Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A SHORT STORY: Conversations over Vodka Martinis
"He already had a girl at the table when I showed up at the restaurant for our ‘date’!” she cried incredulously…
Welcome to my Thursday happy hour session! I’m currently sitting across from one of my best girlfriends— let’s call her Kit— and she is rehashing her most recent horrific encounter with a once potential suitor, whom we shall call Adam...
One late evening over a month ago, my phone rang. It was Kit calling to tell me that she’s met someone in her church parking lot. She goes to one of those churches that resembles a sporting event in terms of the location (a revamped arena), the amounts of people that attend (3000 plus), and the various kinds of people who partake in the fellowship such as the following: the jocks and their “amen’s” and “hallelujahs”- which are so loud and delivered with such spirit that the pastor probably feels the need to high five or at least give them a thumbs up at every juncture of the sermon; the business men in suits who tithe with aplomb (usually the same ones causing a commotion at a sporting event by ordering popcorn and a 'Bud' from the fat lady going up and down the bleachers instead of ordering at the concession stands like most cordial people... "excuse me, could you stand up so I can... motions to pass, sorry did I spill on you?, pass my... chucks his $20 bill in your clearly irritated face"... ); the pretty girls with a full face of makeup ready to mingle-- in this case with good Christian men; tired-looking 20 somethings who show up after a full course of clubbing the night before, and finally, those remaining few that are actually there for the word-- the true fanatics. Kit falls into this last category and therefore tries for nonchalance when describing the new man she met on God's holy ground while she was stewing over the day's sermon--
“He is tall, decent looking, but looks really familiar… pondering these words she adds, “he might have been one of my younger sister’s friends at University. Wait... do you know an Adam?”
“Nope!" I exclaim. "Maybe he is your soul mate and God has shown him to you in your dreams before, hence the familiarity.” I said with amusement, “You know – Déjà vu – the Divine kind…”
“Oh shut up! I think he is younger, so I am going to hook him up with Tammie (her younger sister) when he calls.”
“That sounds like an embarrassing situation waiting to happen. He is clearly not interested in anyone but you since he braced the condemning eyes of all the church mamas and got your number in the parking lot of all places. Refrain from doing anything and just see what happens. You don’t want to spit in God’s face now, do you?”…I questioned teasingly.
Fast-forward three weeks later on one of my daily phone calls with Kit:
“Well... he called and asked to meet for dinner. It seems he wants to know all about my trip. I'm not sure I want to go though…not feeling very well today. I’m sort of happily exhausted”, she says with a sigh.
You see; Kit has spent the last ten days abroad vacationing all over the Greek Isles. Her skin still glows from all the adoration she received from the Greek men— she even changed her name to Hershey’s Kisses to commemorate. The resurgence of sparkle in her has resulted in me currently planning a self-confidence booster just like hers for later in the winter months when the winter “reds” (worse than the blues), starts to drown out whatever light the good Lord gave me. It was the perfect time for her to meet A-Would-Be Mister and flaunt her "sparkliness". So in response to her whining, I did my duty and commanded her to go meet him.
“You weren't too tired for work today so I'm sure you can muster up just enough energy for a dinner date", I quipped sneeringly. "Quit being passé. You are always complaining that you never meet anyone. This is your chance!.”
Back to a conversation over Vodka Martini’s:
“…He had another girl already at the table when I showed up at the restaurant for our ‘date’…”
Indignantly, I exclaimed-- “You are kidding me!?” I included a wide-eyed head bob and a heavy swig of my martini for emphasis.
Kit, responding with a bittersweet chuckle continues, “Nope, I felt like I was intruding on someone else's date, he introduced the girl to me—Sheila—offered me a seat at the table and then asked about my trip. I had no choice but to answer. Heck, I even engaged Sheila in the conversation all the while kicking myself for not being brave enough to just walk out of there. And then he says, ‘I am glad we are able to catch up but there is something I want to talk to you about’."
“Oh Lord!” Now on the verge of my seat, I inquire with salivating curiosity… “This isn’t how people are asking for a threesome nowadays, is it?”
Kit motions for another drink and replies “I wish that was the case—at least then I wouldn’t have regretted brushing my ‘fro out that evening. He wanted to know what I would do if I had extra money in my pocket and then asked if I have ever heard of Amway…”
At this point in the story, Kit’s voice had risen to a hysterical scream, complete with Hare Krishna type hand movements and continues, “ the whole date and ‘wanting to hear about my trip’ was a sales pitch for a pyramid scheme called Amway—my dinner date was actually a dinner infomercial, and Sheila was a worm in training. I thought I was on candid camera! He is an engineer by trade for Christ’s sake”.
I had no choice but to laugh, nearly chocking on the olive in my martini due to the sad absurdity of the story. I just could not believe it actually happened—and in that unimaginable way—really? no warning, no signs of his true intention???? An absolute low!
“Oh God Kit!” Wiping the tears from my eyes I descended into a holier than thou mode and started on my rant of the day (I do this more often than I should), “My sister had a guy friend try to do this to her also but she was forewarned—yours was just wormy. In any case, since when is it okay for men our age to try and gorge us for the little money we have? We are all working for The Man…I thought it was understood amongst working class professionals that heckling friends and acquaintances for money were for seedy uncles, un-dateable strangers, and soccer moms?”
“Clearly not!” Kit cried back, “But I guess he is now an un-dateable stranger. And my favorite line of the evening was when he said, and I quote “I wouldn’t advise you to use Google to find out more about this—go on the company’s official website for the real truth because Google only has people saying negative things”. I am just glad I didn’t get my nails done like I had originally planned!!!!!!!!!!!!!”