“I found your husband,” Jane squeals into the phone. This should be interesting, I think and flop on the bed. “What was he doing? Collecting cans from the garbage?” This peculiar phenomenon, where people dig through the trash and recycling for cans and bottles, is seen ALL over Manhattan. See, we are charged a nickel deposit EVERY time we buy a soda or bottled water. And if you turn in the cans and bottles you get the nickel back. However, most of us don’t live near a recycling center or care about the nickel, so we New Yorkers literally throw money away. It must be a decent chunk of change because people regularly dig through the garbage, pile the recyclables into shopping carts and wheel them away.
“No!” Jane scolds. “He is gorgeous. Super tall, dark, and broad build. He's friends with my friend Bill. I told Bill you are smart, gorgeous, curvy and fabulous. He already loves you for Naveen. If you guys work out it will be another couple I set-up. And this guy is MUCH better looking than Reindeer,” Jane insists. “But I liked Reindeer,” I reply. “I know you did sweetie,” Jane coos. “But he was bald.” “He had a bald spot!” I correct. “So when can you meet him, Naveen Nair? How about Thursday?” Oh sure why not.
* * *
The next evening I pace the lobby of Jane’s office building. I don’t want to trek all the way to her office and go through the sign-in-security-desk hassle. But I cannot stand in once place too long because most Manhattan towers have rules about loitering. Normally I’d wait outside but it is toooooooo hot and I don’t want to be a sweaty mess before my date.
I hear Jane before I see her. I turn to find her power walking across the marble floor in her tennis shoes. Her gait is so long and fast that the back of her dress jogs behind her, desperate to keep up. She drops her huge bag onto the floor. This is another Manhattan phenomena. Most women carry at least two bags, sometimes three if they cannot stuff their purse into one of their bags. I’ve actually seen women drop $1,000 Chloe bags onto the dirty Manhattan floors. Jane pecks a little kiss on my lips (she’s French). “Hi sweetie. Why aren’t you wearing glittery eye shadow?”
“I’m not wearing any eye shadow,” I reply. “Why didn’t you wear a dress?” she asks.
For the record there is NOTHING wrong with what I am wearing --- tapered dressy capri pants with a very small check pattern, and a sleeveless brown tunic cut so low I need to wear a tank top. Also, I had my legs waxed today. As a seasoned depilatory veteran, hot wax applied to my person as a prelude to hair being ripped from its follicles with muslin cloth is not the worst part of the process. It is the speckled blotchy mess that reddens my brown skin for the next 24 hours. With my f-ed up stars, I have enough going against me. I don’t need dermatitis to start off our date. “I love you in dresses. You have great legs,” she says. “From the knees down they are great, but…” I explain but she cuts me off. “Oh my God, look at your shoes!” Jane exclaims. Talk about attention deficit syndrome…
To be cont.