Since it’s free today, I thought I would share an excerpt from my second novel ‘Lucky In Love’. This particular section was taken from Chapter 4 entitled – Speed Dating.
It was later that same night, and there we were about to attend the dreaded speed dating event. Much to Tara’s dissatisfaction I had done very little to prepare for the evening regarding my looks. In fact, I had come straight from work in an attempt to avoid any further questioning by Gabe or Noah. As it was, I had done what little I could to bring my modest day time teacher look up to date night standards, and even I was aware that I wasn’t quite up to par. After a failed effort at letting my hair down, I quickly reverted back to the pony tail when I realized there would be nothing I could do to get the dreaded pony tail kink out without a brush and blow-dryer. My make-up consisted of little more than eye liner and Chap Stick, although in my defense, I really didn’t own much else. As I looked down towards my feet and caught a last minute glimpse of my outfit, I was half shocked that Tara had even allowed me to come. While I had remembered to stuff a spare shirt into my bag that morning, I had not had the foresight to bring a matching bra. Therefore, I was now wearing a strappy black top (very sexy by my standards) with a bright yellow bra strap poking through. Below the shirt, were the same black pants I had worn to work along with the black flats I wore nearly every day. Initially, I had thought the ensemble would look cute, but now, standing out in front of that bar and assessing what was essentially my competition, I realized that I was sorely mistaken. It wasn’t cute so much as it was plain, and truthfully, almost frumpy. The pants I was wearing were likely two sizes too big, which I had bought that way intentionally for work thinking more about the comfort and less about the style aspect. For some reason, I remembered my flats to be the perfect shoes, completely interchangeable with any look. Alas, that was not the case. They were sad looking as they nearly disappeared under my baggy pants and after closer examination in desperate need of some polish.
Nevertheless, there I was. Along with Tara and Jason, who in their eased perfection, made me look even worse. Looking at them and their wildly more appropriate attire, I silently vowed to make time for a shopping day in the near future….
…The three of us headed over to the bar. The bartender gave us a once over and even though his glance only rested on me for half a second, I instantly had a flash of the thoughts that must have been going through his mind. Having spent many years on that side of the counter, I was all too familiar with the skills one develops in regard to reading people and relationships. No doubt he saw Jason and Tara looking all pretty and perfect and then saw me and determined that they were a couple and I was their frumpy, single friend they were desperately trying to unload at this speed dating event. Oh, if only he knew the truth. Fact was, that at the end of the night, Jason would be going home with me, just like he did every night. I realized of course that it meant nothing, but knowing that one simple fact, still gave me a small sense of satisfaction.
Once we each had a drink in our hand, we finally dared to inch our way toward the speed dating room, which was filling up at a rapid pace. I looked around the room daring to hope for a mere moment, but quickly squashed those feelings when I realized that most of the men there would not be of interest. The second most satisfying moment that night, was realizing that my people reading skills were still just as keen as they had been back in my beer slinging days.
Still, there was no turning back, so we each went and took a seat at one of the many tables set up in what was now looking to be a rather small space for the amount of people who had shown up. The host of the evening was a woman in her mid-twenties. She was way too young and perky to be hosting this event and I had to work hard at resisting the urge to toss my cocktail napkin at her just so I wouldn’t have to see her bright, toothy smile as she welcomed us with great enthusiasm to what I could only describe as “dating hell”.
“Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome.Before we begin, let me go over the rules with you. The ladies will remain seated while the gentlemen rotate from table to table. Each date will last five minutes and you’ll know the time is up, when we ring the bell. Let’s begin!Enjoy and good luck!”
And so it began. With one eye closed, I nervously waited to see who would take his seat across from me. When I saw him, I instinctively wanted to shut the other eye, too, but I didn’t. He was medium height and medium build, and in all likelihood, not bad looking. However, the blue velvet jacket he was wearing over a rather pink shirt made it hard to look at anything else. Except for maybe the hair, which had highlights and was greased back so slickly that the candlelight around the room was dancing around on the top of his head like a million twinkly little stars. My first thought was of Noah and how I would have to tell him about this. The second thought was that I could NEVER tell him about this! Regardless of the reaction I was having internally, I tried to maintain a welcoming face as the guy sat down and proceeded to make his first move.
“Hi.I’m Ron and I just wanted to ask you if it hurt when you fell from heaven, because you look like an Angel.” He grinned and I caught sight of a flashy gold tooth right there in the front. It was all I could do to keep from tackling the perky hostess who had so falsely promised a successful venture into the land of love. Since that wasn’t an option, and love was clearly out of the running, I opted for entertaining myself. One way or another I was going to have a good time.
“Hi Ron, I’m Nancy. And yes, it hurt like hell.” I threw in a Brooklyn accent. Just sort of seemed right for a girl like Nancy to be from the Bronx. Ron hadn’t been prepared for this.
“Oh…” he nervously laughed. “Well, so…so what do you do, Nancy?”
“Ron, I spend most of my day chopping off balls.” I was on a roll now.
“You what?” The color began to fade from his face.
“I’m a vet, Ron. That’s just part of the job.” It was just too easy.
“Oh, of course…So, do you like what you do?” It was a little late for a comeback, but Ron gave it a try anyway.
“Who wouldn’t?” I grinned, secretly hoping a piece of olive from my martini had somehow wedged itself in between my teeth, so that Ron might have experienced the same horror I had when he had grinned at me. Just then the bell rang.
“Nice meeting you, Ron!” I called after him, as he scurried away from my table and on to the next girl. I silently said a quick prayer for her, whoever she may have been and then braced myself for the next date.
This time, he was so utterly unsightly, it was almost endearing, but just almost. The fact of the matter was that what was most likely to blame for his unsightliness was a lacking sense of hygiene. His hair was untrimmed and oily; causing what appeared to be severe adult acne on his forehead where his hair seemed to be permanently plastered do to the excess body oils. If he had acne anywhere else on his face, I couldn’t tell because his scraggly unkempt beard covered the majority of it. Upon closer inspection, I detected what appeared to be leftovers from a turkey sandwich stuck in the matted hair below his chin, which I desperately hoped, were from a recent meal, but the general appearance of this guy suggested otherwise. His shirt was stained and smelled as though it had been retrieved from under a pair of used gym socks and I let out a small sigh of relief, knowing that I would never have to look too closely at his pants, as they were hidden by the small table we were both seated at. As he looked up at me and prepared to initiate the conversation, an onslaught of dialects and sarcastic comments came rushing through my mind. This guy was going to get it good.
“Hi, my name is Tony. I’d shake your hand, but my hands sweat when I get nervous.” He shrugged his shoulders apologetically and gave me a surprisingly confident smile, as though that would make his lack of cleanliness acceptable.
“Hi, Tony. I’m Georgia.” I opted for the Deep South this time. Then, just as sweet as pie, I continued, “And don’t worry about it, my butt cheeks do the same thing when I’m nervous.And let me tell you Tony, I am really nervous right now!” I sat back and watched as the look of horror and immense discomfort spread across his face. Hey, fair is fair….
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