So the time had finally come, it was Saturday and the Colors of Christmas at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center was the agenda. Nancy actually had bought tickets herself, it was the first time she ever did anything like that. Despite all the recent events in our relation I was still very uncertain as to exactly how this evening would play out. My thoughts were to just make the best of it, try and get into the Holiday Spirit.
That morning I decided to go the whole nine yards for the event, my grey pinstripe suit, red power tie, fresh manicure, fresh haircut, my shoes professionally polished hey after all it was going to be a very festive evening and I was sort of kind of sure that ou last conversation had cleared the air, we were going to just enjoy each other and see what happens, right?
Jennifer (Nancy's Daughter) had a birthday that week so I picked her up a little gift. Nothing special, just something to open, a Martini kit, a nice shaker, four martini glasses and a bottle Grey Goose. I was at least to my knowledge still in a relationship with her mother and your supposed to buy gifts for that persons kids, yes?
After running my errands showering and doing my usual shave twice routine I got dressed, I turned and glanced at the clock, I was running late. Holy Hell this never happens to me, better get moving. I stopped and looked in the mirror before running out the door, it was one of those times when you look in the mirror and think "damn I look good tonight". Not bragging by any means, we all have those days as well as those days when we shriek and wonder who that person is. This just happened to be one of those really good days.
Down the stairs I went, straight out to the garage, jumped into the Jag fired it up and Jim was off. Ten minutes later I was buzzing up the 55 when I noticed the blue lights behind me, oh no fucking way. I pulled over into the emergency lane and accepted my fast driver award from Mr. CHP...jeez louise, I wasn't exactly burning up the pavement. The ticket was for 72 miles per hr. Dear lord I had been passed by a flock of cars right before I was pulled over. I told the CHP that my speed was really going with the flow of traffic, he just said "well I just got on at Dyer and you were the first car I saw"... JUST GREAT!!!
I called FANCY to tell her I was running a little late and why, she said "no big deal we will be waiting outside" not a sorry or mention of the ticket. Apparently she had told Hanna (the gal that introduced us in the first place and her daughters friend) to come to her house and I would drive to the theatre from there. After all was said and done, fast driver award included I was still only about 5 minutes late, I jumped out and opened the doors for the ladies, I told them both how nice they looked and Hanna told me I looked very handsome, I leaned over to give NANCY a kiss and she turned her cheek to me without saying so much as a courtesy hello, huh...great start to the evening.
While we drove to Macaroni Grille to meet Jennifer, Nancy and Hanna chatted up a storm. They were talking about some club in Fullerton as we rolled down the 91 when out of the blue Nancy mentioned something about how she missed going out Dancing. This struck me as very odd since one of the things I suggested we do that might be fun was to take some dance lessons together. You know, maybe some swing or salsa with a little ballroom thrown in. I actually printed out a handful of options from the Internet(some with lessons and then a dance, some just lessons). I gave them to her about a six weeks prior and asked her to pick one and I would sign us up. She never did pick one and now was going to complain about not going out dancing. It was one of many such examples of things I didn't understand during our time together, not that I expect to understand everything but some are black and white to me.
We got to the parking and lot of Macaroni Grille and Jennifer was waiting for us, I got her gift from the trunk and gave it to her. She was very surprised and thanked me with a hug and proceeded to tell me how nice I looked, FANCY made some sort of a grunting noise or maybe it was a hurumph, Jennifer turned and asked her what her problem was. Jennifer and I actually got along pretty well even after the Thanksgiving debacle, she had told me a couple of times how happy her mom was since we started dating, guess I wasn't the only one that was confused at this point.
After walking inside and getting our table we ordered drinks and our meals. The place was packed and very loud, we all chatted about the usual what have you been doing type of things. It seemed to be that every time I had something to say FANCY would interrupt to talk about her and Jennifer's upcoming trip. It was really starting to irritate me but I decided to let it go, it was no big deal. We finished the meal and when the check came Nancy announced that she would pay for her and Jennifer, I thought what the fuck is this all about? I grabbed the check up, I said "you were nice enough to get the tickets I can surely pick up the meal". A cold, straight up "whatever" was her reply. Jennifer and Hanna obviously becoming uncomfortable quickly chimed in with a thank you Jim.
The walk to the Art's Center was no more friendly, I reached for Nancy's hand and she pulled it away, this had all the makings of a long evening, that would prove to be an understatement. I tried to talk to her and made another attempt to take her hand, it was like holding a dead fish, totally limp and cold. I let go after a minute or two.
The place was packed, I have not felt so much like a snowflake since I went to the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino for a Tower of Power and War concert, it really doesn't bother me, I think its kind of funny actually. At least at the aforementioned show I wanted to be there.
We got our programs and found our seats, the entertainment was Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Junior, Ben Vereen, some other folks I had never heard of, mostly singing Christmas Carols and Gospel tunes. The audience was doing a lot of that annoying chair dancing thing. The applause and hooting seemed forced, the show had all the earmarks of a bad 70s variety show.
