Gary Rinsem

Homecoming Dance

The Most Influential Event Of My Entire Life This is a collection of diary entries, compiled here for their common subject. The vast majority on this subject are private.

Homecoming Dance 1975

I never thought I might meet a girl I loved. Love is something I just learned about. I didn't understand before tonight. I really like girls but I never thought I might love one of them. If I went on the double date with Greg I would not have met her. I got to the game when it was almost over because I didn't want to watch it. I was really only looking for one of the girls to spend some time with. When I didn't find any of them even at the dance then just I wanted to hang out at the dance that started when the game was over. I only wanted to go to the dance and learn how to dance. I ran into Ted at the game. He was alone but he said he had a date. I think she was Ted's date but I'm not sure.

Out of order, from 1979

There were two things on my mind. I was looking for a girl and I wanted to learn to dance. That is what I was thinking when I fell in love with Tami. I met her instead of learning to dance and becoming comfortable with dancing. I've only tried dancing once and I was only willing to do it because the person who asked was so important to me. It was important to her and dancing is what was on my mind when I first saw her. We went to my senior prom alone because we had no friends in my class. That made it a disaster because we were out of place there, yet the prom is also a wonderful memory. One of the reasons it was memorable is that it reminded me so much of the night we met. It was a special night for me but I doubt Tami saw it that way. Other than holding her on the dance floor I was far too distant, thinking about the night we met. We talked about it but the homecoming dance was not the same memory for her as it is for me. For her the night we met was a date with someone who treated her poorly, good old Ted. She remembered when we met and she remembered when I put her in the car, and her feelings for me at that moment. But we decided those moments were overshadowed by the negative memories from the rest of the night. When she realized the moment I was talking about, when she got in the car with Ted, she just smiled and hugged me and said "yes, I remember that." I didn't have to ask what she meant, she remembered, the hug told me that she remembered it was the moment she fell in love with me.

Back in order

I asked her name and why she was sitting alone. This is the first time I ever tried to meet a girl when nobody was introducing us. I had to do it. I had to meet her as soon as I saw her. She smiled as soon as she saw me. Tami told me she was on a date fixed up by her friend. Her date was treating her like shit. She didn't know where he was. We talked for a while and decided to go outside where it would be quiet. Greg came over when we were about to go outside. He told me Ted was ready to go. Greg was looking for her because Ted refused to go look for her. Now I know what she means by "treating me like shit." I'm not sure if she was out with Ted or the other guy but she was really mad about it.

Ted said hello to me when Tami got in the car with him. I said "You better take care of my girl." We just met. I didn't mean to say it. I was scared when she looked at me. I thought she would be laughing because it sounded so stupid. Instead I saw a look in her eyes. For a second she looked confused but she wasn't laughing, and then there was a different look. She feels the same about me as I feel about her. I already knew what I feel for her and then I felt it from her. Maybe she didn't know but she will figure it out when I see her again.

First time at Tami's House

I found myself riding in Greg's car on my way to her house. It was the first time in my life I have been nervous about seeing a girl and I was glad that Greg was with me. The three of us sat in her front yard. We talked for a minute and Greg went for a drive to leave me alone with Tami. I kissed her when Greg was out of sight and she kissed me back. I have no desire to have sex with this girl. I want her the way I want Cindy only much more than with Cindy. I only want to know her as well as I possibly can and to be with her all the time. I think about nothing except being with her and getting to know her as well as I knew Judy and Sheryl.

I was so nervous sitting alone with Tami that when Greg came back I just wanted to be by myself. I got in his car and drove away leaving Tami and Greg sitting on the lawn. I made up an excuse. I came up with a reason for me to take his car for a drive. I tried to act cool by saying it was Greg's turn to talk to her and I would leave them alone. I just had to be far enough away that I could think for a minute. I needed to be alone long enough that I didn't say anything stupid, I was worried I'd say something to scare her away. I was worried I would tell her I love her.

