Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I hear hotel rooms are cheap this time of year....

Wednesday, February 2, 7:00am.

"Hey baby!"


"You're calling me in the morning?!"

"Yeah. What are you doing?"

"Getting ready for school. You?"

"Thinking about you."

"Uh oh. Too bad I'm not there."

"Yeah, TOO bad."

"So are you just calling to turn me on, or do you want something?"

"You know that guy Jerry I work with?"


"He's about 37, 38, maybe 5-foot-9--"

"And you're trying to set him up on a blind date?"

"Yeah. How did you know?"

"Lucky guess."

"You always say that. So, what do you think?"

"Ummm, how 'bout Heidi? No no, forget that."

"'Forget that' is right. I don't like being friends with both people in a relationship. When there's a problem, they both expect you to take their side. And get pissed when you don't."

"Heidi can be a handful, anyway," Steph says.

Two handfuls, to be precise. But who's counting?

"Ok, well lemme think about this a while, and I'll - WAIT a minute! How about Elena?"

"Who's that?"

"She's in my study group."

"What does she look like?"

"She's about 5'6", brown hair, brown eyes, she's in awesome shape. She does Yoga every day!"

"OK, cool!"

"Lemme call her and I'll call you right back!"


Ten minutes pass. My phone rings.

"She wants to meet him!!"


February 4, 7:30. We're having a fancy steak dinner at Ricardo's.

Elena and Jerry are not getting along well. Jerry is doing the best he can: Involving her in the conversation whenever possible, asking her questions, and so on, but she keeps giving him one-word answers and pushing food around on her plate.

Steph gets up to use the bathroom and shoots Elena a glance. Elena gets up and follows her.

"This sucks," Jerry says, once they are out of earshot. "She is fucking HOT, too!"

Elena is attractive. Not the prettiest I have ever seen, but she's tall and trim, with long, shiny brown hair.

"Yeah, she's hot. Don't let it bother you. You're being very nice to her."

"I'm trying to talk to her. Am I not talking to her enough?"

"No no, you're fine. That's probably what Steph is telling her right now. She's probably telling her she's being rude."


"So am I doing anything wrong?"

I think for a minute. "No, you're fine. You're talking to her, you're not being pushy. Give her some time; maybe she'll come around."

"And if she doesn't?"

"If she doesn't, NEXT!"

The girls come back. We finish dinner and order a round of drinks. Elena seems to be loosening up, laughing and actually speaking to Jerry in multiple-word phrases.

They order another drink (I am driving, so I skip this one). Everyone is starting to laugh a little too loudly.

"Let's get outta here," I say.

Jerry pulls out a wad of cash big enough for a gas station attendant. "It's on me," he says. Elena studies him as he counts out the bills.

You like money, do you sweetheart?

I'm sure glad we got Steph's car fixed today. Whenever we go out with other people, or give someone a ride, we use hers, since mine is a two-seater. It bothers me that her car is so beat up, so little by little I get little things fixed on it. I've already replaced a headlight, had it steam cleaned, and got the muffler fixed today. It's looking a lot better, I have to say, but she always insists on paying. Every once in a while I try to fix something or replace something without her knowing, and she always finds out and screams at me, then makes me take the money from her.

Jerry and Elena are in the back seat. He's got his right arm around her. She's wearing a short black dress, and it's riding way up her black-stockinged thigh. All the body language has gone Jerry's way since Steph and Elena went to the ladies' room together. What, are they giving out horniness pills in there?

The two of them are hitting it off really well now. "Stephanie is SOOO frigging smart," Elena says. "The professor has her get up in front of the class and teach!"

"He did that ONE time!"

"You were SUCH a good teacher! I learned so much from you!" She turns to Jerry. "And she aces every test, knows every case, every exception, she's such a brain!"

"Like the Chinese kid in math class, huh?"

They burst out laughing.

Steph and I look at each other. I think we've created a monster.

Steph and I start talking about school, and pretty soon we can barely hear each other; the talking and laughing are getting louder and louder in the back seat.

I make the turn onto my street, and suddenly I realize it's gotten pretty quiet back there. Steph and I look at each other, then turn to the back seat.

They are making out like horny teenagers.

"Guess we can skip the movie," I say.