Sunday, August 31, 2014
This is a fiction story about dating. Enjoy!
As Melanie crawled around her bathroom floor looking for her contact lens she knew this night was going to be a disaster. Her hands shook as she attempted to insert her contact lens. She was not surprised when it dropped.
“ I don’t want to wear glasses on a first date,” she said to Sugar, her white fluffy Persian cat. She prayed Sugar wouldn’t find her contact lens first. Luckily, Sugar was a lazy cat who was content to sit and watch. His sparkling emerald green eyes suddenly shifted, his paw went out, and Melanie saw the contact lens. She grabbed it before Sugar could.
“Whew! Thank you Sugar,” said Melanie as she quickly rinsed the contact with saline and inserted into her eye.
Melanie looked at the two sweaters she prepared on her bed. One was a cashmere red with a low cut V-neck, the other was a more traditional higher necked teal cotton top.
“ Sugar, I wish you could talk to me and tell me what to wear. You’re a male cat, help! Oh god, if Alan knew his date was asking a cat for advice he would run for the hills,” she said out loud.
Melanie chose the teal top, thinking it best to be conservative on a blind date. She trusted her friend Cathy who was responsible for setting her up , but you never know.
After she got dressed she examined herself in her full length mirror. She knew her deep brown eyes and thick shoulder length curly hair were her best assets. Before they got married Mike would tease her about her sexy bedroom eyes. She also knew that beautiful hair and eyes weren’t enough. Her stomach protruded like a newly pregnant woman. She wished she had kept up her exercise regimen this past year. She tried to stand up straight so she wouldn’t resemble the hunchback of Notre Dame. And when did that new wrinkle appear? Should she try Botox? Make it her new best friend? Along with her unused gym membership? Men always found her attractive but since her divorce she seemed to have aged quickly and gained some weight. Oh no, was that her first gray hair? That’s it, she was going to schedule a hair app’t, dermatologist app’t , and get a personal trainer.
Was this the reason Mike left her? She married Mike right after they graduated from Penn State. He was the love of her life until twenty years later he decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. He needed to find himself spiritually and and became involved with yoga. She wasn’t part of his master plan.
“He probably found a beautiful flexible thin yogi with flat abs, “ she thought.
She was devastated and focused solely on her work as a web designer. Luckily they didn’t have kids so technically the divorce was easy.
“Sugar, if this date doesn’t work out , will you marry me?” she joked to her cat.
Melanie’s hands gripped the wheel as she drove the short distance to “Nino’s”, the Italian restaurant that Alan recommended. They shook, a tell tale sign of nervousness. She remembered her conversation with Cathy.
“You’ve been divorced for three years, you need to get out. Jeremy is positive you will like Alan,” Cathy said.
“But how can your husband be sure? Jeremy just met him a month ago. They’re on the same softball team, right? Does he really know him? And you never met him and that makes me really nervous,” Melanie said.
“Jeremy said he seems quiet, he’s very good looking and you should just go. What’s the worst that can happen?” Cathy asked.
Melanie was thinking maybe he would be the love of her life. Maybe they would fall madly in love and she would once again be able to fall asleep every night in the arms of Mr. Wonderful instead of her cat. She would give anything to feel muscular, manly arms around her every morning and night.
She was so distracted and enchanted by her daydream; she accidentally clipped the car next to her as she backed into a parking spot She scurried out and frantically examined the green Honda civic . There was no visible damage.
She entered the restaurant and saw a man sitting at the bar wearing a tan sweater, which is what Alan said he would be wearing. She walked over and said, “Alan”?
A handsome man who was the splitting image of Hugh Jackman turned around and said, “ You must be Melanie.”
Melanie felt her heart do a million beats as she stared into the most intense deep blue eyes that she has ever seen.
“May I?” he asked as he took her arm and escorted her to their table. When the waiter brought over their drinks and put her glass of wine down, she reached for the glass and knocked it over. The glass shattered and spilled wine just as a tall statuesque woman dressed in a red short dress and 5 inch stiletto heels walked past the table.
“ Damn, you just spilled wine all over my shoes!” she screamed.
Melanie was mortified. Alan immediately soaked up the mess with some napkins and tried to clean off her shoe.
Melanie’s face felt like it was on fire. She was sure it was as red as the woman’s dress.
After that embarrassing fiasco was over and the woman left in a huff, Alan returned to his seat and they politely continued chatting.
As their meal arrived , they continued to discuss the weather, their jobs, and other mundane topics. Melanie felt like she was stuttering over her words, she was such a nervous wreck .
As she took a bite of her spinach manicotti, she listened to Alan tell stories which were making her laugh. He kept giving her strange looks.
She excused herself to go to the bathroom, and bumped into the lady with the red dress. Melanie gave her a big smile, and the lady smirked and walked away. “What a bitch,” thought Melanie.
