Friday, August 25, 2006

A bodice ripper...

My friend, Wade, had a lunch date a few days ago. He didn't know any downtown restaurants, so he asked me if there were any I'd recommend. Now, I don't really get out much, and I'm never out and about at lunchtime, so I really don't know many restaurants. But I know someone who does.

I called Sandra. She works downtown and lives nearby. Wade talked with her for about ten minutes and she gave him good information on lunch places. I didn't think anymore about it.

The next day, she sent an email asking all those questions that women have regarding any near-dating experience. But guys don't ask those questions of other guys. They have only one, and I won't repeat it here because it's crass and vulgar.

I told Wade about it, and added that my wife and daughter always have similar questions. It's a female thing. All he said was that they went to Olive Garden and he ordered seafood. She ordered seafood too.

"Great!" I said. "All I need are one or two details. I'll just make up the rest!" If this were a real bodice ripper, it would be more descriptive and include details of Nicole’s dress and hair, her office, Wade’s car interior, the restaurant, and much more. But in doing that, I felt it would lose focus. Besides, I’m not good at descriptive writing. Maybe I should practice. Hmmm….

Passion...and Pasta with Extra Cheese

Nicole fidgeted nervously, her attention divided between the computer screen and the wall clock. It was getting close to lunchtime, and Wade had promised to arrive early for their date. She jumped when the phone rang and was a little annoyed at herself for being so nervous, like a schoolgirl on her first date. She'd gone out with a few men since moving to Tulsa, and it was hardly a new experience. Yet this guy was different, and in a way she really couldn't define, he was special.

She pounced on the handset before the first ring ended. It was Wade! He'd just pulled into the parking lot. She grabbed her purse, checked her hair and makeup in the small desk mirror, and flew toward the door.

Wade pulled up at the front door seconds before she emerged from the building. Nicole was struck by the similarities between him and his choice of transportation. Both were sleek, muscular, and throbbed with understated power. Her heart beat just a little bit faster whenever he was around.

Wade stood at the passenger side door, holding it open as she entered. "You're such a gentleman!" she said with a smile. And it was true. He was courteous and gentlemanly in an old-fashioned sense. He always held the door for her, and true to form, he'd brought a small bouquet of roses too. They were on the dash in the sunlight, their scent permeating the car's interior. She loved roses.

"Those are for your desk when you get back this afternoon", he said as he slid into the driver's seat.

They made small talk while driving to the restaurant. Nicole wondered if this was how married people talked, sharing inconsequential details of their days, not because the information held any importance, but because they just enjoyed the sharing. She felt comfortable and happy whenever Wade was nearby, and that undercurrent of schoolgirl excitement never left her.

Since they were early, there was no problem getting a table at their favorite Italian restaurant. The hostess seated them quickly, and smiled broadly because she recognized them as regulars. "Enjoy your meal", she said as Wade held Nicole's chair. The waitresses liked Wade too. He tipped generously. The hostess noted the bouquet of roses and made a mental note to drop some serious hints to her boyfriend that evening. Girls like Nicole were very, very lucky.

"Hi! I'm Veronica, and I'm your server today." She offered them menus, but Wade and Nicole already knew what they wanted.

"Thanks, but that's not necessary", Wade replied. "I want calamari with a side salad, and iced tea."

Nicole smiled. She had a mental image of Wade's shirtfront after the meal, spotted here and there with tomato sauce. He ate with more gusto than precision. Ever mindful of her appearance, Nicole said, "I'll have the seafood alfredo, salad, and water with a slice of lemon." She wore a light-colored dress; so any 'accidents' would be less likely to mar it.

They talked about some mutual friends, a new movie they'd seen the previous weekend, and a play that would open in a few weeks. Wade said he'd get tickets if she wanted to see it. Nicole readily agreed. The rest of the lunch hour flew by. The restaurant filled up, but neither seemed to notice the other diners. Their attention was riveted across their own table. All too quickly, the check arrived and it was time to go.

Wade held her chair as she arose, then took her hand as they walked toward the door. She reddened slightly, hoping he wouldn't notice, and simultaneously hoping he would.

Nicole entered her office smiling and idly singing a tune from a Broadway show. The rest of the women immediately took notice, and converged on her desk for an after-action report. They analyzed every detail, every inflection, every subtle turn of phrase with an intensity that most intelligence agencies would envy. They picked apart the whole hour-long lunch, looking for omens and portents. It was a game the women were very good at playing, and they never tired of it. Nicole's lunch date provided a discussion topic for days.


Wade returned to his office just after 1 o'clock.

"How was lunch?" I asked.

"Great!" he replied, "but I ate too much."

He opened the newspaper to the sports page. I went back to my crossword puzzle. Nothing more was said.


Blogger Fritz said...

I'll have to try letting my imagination run wild like this some time :-)

But your friend suggested Olive Garden? It's okay and all and certainly a 'safe' choice, but the place isn't exactly anything very unique.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

You're right, Fritz. Olive Garden isn't imaginative, but it's safe for a first date. I know a coffee shop downtown that has it's own roaster, but Wade isn't the coffee addict that I am. They have some dynamite desserts too.

The first place I took Mary on a date was a nearby Chinese restaurant. She'd never had Chinese and had to ask her Mom if she'd like it. Apparently she did, because it's become a life-long favorite.

10:51 PM  

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