The longer the show went on the colder Nancy got, by the time intermission rolled around if you would have shoved a stick up her ass you could have sold her with any other Big Stick. I was done fit to be tied but continued to bite my tongue. As we walked to the lobby I asked if anyone wanted a drink, took their orders and all but ran to the bar. I had thoughts at that point of just leaving them there, Jennifer had her car they would be fine, but decided on sticking it out. When I came back NANCY was in the restroom. Jennifer and Hanna started firing questions, "what the fuck is going on with you guys?" "what is wrong with my mother?" I told them I had no idea but that things had not been going all that great as of late, but I was under the impression we had talked through it. "Whatever the circumstances are, she is just being a bitch" Jennifer said. I did not agree or disagree, I just wanted the night to end at that point.
FANCY came back from the ladies room and said she decided she didn't want her drink, Hanna and Jennifer readily poured it into their drinks and chugged it down, I was wishing that it was me. As we returned to our seats Nancy talked about how great the show was, no one responded. Between pretending to have a good time, getting cold stares I was starting to come to a simmer, the boil was not to far off in the horizon. Thank god after Ben Vereen did some songs from Jesus Christ Superstar (who even knew Ben was still alive I thought) there was a big finale and the show was over.
Leaving the theatre NANCY started walking ahead of me, I just let her go...at first Jennifer, Hanna and I were walking about ten feet behind her, then twenty...finally FANCY stopped and waited. I think it was the laughter from the girls that got her attention, she wanted to know what we were talking about. Mostly it was Hanna and Jennifer bagging on the show. As for me, I didn't have much to say about anything at that point.
The drive back to Yorba Linda seemed like a thousand miles of silence with a few very brief Hanna and Nancy interactions, you could hear how uncomfortable Hanna was with the situation in her voice, it had a doppler affect going, I felt bad for her. If the tension would have been any thicker I would have had to roll the windows down to breath.
I pulled into FANCY's driveway and I swear before I could get to NANCY's door Hanna was out of the car and halfway down the street to her car. She was almost yelling a thank you back at Fancy for the show and me for the dinner, she seemingly started her car from ten feet away and jumped in through the window, she pulled out and was gone in a matter of seconds.
Turning to Nancy I said "well that was certainly a different evening". She asked me what I meant, I told her "I am not so sure I have ever been treated so rudely by anyone". Instantly she went on the attack, "how am I supposed to act?" " I think you just use me for sex?" "you never take me on any trips" "you never come over during your lunch" "where is this relationship going?" , I tried to explain myself, "I have no idea Nancy, we have only been dating for three months" "I have no idea where this is going, should I?" She looked at me with a glare that spelled serial killer, "you are such a little boy, you can't commit to anything". Out of nowhere the magic words came to me, "If by that you mean I am not looking to be husband number five or six you could not be more right" BINGO, BUZZ, HOME RUN, FLUSH, whatever you want to call it, her face turned red, she screamed "HOW DARE YOU" she turned and ran towards the front door of her house.
I felt an immediate since of relief, ok let's get the fuck out of here. I got in my car and started the engine, I started to back out when she came running back out screaming and swearing at me, I have no idea what she was saying nor did I want to know, but I guess that maybe I must have struck a nerve....I was afraid she was going to jump in front of the car or something but thankfully she didn't....she was still standing in the middle of the street screaming with that Brooklyn accent some indiscernible profanity as I drove around the corner.
I hadn't even made it to the freeway when Hanna called me, Jennifer had already called her, meaning that Nancy had already called Jennifer...whew boy you ladies are fast. She wanted to know what it was that was said, I told her and she said oh my god Jim really? "Really" was all I could say, and yes I am fine.
FANCY AND I never spoke another word, Hanna told me recently that Nancy sold her house and moved to some semi-senior condo place in Laguna Niguel, I am sure she will find number five or six or seven, whatever her magic number is, someone a little more her age, I wish her nothing but the best.
I am actually very grateful for the time I got to spend with FANCY NANCY, after all it was the first time in a very long time for so many things for me. I really never thought I would ever date again, that I would kiss another woman, I was certain that I would never sleep with another woman again, I never thought so many things would ever happen again, but that is what its like when you lose the love of your life......
I was absolutely certain that I would never fall in love again, as far as JIM and FANCY NANCY went that was very true, but you have to start somewhere right?
I am certainly not the hero in this adventure and FANCY was certainly not the villain, that really is not what I hoped to portray by writing this little escapade. At the most I was just trying to give a little insight into what may or may not go on in the head of a recently widowed guy when he starts dating again, just a guy trying to move on with his life. Along with all the insecurities and uncertainties that come with it. At the least I hope it gave you a laugh or two, just take from it what you will, I hope I left a little on the plate for anyone that took the time to read it, thanks.
J'attends oujours ma deuxieme chance avec Charmaine. Au cas ou quelqu'un se demande. J'apprecierais si une chance de valser elle autour de la Piece de Lumiere des etoiles.