As she went to freshen up her lipstick, she almost screamed in horror at the sight in the mirror. There was a giant green wad of spinach stuck between her two front teeth! After what seemed like an hour of poking and prodding she was able to remove the green culprit.
As she approached her table she saw the lady with the red dress sitting in her seat! Could this night get any worst?
She wished her cat Sugar was a real human and would marry her. He didn't care if she spilled wine, had spinach stuck in her teeth, or had wrinkles.
“Hi,” Melanie meekly said.
“Oh Melanie, this is Bridget,” Alan said. “ We were just laughing over the little wine spilling mishap from earlier. Bridget also had a blind date scheduled for tonight but he never showed up.”
Melanie stood there feeling the urge to giggle. This was the most absurd scenario ever. She guessed that Alan was probably a lot more interested in Bridget than her. Bridget was about ten years younger , had clear skin, no wrinkles, and walked the restaurant like a model walking on a runway.
The giggle was now inching up her throat. She tried to stifle it but instead had a coughing fit. As she was coughing and giggling, her eyes began to tear , and that’s when the stress of her life took over and she burst into tears.
As snot ran down her nose and tears ran down her cheeks, both Alan and Bridget looked at her as if they were staring at a zombie in a horror movie.
Bridget jumped up and said, “You poor thing, are you OK?”
She gave her a half hearted hug as Alan stared with his mouth open. Melanie was thinking, should she just run? Pretend she got something in her eye?
“Maybe I should go,” she muttered through her tears.
“ I’ll go back to the bar, you go back to your date,” said Bridget .
As Melanie attempted to blow her nose quietly she apologized to Alan.
“I can blame this all on hormones, but I’m just having a tough time right now. I’m sorry.” she said.
“The nights young, lets just enjoy the rest of dinner,” he said with some degree of sympathy.
As Melanie carefully finished her spinach manicotti, she prayed she wouldn’t get any more spinach in her teeth.
“What was I thinking to order a dish with spinach on a first date?” she thought to herself.
They got through the main course without any catastrophes. Melanie had chosen double chocolate fudge cake for dessert figuring this date was a disaster so she might as well eat her heart out. As Melanie took a bite of her cake and sipped her cappuccino, she finally started to relax. At the corner of her eye she saw a stocky, muscular man with a shaved head walk in. Oh my god! It was Mike, her ex-husband. She almost gagged and a piece of chocolate flew out of her mouth onto the middle of the table.
“Are you OK?” asked Alan, with a look of distaste that has now grown to epic proportions.
At that moment, the room started to spin. Mike approached Bridget who was sitting at the bar. He must be her blind date. Mike lived 5 miles away and they never bumped into each other before. Until now, the worst night of her life!
Melanie took a huge sip of her cappuccino, forgetting it was hot and nearly burnt her tongue off.
She noticed there was a table very close by and prayed that Mike and Bridget were not going to be escorted to that table.
Since everything else was going wrong, she was not surprised when she saw the maitre'd walk them to the table.
Melanie’s heart was beating so fast and loud that she was positive the entire restaurant heard it . Her entire dinner was at the brink of traveling up her esophagus. The image of her projectile vomiting all over Mike and Bridget made her start to giggle again.
“ I think I’m going to get the check,” said Alan in a voice that sounded like a little kid who was resigned to the fact that he wasn’t going to get his favorite toy.
As Melanie avoided eye contact with Mike and Bridget the waiter brought the check which Alan hurriedly paid.
As she bolted up and grabbed her coat, she heard a loud crash . Her arm smacked a waiter carrying a tray of salads and the whole tray came crashing down. She looked down in dismay and saw the floor was littered with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and radishes. Alan had his head in his hands and she looked away fearing the waiter, Mike, and Bridget would be jeering at her.
She mumbled an apology while she looked at a carrot that landed on her left shoe. The entire restaurant staff scurried over with brooms and mops. Could things get any worst?
“Melanie?” she heard. Yes, things could get worst. She turned around and saw Mike brushing some food off his pants while looking at her with pity and sadness. She wished the floor underneath her would cave in and she would be transported anywhere but here.
“Hi Mike,” she muttered, gave him a quick wave and then leaped out the door with Alan slowly following her.
“This is my car,” said Alan as they approached his green Honda Civic, the one she clipped earlier in the night when she still had hopes she might be meeting the man of her dreams.
She saw a slight scratch on the car that she hadn’t noticed before and prayed it wasn’t because of her carelessness. Luckily Alan didn’t notice it since he seemed to be preoccupied on how he could make a quick getaway.
“This was fun,” said Alan in a monotone voice as he looked down at an ant crawling on the ground.
“Thanks for dinner, “ said Melanie. She looked at the same ant. She couldn’t look him in the eye.
Melanie got in her car knowing without a doubt there was more of a chance that Sugar would be doing handstands on her front lawn then Alan would ever call her again.