May 19, 2007

A Little Story for your Reading Pleasure

*written by Just me

She walked into the diner, scanning the lunch crowd for a man sitting alone. She spied two or three, actually one of them nice looking, but knowing it had to be the one with the scraggly hair, the little bald spot peeking out, looking as nervous as she was. Taking a deep breath, she approached the table, suddenly wishing she was thirty pounds lighter, and ten years younger.

"Excuse me," she said to the man, standing by his seat. "Are you Bob?" He stood up immediately, almost knocking his chair over.

"Yes, and you must be Sandy," he replied, holding out his hand. She tried to look into his eyes confidently, instead of watching her hand shake his.

"Yes, I am," she said, smiling that big smile, hoping it reached her eyes.

She knew at that moment he was deciding whether he was pleasantly surprised, or horrified. Hell, I'm doing the same thing! she reminded herself. She dropped his hand, and took a seat opposite him. "Well," she said. "It's so nice to finally meet you in person."

"Yeah," he said, looking at his cup of coffee. Was he wondering the same thing she was? Was he thinking he would rather be anywhere else in the world but here?

Ok, ok, she told herself, knowing she was not one to give up easily. This is just for an hour at the most. Then you can leave, and forget the whole sorry mess. You can do this. Just keep him talking.

"I was just about to order. Would you like anything?" he asked her. Did he always have a two day growth of beard on his face or was he just trying to impress her, she wondered.

"Why, yes, thank you, I would love a salad," she replied, feeling that eating anything was the last thing she wanted to do.

When the waitress approached them, they placed their orders. At the last minute, he called to the waitress, over his shoulder "And, hey, bring me a Bud,"

A little louder, please, she thought, the people in the back didn't quite catch that. Oh, stop, quit being so mean!

Then, Oh, God, he needs fortification. Do I look that bad? She knew she wasn't up to par. At 45, it was hard to appear as bouncy and flirty as she had twenty years earlier.

Ok, ok, she told herself. Maybe he just likes to have a beer with his meal. Doesn't mean he's disappointed.

"You want a drink?" he asked, questioningly. Yeah, bring me a couple of shots of Black Jack, and a draft on the side. I think I'm going to need it. "No thanks," she told him. I'll just have coffee.

As the silence fell over them, seeming to settle for a good long time, she wracked her brain for something to talk about.

Ok, ok, she said to herself. Let's just treat this as a friendly lunch. Pretend you're not thinking about sleeping with the guy. Which, quite frankly, she wasn't. Not anymore. Well, not that much...

"So, you're a carpenter, right?" she enquired.

"Yep. One of those guys likes to work with my hands, you could say." he replied.

What did he mean by that? Is that a sexual reference or just a statement. So he likes to work with his hands. Doesn't mean he's talking about working them on me!

"Oh, your a 'hands-on' type of guy," Oh, god, why did she say that! "Yep," he said, staring at his coffee. "Like to work with my hands. Yep."

Another long silent pause ensued.

Ok, ok...think of something else. Let's keep it rolling. We're just getting to know one another, I mean... suddenly, she realized he was speaking. What did he say? He was looking at her, obviously waiting. Quickly she searched for the perfect coverup for I-Haven't-Been-Listening-to-a-Damn-Thing-You-Said phrase she used at such times.

"Is that right? How interesting." she smiled, watching his face, wondering if he knew she hadn't heard a word.

"Well, yeah, I guess you could say that, but house-framing's pretty straight-forward."

Shit, she thought.

Ok, ok, let's make an attempt here. "Well, I've always found the building industry fascinating." Did she say that? Did that come out of her own mouth?! Quick, a smile.

Yeah, he bought it! She watched him square his shoulders, a small satisfied grin on his face. Oh, my, just can't wait to see you with your shirt off. Girl, please...

The food arrived, and she looked at the huge salad with dismay. It came complete with those hateful little plastic packages of ranch dressing. Watch me squirt this in his face, as she attempted to open one. Ah, no squirting, lucky guy.

Gamely she grabbed her fork, and stuffed some lettuce in her mouth. He chomped away at his club sandwich, actually seeming to taste it, relish it almost. How can he eat? She had never felt less like eating in a good long time. Actually not since that stomach virus that everybody and his sorry-ass brother had.

"That's a good size salad," he commented. Tell me about it, she thought, as she smiled around a wad of lettuce and tomato in her mouth. "MMMMM," she managed, smiling, nodding her head. I can't take it anymore she thought, I can't. I just can't.

"You're not what I imagined," he said. Oh great, she thought, here it comes.

Swallowing, she said, "Oh really, in what way?" Did that sound defensive? No, it didn't. Did it? Well what if it did? I can be defensive if I want. Fuck.

"Well, you're a lot bigger, you know, taller than I expected," he continued.

And exactly what part of five-foot-eight is it that you don't understand, knothead?? she wondered to herself.

"And, I pictured you being more blonde." Now, you would be wise to just shut the fuck up , she thought. I didn't expect you to look so old and bald, either. But you don't see me running my mouth about it!

"And I pictured you as being a little, well, a little less heavy. But, that's ok, I mean I like a little meat on a woman." he blurted out. Well listen to you, you scrawny looking chicken-legged bastard!!

"Really," she said, trying very hard to maintain that smile. And that comb-over's not working too good for you now is it, Prince Charming? Oh, god, did she say that out loud? No! She didn't. Good. Well, hell, why is that good? You can be offended you know. Why are you so damned polite all the time, she chastised herself, silently. Take a few shots at him! Your entitled!!

