(reading time approx. 7 ½ minutes)
These new electronic gadgets are wonderful if you know how to use them. I bought myself a new computer for Christmas. I studied its basic use, just to get started. I was impressed that e-mail letters were so convenient, instant and cheap communications.
Recently, I met a pretty lady in a congregation where I was a member. After a nice chat over a cup of coffee and cookies, I suggested that it would be a pleasure to have a breakfast or lunch date where we could discuss mutual interests and get more acquainted. We were both unattached and recently widowed. We agreed that we might exchange e-mails for communication in the interim. What a wonderful opportunity to make a new friend of a very attractive lady with no ties and many attributes, physically and intellectually. I was enthused with anticipation.
When I returned home I immediately entered her name, Marie, in my address book. I then proceeded to write a very endearing letter, explaining how it was a pleasure to see her at our weekly gatherings and was impressed with her lovely appearance, personality and concern with tasteful decorum. I said she indeed engendered my desire to make her a new friend. She was pretty, talented and ostensibly enjoyed several common interests. I was delighted with our plan to meet again. It was now up to me for the pursuit of a more personal friendship. I suggested that we meet soon and I would be in touch. She seemed delighted and we agreed. I was excited.
I sent an e-mail suggesting a possible dining place along the river for lunch, near where she worked downtown. Because of the lack of parking in-town during business hours, I suggested that on Tuesday, at 12:00 noon, I would drive by the corner of Maple and Main Streets. I could pick her up in my new car at the corner. The plan was for me to blink my car lights repeatedly so she would know who it was, and she could jump in the car at the corner. Her e- mail reply, was short and merely said, “I would be delighted. This is a real surprise. I will see you Tuesday, at the corner, at noon. I’ll look for you to blink the car lights. I will be wearing a large brimmed black beach hat and sun glasses.” Sounds like a plan!
I received the e-mail reply Sunday evening and was thrilled at the response. The thoughts of having a lovely companion would help relieve the bitter edge of my loneliness after 62 years of a great marriage ending with my wife’s death. Being alone is not for everyone, especially me. I really miss my wife, maybe a little too much, and I still do.
Now to plan for a romantic lunch! My anticipation of the date was commencing to excite my imagination with this beautiful shapely blonde, maybe a little young for me, but who’s counting. “Carpe diem.”
There she was, in the doorway of the office building where she must work, just as planned, waiting for me to blink my lights. She was a svelte blonde and with her large sunglasses, she looked like a movie star trying to avoid the paparazzi. Wow, this could be the beginning of a wonderful friendship. She looked even taller than I remembered and a little heavier. (High heels and a different dress I guess.) My car was new and I never read the manual to see how to turn on the automatic lights in the daytime. I blew the horn. She ignored the horn as a proper lady would. The car behind me blew his horn because I was blocking the busy one lane street. I had to move on and go around the block. I did and stopped to read the manual, but couldn’t find the headlight instructions. In the interest of time, I put my hat over the sensor at the windshield to over-ride automatic light system. I drove around the block again, then blinked the high low beams. That did it! I got her attention. She recognized me, came over and got right into the car. She smiled, took off her glasses, and said in a very sexy voice, “Hi!”
But…wait! This was not the same lady with whom I made a date. Yes, this was Mary from our congregation, but not Marie, although both were from the same church. Both names were in my computer e-mail address list next to each other. It so happened that her name, Mary, was directly under the name of my new friend Marie from the same church. No wonder she remarked in her e-mail letter accepting my invitation, “I would be delighted. This is a real surprise.” Now, it was my turn for surprises. I said nothing at the moment. I acted as if everything were OK and drove on, with traffic beeping impatiently behind me. I drove to the restaurant just a few blocks away, and parked in their parking lot where I explained the misdirected e-mail. She showed some disappointment but laughed and said, “Well, we’re here now and I am hungry. Let’s talk about it over a cocktail and lunch.” I agreed. The plot unraveled and interestingly thickened.
I subsequently found that this lady, Mary, was married. She had a 220 pound, 6’2’’wounded ex Marine husband. He was recovering at home, unemployed, minding the kids while I am dining with his wife. Now, I’m in real trouble. We discussed the debacle, both wearing dark sunglasses like two Hollywood cheaters. I nervously kept looking over my shoulder for a big Marine. We exchanged platitudes and inconsequential minutia. Her exquisite stature and beauty was exciting but threatening to my very survival of this day. Someone may recognize us! “Oh God, get me back to that corner to drop her off and run.”
After a nervous but cordial luncheon, sharing our uneasy pleasures, laughing at the happenstance and this newly found confidential friendship, I drove her back to the corner where it all started, like in a movie. We said goodbye, and agreed with a little peck on the cheek, that it would be our secret. End of story. Darn it all. Next time I’ll ask for some I.D.
Note: The lady Marie, with whom I had actually intended to have lunch, asked me the following Sunday, in Church, “I thought we were going to get together for lunch last week?” With no explanation, I quickly responded, “Please forgive me for not calling. Something unexpected came up. How about if we go for lunch right now?” Off we went and I didn’t need an ID this time, but that’s another story! The other pretty lady, Mary, was in church on that day too. She smiled and winked on our way out the door. I wonder what she meant by that?