(If you have never read “Breakfast Smoothies” you might want to read the short introductory page. Explanations about the most blatant lies usually follow the essay.)
You know what’s really bad?
“What subject are we on?” asked Ben. Ben comes over for a breakfast smoothie in the garden despite my tendency to discuss a variety of esoteric subjects.
Someone trying to fix me up.
You know, neighbors were trying to figure out when the right time was to start fixing me up. To find me another perfect mate.
“Dating.” Erica explained. “When he was a new widower, some of the neighbors thought they should try to relieve his pain because they knew ‘just the right person’.”
“That was years ago,” said Ben.
Erica whispered, “I think he’s having a flashback.”
“Delicious smoothie,” said Ben. “Do you think we can get the recipe?”
I know you’re just trying to change the subject, but that’s what brought it up. Alicia calls this one a ‘Blind Date Smoothie’. What was everyone around the neighborhood thinking? Everyone knew I had serious financial problems trying to pay medical bills and no income when I had to take all that time off. Can you imagine the conversations they were having at home?
Dear, why don’t we try to fix Mabel up with the financially and emotionally bankrupt guy down the street? He’s just been through hell, but that may be just what Mabel needs. Somebody she can comfort. She has time on her hands.
Why don’t we bring Mabel to the funeral and introduce them there?
“I think you’re exaggerating,” said Erica. “I know who you are talking about and they gave you a good four weeks before they broached the subject. And her name wasn’t Mabel. And besides, she was very pretty and had a good position at the bank.”
Yeah, in the mortgage department. I think she was the one calling me about my late payments.
I didn’t realize what was happening until all these women started showing an undue interest in the yard sale. That’s an unfair way of finding out what I’m really like: checking out my books, videos, and fishing tackle. Who sent them, anyway? Did somebody append a codicil to my yard sale sign?
Oh, and it’s quite encouraging when someone who will not admit that she is my age wants to introduce me to her Mom. She even offered that I should go with her to the nursing home for dinner there.
Ben looked embarrassed. “I’m sure that Cindy is truly sorry about that. She wasn’t thinking right. She didn’t know what to do with her Mom: always calling from the home about someone stealing her sox.”
Did she say she was sorry?
“Well, no,” said Ben. “She said it would be better if her mother lived in the neighborhood.” He looked around. “I think she meant here.”
And then there was the police sergeant someone sent over. I thought I was being busted. She was cute, though.
And when we had our regular Friday night neighborhood dinner somebody was always bringing a “friend.” That was awkward.
“I was wondering why you stopped coming to those things,” said Ben.
“Didn’t the guy at the nursery ask you out,” said Erica.
I just looked at her. Yes.
Anyway, some of them could not wait. Here I was bereft and some of these busybodies are trying to move their sisters into the neighborhood. You’d think there was a sign out in front of the house. I had more casseroles than I could eat in a lifetime.
“You were beginning to put on a little weight,” remembered Ben.
How could I have more dating opportunities now than I ever had in my life? Where were all these women when I was young and single?
“Well,” said Ben, “they were going out with young studs who were richer, smarter, and better dressed than you.”
Somebody dresses better than me?
Erica just looked at me. “Everybody.”
I ignored her. So why now?
“Now, you’re all that’s left. You’ve outlived them all,” said Ben.
I still don’t get it. Who wants to listen to my problems: bankrupt, unemployed, emotionally drained, hanging out in group therapy, gaining weight, watching the Texas Hold ‘em channel constantly, and drinking too much.
“You don’t watch the History Channel any more?” said Ben.
More importantly, why should I go out with them? Who wants to go out with anyone who is willing to date me? They must be desperate. They’re the ones that need help.
“It’s like you don’t want to belong to any club that will actually take you as a member, right,” said Ben?