She pushed her plate away. "You want some of these french fries?" he offered.

"No thank you, Bob, I believe I've had quite enough." Suddenly she wanted nothing more to dump his ketchup-covered fries in his lap.

Ok, ok, maintain, ole girl. Remember, this is just one hour in your other-wise fun-filled life.

"Actually," he continued. "You're much prettier than I thought you would be." he smiled, warmly, winking, giving her a final stamp of approval. Oh, what the hell did you expect? she reminded herself.

Suddenly she felt ill, sick, like she had worked too much in the hot sun. She felt defeated. Why was she here? Am I that desperate? Yes, she admitted. After two years, who wouldn't be! Two years?? Jesus. Has it really been that long? Two years?! Maybe you should just go for three... Hell, go for the gold, make it ten!!

She started to giggle, trying to cough it off, but suddenly the whole thing seemed so absurd. So amazingly ridiculous. 'Here I sit, at forty-five, picking up men in a quaint little dive.' Oh, god, how low I have sunk! She felt the laughter rising up in her. Pretty soon she would be howling.

"What's so funny?' he asked her. He wasn't offended. No, after all he's the freaking judge here. With his comb-over, and club sandwich, and second Budweiser. Maybe I should buy him another one, get him drunk. Hell, I'll probably get purtier by the minute. No, wait, I'll find him a good hairdresser. The right cut, a little color...

Oh, lord, here it comes! Don't, don't! Suddenly she erupted in huge guffaws. Loud, long, conspicuous guffaws, a few snorts thrown in for good measure.

"Oh," she gasped, between guffaws, "I'm, hee hee, haw haw, I'm just, snort- snort...remembering...hee sister...haw-haw... she told me something...SO funny..." Now other diners were looking at her, which just made her laugh harder. Is this really me, she wondered incredulously, Sitting here, making conversation with a man she met online for Christ's Sake? Hell, for all I know he might hide in his closest, wearing his grandma's giant underwear, grabbing his dick, shouting, "Die, Die!!"

I really must have issues, she thought, and soon a box of tissues, another burst of laughter bubbling up, spilling wildly from her lips.

Ok, ok...Stop! Stop this now! Finally, she managed to slow down to a few giggles, sipping some water, trying to put a damper on her hysterical thoughts.

"Well, what did she say?" he asked, expectantly, smiling.

"Who?" she replied, suddenly bewildered.

"Your sister.." he reminded her. He was still smiling but now with a little suspicion curling around his thin lips. She watched him lean back, folding his arms across his narrow chest. Is he really this clueless, or is it just me?

It's time, girl. Make your move! She looked at her wrist where a watch should have been, and exclaimed, "Oh, my, look at the time! I have to go, I, I have to get home and, you know, uh, take my dad to the doctor." Or beat my head against the wall for a few hours! "It's been such a pleasure, and you take care. We'll do this again sometime." When pigs fly, maybe.

Grabbing a ten from her purse, she put it on the table, and hurried out the door. She made it to her car, opening the door, waiting for the blast of heat to subside. Quickly she was inside, starting the car, turning the air-conditioner up, full blast. She pulled out of parking lot, into traffic, not exactly burning rubber, but close enough.

She began to giggle again. God girl, let's not do this again. Please? Turning on the radio, she heard the wonderful Cajun voice of Sammy Kershaw, singing one of her favorite songs, Third Rate Romance...Now, if he had looked like Sammy, she thought...Yeah, in my dreams, maybe.

Not a few people passing stared at the middle-aged woman, convulsed in laughter, driving 60 mph, in the 45 zone. "Damn, where's the fire, lady?" they thought. "Crazy-assed bitch!"

Seeing the blue lights behind her, she pulled onto the shoulder. Please don't let me laugh, please don't let me laugh, God, please!!!


Anne said...

Lol. What a fun story! Did this really happen to you?

just me said...

Let's say it's based on a few experiences I've had.

singleton said...

well, in that case, Please tell me the giggles continued when the officer greeted you with his best "I'll need to see your driver's license" voice....

just me said...

singleton, that happened on a different occasion, and the details, I won't even print!!

phaseoutgirl said...


Deb... you crack me up! Girlfriend, the thought has crossed my mind too, but done just that.... crossed. but I just am not brave enough. Mind you, I don't have anything against those who do, but it just is not for me. Well, then might have to stay single longer then, right?

But this is really funny, if it happened to you, you are one hell of a woman to extricate yourself from it the way you did!!

Why do women in their forties find it hard to date??? Sigh..


dawn said...

Great Story, laughter is the best medicine of all

dawn said...

Just wanted to let you know I still think of you everytime I'm in the bathroom at work. Best post ever

singleton said...

Ok....Just so you know...the officer was in my driveway last night....:)

Enemy of the Republic said...

Wow, I loved this.

just me said...

Dawn, a lot of people think of me in the bathroom for some reason. Usually its when they turn to flush.

just me said...

Ok, Singleton, what did you do this time? You wild and crazy girl...I bet your just wanting to meet some "big muscular American men...and have sex with them" think SNL.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

This is so funny, 'cos it touches a raw nerve for such a lot of us. But it's sad, too. I didn't marry 'til 30, and believe me girl, did I have my full share of disasterous blind-dates! Sometimes I miss my freedom, but only in an abstract way, I still haven't lost the sting of those numerous rejections, making mind-numbing small talk, or of trying to lose that odd, crazy-eyed stalker.

If Alan ever dumps me, I will choose to stay single, me-thinks!

Great story, a wonderful read my friend. x