Saturday, May 6, 2006


Since a lot of the work I do can be telecommuted I don't dress in power suits to sit at my computer. Nor do I feel the need to glam up my make up for a meeting when it's going to be held on the phone.

Unfortunately after a hard morning at the keyboard, I get hungry. With no husband or kids around, my refrigerator usually has an echo in it. So I take a break and head for one of the umpteen fast food emporiums that make my suburb a magnet for families with cupholders and DVD players in the back seats of their cars.

Often when I rush out for a quick bite to eat, I'll be halfway to the sandwich shop before realizing that I'm still in my sweat pants, hoody, and flip flops.  And no make up.  Just the shiny leftover grease from the Vaseline I use to take off my eye shadow and mascara. It's a raccoon look.   

Since I'm not going to the Four Seasons and there's no maitre d' to question my attire, I'm not worried about being seated near the window.  Unless it's the drive up window.  

But yesterday I was telecommuting with someone else at her place.  We were reviewing some footage on her TV.  No need to tie up the conference room at her ad agency when we could do the same thing at her house.  But I thought it would be smart to dress higher up on the food chain.  And make up my face a bit.  I even styled my hair, since she is a client after all, although we are friends, too, thanks to our special bond as the only two straight women on any of our former softball teams.   

We were there for about five hours, watching tape after tape, while snacking on baby bagels and cream cheese chased with a glass of Tropicana orange mango something. For lunch we splurged and made Kraft macaroni and cheese.  It was like all those times in junior high when happiness was playing Monopoly all day Saturday and your mom just kept bringing food so you never had to move.  Only we were getting paid for it.

When we finished, it was getting close to four o'clock.  I was meeting someone for an early dinner at 5:00.  Shut up about the time.  You'll be eating early one of these days too.  So my decision to put on the paint and look suburban instead of homeless was about to pay off.

I had to copy and mail a bunch of stuff, so I stopped at Kinko's on my way to dinner.  As I was picking up an armful of things and preparing to go out the door, some guy asked if I wanted him to open it for me.  I said no I'd just push it with my big butt and I demonstrated my derriere move.  Outside the store I turned to go to my car and he said, "Mrs. Linklater, you don't have a big butt."  

He knows me?

He knew me.

I had no idea who he was. For about two beats. And then I recognized him from some volleyball tournaments and very late nights 28 years ago. The good news is he recognized me right away.  Phew. It's all about ME ME ME in this journal, remember? The bad news is that I wouldn't have known him on a bet. Until we started talking. I realized I was looking at someone from long ago, just a supersized edition of his younger self.  He also seemed about two inches taller.  Or I'm two inches shorter. His height threw me off more than anything.

So we did the what have you been doing for the past 28 years thing. I wondered if he was still younger or closer to my age now.

He also checked to see if I was wearing a ring. Every time I run into a guy I knew in a former life, that's the first thing they do.  Like I'm single and we're going to race off into the sunset?  Or they're going to get lucky?  

The whole time I was saying, "Thank you God."  The woman's gratitude prayer.  Because my hair was having a good day and my makeup was in its upright and locked position.. Plus I was wearing slacks not baggy sweats. And shoes, not shower thongs.  Not because I wanted to rekindle an old flame. At my age that would take a blow torch. I just wanted him to tell people I was looking good when he ran into someone we both knew. I have my priorities straight.

Okay, for my more sensitive readers, the whole time we stood there chatting, I was saying, "Thank you, spiritual being who guides me through the thick and thin of life."  

We exchanged cell phone numbers and email addresses -- the 21st century version of *kiss* *kiss* let's do lunch.

Surprisingly he called me as I left the parking lot and headed for dinner a few minutes late. Why so soon? To see if I'd given him a real number. He said.

This morning I thought I would put his number into my cell phone book. So I clicked on Received Calls to store it and he had blocked it. After writing it down for me on a piece of paper. Gee, I wonder where that piece of paper disappeared to? It's a shame I lost it.


No, really -- that's the end of it.  It'll be another 28 years before I want to see him again. 


swibirun said...

Maybe he didn't want his wife to know?  ha ha ha ha ha

Don't assume the worse just yet, maybe he has all blocked or something?  That is just too weird.  Why would Remo do something like that anyway?


jevanslink said...

Married guys don't check for rings. Single guys do.  He was in his twenties last time I saw him.  He's in his fifties now.  Never married.  Creeps me out.  Mrs. L

sunnyside46 said...

I am always running into people who know me that I have absolutley no memory of!

emmapeeldallas said...

Guys in their fifties who've never married creep me out too...ESPECIALLY call blocking his frigging number, when HE called YOU...he sounds like he's on a power trip, among other things.

screaminremo303 said...

Hey! I heard that!!

I've never met Mrs. L. I imagine looking for a ring on her finger is like looking for a saddle in an ice cream shop.

gaboatman said...

Mrs. L
I'm glad the fashion gods smiled on you for this reunion.  Guys who have never married at fifty are a different breed.  The only thing more creepy is a guy whose never married by fifty and still lives with his mother.

mombzbe said...

So it goes from the *subtle* head-to-toe visual once-over to just checking for a ring, once a man is of a certain age?  Not that this reflects poorly on you at all, Mrs L,  but doesn't that smack of "that'll do" desperation to you?  Better that his # be blocked, than you suffer the ill attempts of an unmarried fifty year old man to seduce you.  

It never fails.  You will never run into someone right after you leave the buff-and-polish of the hairdresser.   Nooooo, you always run into someone who knows you when you've not had a shower yet, are just running out to the store, and have something in your teeth and spit up on your shoulder.  Not that that has ever happened to

monponsett said...

I understand the "only straight woman on the team" business. I tried out for a cheesecake wrestling promotion once, and people there used to be amazed that I was married.