Seeing the words I love you

I see love in Tami's eyes almost every time she looks at me. There are times when Tami is irritated and it is usually when we are with Greg. At those times I can't see love in her eyes. It usually ends our day with me driving her home as soon as possible. I don't understand and I can't guess when it will happen, but it doesn't bother me since the first time because I know it's not a problem with her love for me. The look is always back a long time before I get her home. She snuggles up next to me in the car as soon as we get away from the area where she got upset. Many times she changes her mind and doesn't want to go home so we go to the park to be alone. That's nice because it is the best place to talk with her. She likes to sit on the table and tell me what she is thinking. The only place better is after school in her kitchen when she does her homework. She will tell me anything then. First we do her chores, vacuum the floor and start dinner, then she does her homework while we talk. The only bad places to talk are in the car or anyplace she likes to have sex. Her bedroom is no good, but my bedroom is a good place to talk. One night a while after we met we were in my bed for almost two hours talking with the TV on and eating popcorn. We laid down and she put her head on my shoulder and talked until my dad came home. I got to know her much better that night than I knew Judy and Sheryl. When my dad came home he got mad because it was late and he didn't understand, he thought it was about sex and he thinks I'm still a virgin. I told him we weren't doing anything but he made me take her home right when we were starting to relax. My car was still broke then so we had to ride our bikes. On the way home Tami said she thought we were going to have sex. I said I thought it was cute because I asked her to come over and watch a movie and talk. Now she acted like she didn't get what she wanted. It was the first time I ever brought a girl over to our house and I was lucky we got to be alone in my be droom for hours. I think she liked it and it was exactly what I planned. Funny but if I told any of the guys I know about this they would call me names. They're dumb, I like sex but there is much more. I am going to find it. Judy and Sheryl got me started and I am going to find it with the girl I love.

(Not Dated, but while Tami and I were together)

I don't remember her ever being mad at me. I don't remember us ever having a fight, not even an argument. I don't remember her ever doing anything that made me angry and I don't think she has.


One word defines the years with her, or maybe the time defines the word, I'm not sure which it is but the word is love. My mind is filled with the smallest of details concerning moments in time when we were together. Every second was a treasure. Every event occurred at such a heightened state of awareness that many of the details are permanently engraved on my brain.

1979 ???

I still have the greeting card, and in my mind I have the image of her face as she gave it to me. I think I will keep that card forever.

(I still have it in 2004, 28 years after she gave it to me) (I still have it in 2009) (I still have it in 2016) (I still have it 44 years later in 2020) (January 6, 2021 I finally made the card digital inside and out. )

Dawn was there at the time. Both girls had a strange look on their face and they were giggling as Tami opened the door. They had a secret, I knew I was about to be the center of a joke or something funny. They were obviously waiting for my response over whatever was about to happen. Tami handed me this card, maybe I'll copy it to include with the story of my life if I ever let anyone read this. On the front of the card it says "I'm sorry but." Inside the card it says "it's that time of the month." The card is incredibly cute but it's nothing compared to Tami's face as she gave it to me.

I had no desire to go to the prom but Tami demanded we go. She couldn't give any reason for wanting to go, she never wanted to go to school dances or any other school functions. I was constantly trying to get her to tell me what she wanted to do and I was happy to do my best to satisfy her on the rare occasions that she asked for something. But usually I was begging her "what do you want to do tonight?" That was because I wanted to do whatever would make her happy. She never seemed to care what we did as long as we were together. One day she got demanding as hell, we were going to the prom. Other than wanting to go home when she was upset I couldn't remember her ever demanding anything before. She was always just as happy to be with me as I was to be with her.

The way she held me is something I've never felt from anyone else and the feeling of holding her is something I can't forget. I felt it every time we put our arms around each other. Tami's mother took pictures before we left for the prom and later she gave two of them to me. I recall the proud look on her face as she handed them to me. I immediately assumed her mother was the reason that Tami demanded we go to the prom. Her mother said "Stand close and put your arms around each other's waist." I have the most detailed memory of the moment when I felt Tami's arm and her body press against me. The feeling of my arm across her back and my hand on her waist. The pictures bring back that memory every time I see them. It was always more than a feeling when she held me, it was an emotion. I could sense what was in her mind by the way she touched me and by the look as she turned her head up to stare into my eyes, then put her head on my shoulder and wiggled her body to get even closer.


I can't see her because she wants to move on, even though the look is still in her eyes. I don't know why she wants us to end but I have to let her have what she wants in life. If I call I know she'll see me. I'm uncertain if it causes her any pain and I can't take the chance of hurting her.

Three last dates

Two times love got the better of me and I asked Tami for one last date. One time we went to a drive-in movie. It was one of the few times that I knew exactly what she wanted and when she wanted it. She never really told me about her desires until afterward, when they had been satisfied or when she was disappointed. I never knew in advance when she was in the mood. This was the last time we were together and one of the few times I really knew what she wanted and when she wanted it. I learned too late how to excite her and I would love the chance to prove I've learned. If only she had been able to tell me all along, or even to ask once in a while for what she wanted.

I took her to Legend City the other time I asked for a last date. We rode the rides, ate a pretzel together, and I tried not to tell her how much I loved her. It was a sad night for me but there is a funny story surrounding our date at Legend City, one day I'd like to talk to her about it. Both times when I brought her home she kissed me and told me that she still loved me. Then she got out of the car and went inside. I didn't understand, I still don't understand, how could she still love me and want to break up? How could she love me and not want to be with me?

