted on or even thought desirable abstinence from full sex before marriage. No longer did couples wait until they were completely trapped in marriage before finding out whether they were sexually compatible.
That part of the future world was good. They were more relaxed about sexual subjects than the general society of thirty years before. In his own time the young were awakening to a new openmindedness about many things, including the sexual. Ted had fully expected this trend to continue, and it had, but in a conservative form. Sexual attitudes had changed very much, but basic social practices had not changed. Women and men flirted with fantasy, were quite happy to watch erotic scenes on telly or read about them in books. They were generally proud if they had had a few sexual adventures, but most wanted mainly to find the right partner for themselves and nice little casual flings were still frowned on. As in his own time there was a high degree of hypocrisy in the judgements of many.
Cheryl, the woman who had virtually told him she would not entertain him unless he was serious about marrying her at some point in the future, was someone he still ran into quite frequently at work. Every time he came across her he could not resist flirting with her in some small way, and she continued to be open to him. He could not help himself because her classy blonde looks attracted him very much. Perhaps he could ignore what she had told him about the prospect of potential marriage being necessary before she would entertain him. He decided he would try to risk starting a relationship with her after all, because he felt drawn towards her.
The next time he ran into her at work Ted suggested, ”Perhaps I could take you out for a meal this evening.” He just could not resist. This medium height blonde was so beautiful!
She beamed sweetly at him, ”You would? That is so good of you. I’d love to.” Her eyes glittered and mesmerised him. He couldn’t wait to get his hands around her pretty waist. It was good looking. He knew this woman had given her last partner the push very recently. She had seemed to make it clear that she was searching for a new partner. This one was unattached, a career woman, intelligent, gifted. He had thought she might be interested in him but he had seen her flirting with other men. It was as if she was luring potential mates out into play so that she could select one. This response proved that she was interested.
Ted called Louise using the new mobile telephone he had recently acquired. “Hi Lou. I’ll be staying out this evening. Hope ya don’t mind the short notice.” He knew she’d been expecting him home, because in their relationship, normally, plans to be apart were notified in advance. It was a practice they had got into over the years, although plans could easily be changed at the last moment. Both partners felt obliged to let the other one know as soon as there were any changes in plans.
“Oh, fair enough,” said Louise. “ Pity, I was lookin’ forward to a quiet evening with you for a change. I’ll just have to spend it on my own. What’re you up to anyhow?”
“There’s a woman at work, seems to have taken an interest in me. So I thought I’d take her out. Tonight was a convenient night,” Ted revealed all this happily. There need be no secrets between them. Particularly when it came to sexual matters. They had swung with other couples and singles often enough before, back in their past. Theirs was an open relationship, the stronger because of its honesty and the diversity of their social and sexual experience.
“Is it that blonde woman you told me about the other day?” guessed Louise.
“Yeah, you guessed. That’s the one,” said Ted. “It’s just a meal at this stage. You know what these so called children of the sexual revolution are really like!”
“You be careful,” advised Louise, “don’t let her start twisting you into someone you’re not, before you have your bit of fun.”
“I won’t,” he laughed.
“Still it’s a shame I can’t have you tonight,” said Louise believably.
“Maybe you can later. If not we’ll get together tomorrow,” said Ted.
So Ted went on the date. The beautiful Cheryl was entertaining company. She embarked on long explanations of her personal history; the perfect childhood, model father, model mother, model elder brother. She had been, according to herself, an active learner, easily intelligent, plenty of female friends, singing, dancing, art and sports, holidays around the States, even to Europe, Canada and Mexico. She achieved high grades at school and decided to pursue a career in computer programming. In so many ways she appeared to match Ted in his interests and achievements. She was expertly sociable, and she chatted him up, flirtatiously and interestingly, asking about his own background and interests. In accordance with Future Investments’ rules he revealed nothing of his formative past in the heady days of optimism and expectation of thirty years before.
Where it was appropriate he talked about his background, California, his parents, brother and sisters, schools, college, his love of music, particularly rock’n’roll. He even talked about his interest in computers. He had already learned plenty about modern technologies so he was able to be convincing as a modern man of his apparent generation. There was no reason for Cheryl not to buy it, although there were sure to be some references of modern culture he might miss. He was reminded how similar the ‘western’ lifestyle had remained. In many ways there was no cultural and attitudinal gap between them.
Cheryl suggested a weekend away, perhaps in a fishing village around Monterey, where they could go for pleasant walks along the shore. Ted knew Louise wouldn’t be too pleased about that. He knew without having to ask that she would have been happy to share him with Cheryl for some time. She appreciated the kick he was getting from Cheryl’s shapely body. But a whole weekend away from Louise at a time when she had no other lover or particular companion to spend time with did seem unfair to his partner, after the tough few months they had had getting used to this future society, which was not quite the same as they had imagined.
He knew Louise was finding the tough modern work codes demanding and was disappointed by the many changes for the worse which she had observed. As ever when he couldn’t decide what to do, Ted prevaricated. He told Cheryl that he would love to go away soon, but now wasn’t the time.
“Aw come on Ted, you’ve been sayin’ that for weeks now, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any closer. What’s wrong? I know you want me, I can feel it when you make love to me. Well a full weekend away together will give us lots of time to make love, in between walks along the shore and romantic meals for two.” They had been making love for some time now. Ted had passed Cheryl’s tests, and was considered by her to be ‘trustworthy’ and a good candidate for an ever closer relationship, probably ending in marriage if Cheryl still thought he was ideal for marriage after a couple of years or maybe more. She already had two kids from an earlier marriage, so she could approach this one with dignity, and not rush. He had passed the sexual tests also with flying colours, it seemed, which made her urgency greater, if anything.