My brunch date lives outside the City. He offered to pick me up, but I wasn't comfortable giving out my address or accepting a ride from a stranger.
I arrive first to the café. I’m wearing slim fitting black pants and a black and white printed Ann Taylor wrap shirt. My pumps with a ribbon across the vamp are A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E, yet devilish instruments of pain. Good thing I will be seated soon.
When I hear my name, I turn, look at my date and consider saying, “I’m sorry, my name is Juanita Florez.” Most probably, I could get over my date’s average looks and plumpness. I could even help him update his current wardrobe of tennis shoes, blue and white checked shirt, navy pleated pants and red wind breaker (much like Rosario’s Members Only jacket from Will and Grace). I realize I didn’t request a photo (I don’t know what I was thinking), but I can’t deal with his mustache, which is one part Hitler (short and clipped) and another part Tom Selleck (bushy). I don’t even KNOW how one goes about sculpting facial hair into that shape.
The host takes one look at us, and even he thinks we’re mismatched. But it is too late to run away, and I doubt I'd get very far in these shoes. Once seated, we order Diet Cokes. Mr. Mustachio tells me he is diabetic and then orders tableside guacamole.
He talks about his interests, job and family. We have nothing in common, so I drown out the sound of his voice by crunching on chips, the only saving grace of the date thus far. I am on my third maybe fourth chip when Mr. Mustachio says, “You should stop eating those.” “Why?” I ask. “You have to save room for lunch!” he says excitedly. Another hour of this? I think about saying the guacamole is too spicy and upsetting my stomach. But it's not his fault. Had I asked for a photo, we wouldn't be sitting here and I should just be gracious.
After lunch he wants to walk around the Upper West Side flea market, which is fine, it’s on the way to the subway. I should be able to hobble my way there. When Central Park comes into view he says, “I was thinking we could walk through the park.” And just like that, my salvation comes! “Actually I was going to hop on the train, I don’t think I can walk much further in these shoes,” I reply.
He nods. I shake his hand, hoping he understands the subtext and wince my way down the subway stairs. I have never been so joyously happy to impair my own ability to walk!