One time love got the better of Tami and she asked me for a last date. We went to see Up In Smoke. It was her choice to see a stoner movie, but I enjoyed it for more than just the chance to be with Tami. I was desperate for humor. I only wrote two sentences about that date.

"At the end of the date, Tami kissed me and said she loved me. How and why she is still breaking up with me is more than I can understand."

Her mother's apartment 1978?

Her parents are divorced or getting divorced, and I wonder if this was on the horizon at the time and causing pain for her. Against my better judgment I went to her mother's apartment. I knew she was still trying to get over me. I knew she was still trying to move on but loved me as much as she ever had. I just couldn't take any more of the separation and I had to see her after she called me.

Tami looked so unhappy but the moment she looked at me I saw the most love I ever saw in her eyes. She pulled me into the apartment and down onto the sofa where she had been watching TV. I don't think we even spoke. Tami snuggled up to me like nobody's business. She immediately pulled my arm around her and had her head resting on my shoulder. After a few minutes I realized I had been working in the sun, just a bit of BO going on. Well I already said I was acting against my better judgment. Her hair smelled so sweet and I smelled so bad that I started to pull my arm away. She gave me that look I just saw at the door and she asked why I was pulling away from her. I told her it was because I stink. She was grabbing at my arm and pulling it back around her neck. Very quickly and softly she said "Don't worry. I like it" and shifted a little lower to rest her head on my chest so she could pull my arm tighter around her.

We talked in the parking lot sitting in my car but she still couldn't tell me why she wanted to break up. I made sure Tami knew that I would always love her and want her. I thought she would forget if we didn't see each other often enough. She was suffering with the sight of her mother dating another man and said she hated him. We talked about it for a while trying to figure out if she hated him or just the fact that he is not her father. I think she was too preoccupied for me to get through to her. My message didn't seem to sink in. The best I could do was to listen and to hold her. Eventually I changed her focus to something lighter, something funny when she was exhausted by telling me about how unhappy she is. Before leaving that night I asked if she wanted to see me again but she couldn't say yes. She didn't say no, but she didn't say yes. She looked like she was about to cry but she just hugged me as hard as she could and kissed me and said she loved me and went inside. I don't know if she wants to see me or not. I don't know if I should go over tomorrow to make her happy, or if it will cause her pain. This is agony. I know she still loves me but I don't know if she wants to see me. Why is it so hard for her to decide? Why is it so hard for her to tell me? If the look was gone then I would know what to do. If she would tell me that she still loves me but never wants to see me again, then I would know what to do. But she wants to see me, she called and asked to see me, but she wants to stay broke up and she doesn't want to see me. She said she isn't seeing anyone else and doesn't want to. I don't understand and she can't tell me any more than this.

In the parking lot her mom told me that Tami had been miserable without me. She told me they had talked but neither of them could figure out why Tami wanted to break up. Her mom also told me "Don't worry, she still loves you, she'll remember you, people will ask about you, one day she will call."


It was a week ago. I don't remember how I found out where she was. Somebody told me and I just rushed over there. It's all I can think about now. She lives in Tempe with her father and Dawn. I don't recall how long it has been since I last saw her but I couldn't take any more. In all this time Cindy is the only other girl I ever had feelings for and I always feel guilty about that. As close as the three of us were I still can't consider being with Cindy because of my love for Tami.

(BB NOTE: This was written in the margin "She called me, that's how I found out where she was.")

I got to the house and Dawn answered the door. She told me Tami was in the shower. It didn't come to me that she would be naked until I saw her. I walked straight into the bathroom and sat on the sink until she finished her shower. At first she didn't act surprised to see me standing in her bathroom and I didn't consider that she was naked until she started to cover up with a towel. The look came to her eyes the moment she saw me, she still loves me. I didn't care if she was naked or not but for the first time it made her uncomfortable. We talked in the bathroom for a second before she said "I'm not comfortable being naked in front of you anymore." A brick does have to hit me on the head. I think I made her uncomfortable because there was a pause when I couldn't say what I wanted to tell her. She had the look from the second she saw me until there was an awkward pause. The look was gone from her eyes for the first time and she was looking straight at me. It was there just a second before and then it was gone. Another second later I was hearing that she's not comfortable being naked. I noticed the change in her eyes even before she spoke. I was shocked and couldn't say a word. Then I was embarrassed at having made her uncomfortable. I didn't want to invade her privacy. It never occurred to me that she needed privacy with me. I will never see her again. I can finally do that after this. She had to know it was a stupid mistake, an accident caused by the desire to see only her face. The look came back later when we were outside but it seemed to come and go as we talked. It hurt so much to see the look gone from her eyes that I couldn't even stand close to her. I'm sure it was obvious that I was deliberately keeping a distance between us, she kept getting closer and I kept backing away until I found myself standing on the opposite side of the pick up just to talk to her. It's been so long but the look is finally gone and she didn't tell me she loves me, I finally know what to do. I just can't believe she really doesn't love me anymore. It's been so long but I still love her. I know I will ALWAYS love her. I can't help it.

