How Do You Spell PFAU? by
(207 Stories)

Prompted By How We Met

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“You know I almost didn’t ask you out”, said Bob. We had been dating six days, were in bed, post-coitus. “A guy named Dan Pfau told me you were a tease.” “Who is this guy to call me a tease (since I, obviously, am NOT!), and how do you spell PFAU?” I queried, quite upset with the whole conversation. I was entranced with Bob and really astounded that some guy I didn’t know was spreading false rumors about me. This was sophomore year at Brandeis. I couldn’t help it if guys projected their fantasies onto me.

I told my suite mates the story. Some knew this guy, Dan Pfau, and described him as dark-haired, about 5’10”. They had described half of campus. They promised to be on the look-out and we spent much of the rest of the school year looking for him. A friend finally pointed him out to me toward the end of the year, walking by. He lived in my quad, was in the back shooting hoops while I sunned myself in a skimpy bikini during exam week. I’ll show HIM! I didn’t bother to put on my cover-up, but flounced past him on my way back inside. Harumpf! I think he noticed.

I continued to date Bob, on and off into my junior, his (and Dan’s) senior year. I took more notice of Dan. He was quite cute and smart. Bob would graduate at the semester, so I began to think about my future. Dan was on my list of eligible men.

At the beginning of November, 1972, I had opening night for “Guys and Dolls”. I played Sarah Brown, the Salvation Army lass. It was also Casino Night, some sort of fundraiser at the Student Union and Dan was a dealer. He wore a tuxedo with a blue ruffled shirt and looked uncommonly handsome. We both went to dinner early in the Union, as I had early call for my show and he had to be ready for the black jack tables. By that point we had been introduced properly and talked a bit. We’d had brunch one Sunday morning and I had thrown him for a loop when I asked him why he had called me a tease (he had heard from someone else…the rumor mill grinds on).

But that night, we had dinner together with a few friends. I was smitten. I came looking for him after the show. A friend’s father took a group of us out for pancakes. Dan went to meet a girl. I asked Barbara about the girl: “Old girlfriend or current?” Barbara’s boyfriend lived with Dan off-campus and told Dan that I was interested.

Word passed. We had a first date; swimming and sauna at the school pool. On my birthday, December 10, Dan showed up at my dorm with a bottle of perfume for me. Bob gave me nothing. I still have the empty bottle in a bottom drawer of my bureau.


Nov, 2019 with classmate, Sue Goldberg Benjamin and her husband Bob




Profile photo of Betsy Pfau Betsy Pfau
Retired from software sales long ago, two grown children. Theater major in college. Singer still, arts lover, involved in art museums locally (Greater Boston area). Originally from Detroit area.

Tags: tease, PFAU, Brandeis
Characterizations: been there, right on!


  1. John Zussman says:

    What an intricate dance of dating and mating, spreading rumors, passing messages, chance meetings, other involvements, flouncing and flirting. Much more interesting than swiping left or right on Tinder, don’t you think?

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      John, I can’t imagine being on the dating scene in this day and age, with all the dating apps. So impersonal. And the horrible cyber-bullying that goes on now is unthinkable. One’s life is played out on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat! I would have been called much worse than a tease by one or two people, I suspect.

  2. First, second or even fifth or sixth meetings are always lovely to hear about, and your is a lovely story. I also applaud your strength and empowerment as a female because back then I surely did not feel that way! I struggled with 60s values while being taught by parents with 40s and 50s values…….
    Your meeting with your future husband and partner sounds serendipitous.

  3. Suzy says:

    Great story, Betsy! I love the way you set up the situation with the dialogue in your first paragraph. And how interesting that you wanted to meet the guy who had called you a tease. Was it because you wanted to yell at him, or did you just want to show him how wrong he was?

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      At first I was curious to meet him, Suzy…thinking, “how could a total stranger pass bad info about me”? I guess I wanted to show him up a bit. Then I liked him when I did meet him, so it turned into something else.

  4. Susan says:

    I’m still stuck on the first sentence, where this whole story kicked off from a conversation driven by a guy’s sense of competition and after sex no less! Ah, youth. Ah, fate.

  5. great story-telling, Betsy! You took us so deftly through the twists and turns of your meet-and-greet. Brought me back to all those serpentine approaches that characterized so many of our romances, short- or long-lasting.

    Very much appreciated your use of sequence, keeping us eager to know the all-important ‘so what happened next?’

    You got an LOL from me with this line: “Bob would graduate at the semester, so I began to think about my future. Dan was on my list of eligible men.” A young woman with a plan! Write on, Betsy!

  6. John Shutkin says:

    What a great story, Betsy. As the other comments confirm, I was not the only reader initially confused by your brilliant first sentence, thinking, “What? Wait; isn’t her guy’s name Dan? OK, so what’s the deal with Bob?” And, of course, that all so nicely moves the story forward until, inevitably, Dan comes into the picture as more than just the mysterious tease (if that’s a word).

    Also, in my continuing male naivete, I also appreciated the further evidence that women are not simply the recipients of men’s attentions, but have at least an equal part in the whole mating game — and that this has been true for years. Thanks, Betsy!

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