I choke on the foam of my cappuccino as she chew-chew-chews her sandwich. My mind is racing. Sammi is married, has been for about a million years, and has never confided to me before any inkling of trouble on the domestic front. Blind dates (plural)? What the – ?
Maybe this is how
I started to think about her sweet, kind, devoted husband. I wonder if he knows? I wonder if I should tell him? How could he not know? Why would she do this to him (and did she meet her blind dates on the Internet on one of those match sites)? Are they in counseling? Did he cheat? Perhaps there are things I don’t know about Sammi and her husband.
She is wiping avocado off her chin when I finally get my voice back. “Blind dates?” I croak.
“Yeah, you know, blind dates with all those other moms?” Now she has somehow involved other mothers. Is this the latest trend in Crazy Town? Why am I always the last to find these things out?
“So, MOV,” she continues, blasé as cold soup, “Jack has this new friend Dylan and the mom invites him over for a playdate. Well, I’ve never met Dylan before, nor the mom, so I'm wondering if I am supposed to stay? I took him over there last week when we had the day off from school and I’m sitting there making all the small get-to-know-you talk, how long have you lived here, do you work, blah-blah-blah. And she starts chain smoking, but she’s wearing this bright red lipstick and getting it all over her cigarettes. And she has the TV on in the background and it’s some inane game show, like, at maximum volume. And then she asks me what type of skin-care I use because she apparently sells Mary Kay and wants me to come to her next make-up party so she can sell me all that crap. I swear, it’s enough to make you want to slash your wrists.” She grins wide, a small piece of lettuce stuck in her teeth. “It’s just so refreshing to have lunch with you and I already know you and vice versa and I don’t have to launch into my entire backstory.” She takes a big sip of her ice water.
“Oh, I get it! You mean hanging out with these other moms is like going on a blind date.”
“Right, that’s what I said.”
“Uh, so,” I struggle, wanting to add something valuable to the conversation, “will Jack be having future playdates with Dylan?”
“What do you think?” pause, “Okay, that’s mean. Dylan is a cute kid, I guess I could have him over, as long as Mrs. Nicotine Make-Up stays home,” she says, laughing.
I nod, glad I’m not Mrs. Nicotine Make-Up.
A pretty lady in a red coat swoops into the restaurant and sits at the booth next to us. I notice that she is staring at me.
Sammi leans in. “Do you know that woman?” she whispers over her dessert menu.
I shrug, then shake my head no. “I don’t think so.”
“Molly?” says the woman, clearly talking to me, “Excuse me, aren’t you Short’s mom?”
“It’s MOV,” I say, startled that she’s talking to me, like a character on TV is addressing me directly from inside the black electronic box.
“Hi,” she smiles warmly, “I thought it was you. I’m Gail, Tyler’s mommy? We should get Tyler and Short together for a playdate. Tyler adores Short and talks about him non-stop.”
“Okay, that sounds great. My email is on the school list. Maybe we could do it after school next Wednesday?” I offer.
“Sure, sure, that sounds perfect. Oh, and I’d love for you to stay too for coffee,” she adds, “I’d love to get to know you better.”
Sammi winks at me. She’s not the only one going on blind dates.
("Mom Or Venus?")