My first regret 1979

My first regret is that I didn't ask "why" at the moment she said she wanted to break up with me. Our lives had changed, she was still in high school. I was struggling to find a good job. I was working hard and trying to save enough money that I could have a place of my own to live. My mind was concentrating on being ready for her when she graduated from high school. I expected we would still be together. Maybe she could go to college if I could be prepared to support her. The last two years of high school had slipped past so quickly due to my relationship with Tami that I didn't make any plans for my own future alone. I had only planned for what we would do together. I had never even thought about my future, where I would live, how I would earn a living, what I would do for the rest of my life. One day it hit me that I was no longer a high school kid. I was stuck within her world, two years behind. I suspect my confusion at being shocked into the adult world had caused me to pay too little attention to her. Time had been stopped since I met her and then I was having trouble figuring out what I would do next. I may have gone days or even a week or more without talking to her. I may have given her reason to think I was tired of her. I just don't know. I don't know what was on her mind at the time and that is my first regret. I know I will always love her, but right now I still need her.

(note in 2004. I still NEED Tami. I cry over her often. I miss her. I found her but it went terribly wrong. I don't think she's the stalker anymore, so that much is good.)

(note in 2009. No change. Susan doesn't understand. She's stuck deep inside her own mind and doesn't even look for a way out.)

(note in 2016. I've lived my whole fucking life without her. WHY? WHY? WHY? It wouldn't hurt so much if I'd at least heard from her once in a while, to feel some connection between our lives, to know at least that she is still alive. She just fucking disappeared. Most of my life I've just felt fucking alone in the world. Ten very young years with my sister, three years with Tami, two months with Vicki and twelve years with BB are the only times I've felt a real emotional connection with anyone else in the world.)

(note in 2020. The original diary entry above was the turning point. It was the moment I knew I'd live my life without Tami. I've come back to this page many times over the last four decades, but what I wrote in 1979 touched on the major points of failure. It said it all in few words.)

My second regret

After she broke up with me I was too confused to know what to do. I had too many things tugging at me. I had to start an adult life, I had to start a career, I had to get out of my parents house. None of that was important, my only concern was for what had gone wrong. I just accepted it was over instead of trying to fix it. She said the words, she said she wanted to break up, but she still had the same look of love in her eyes. There was no doubt that she loved me. I didn't understand that I may have blown it at this moment and several times after that. So my second regret is that I had the chance but I didn't try to fix it. I just accepted it because I was too confused about love, and too concerned with starting my adult life.

My third regret,
several more years later - 1983?

The friendships are so open that I haven't written anything for a while. Well I haven't written anything but bad poetry to give the girls something to laugh at. They claim I am the world's only male lesbian. It's cute as hell when one of the girls introduces me that way. We know about each other's lives before the Navy and we often sit and talk all night long. Somebody always has a book to read from and we listen for the idea they had in mind as they read the book. "Stop me when you think you know what I'm thinking." It's a test to see who knows who the best. They like to act out ridiculous ideas they get from the books.

But still, Tami is never out of my mind. I never long for anyone else. I would never have been able to develop such deep love for so many friends if not for Tami. I still love her as much as I ever did, in the same way as I always have. She showed me how, she showed me love.

I so deeply regret having been unable to express myself to her, to be sure she would forever know how I feel, to know always that she has no reason to doubt the depth of my love for her. I would be very miserable if not for having known her. I doubt I would have learned the meaning of love. I wouldn't have joined the Navy, I wouldn't have met BB, I wouldn't know love.

If not for Tami, I would probably have a loveless marriage like so many people I see every day. I can't relate how happy it makes me to have avoided that life. I find I can't love a woman if she can't see through me. If they can't I'm not interested in even knowing them because they're too shallow. There are many women in the world who know themselves so I don't want to become the guy who teaches women how to understand themselves. I'd rather find those who are already problem free. It doesn't seem to be a problem finding them once you know "True Intimacy." Maybe it was my own fault in the past? There should be a required class on it in every high school.