This is the first of a series from the summer of 2004. Speaking of the passage of time, I can’t believe it’s been that long since I drew this. It’s an odd sequence in which a girl named Sondra makes her one and only appearance. It was my first attempt to move Gene up from pre-adolescent crushes to the big leagues. More to the point, I think it was my effort to explore courtship in the 21st century. Make no mistake about it, “dating” went out a long time ago. The idea of calling a young woman several days in advance (as was polite) to arrange to pick her up at her front door for dinner or a movie had become as archaic as the idea of extended family coming along as chaperones. Hanging out was in, and a “hook up” may or may not be in the cards. Anyway, here’s Sondra.