“At least now we know to avoid the deli when shopping for a husband,” my dad teased. My mom gave him the “look of doom” and we knew it was time to drop it. She was ready to blow. And that’s when John walked in.
“Hey Ma! You really know how to pick ‘em!” He laughed at his own joke, not picking up on the mood or noticing the wide eyed warning glares we were shooting him. Sure enough, Mom lost it, and John just stood there, open mouthed, wondering what the heck had just happened.
I thought she was going to yell or at least find something to scrub angrily while “torturing” us with the silent treatment, but she just buried her face in her hands and started to cry. It was her go-to guilt technique (or more aptly described-- her “divert the attention on what she just did” technique.) Classic mom move. I just rolled my eyes and laughed while John and Dad consoled her.
“I just want her to find happiness. Even Julie got married before her. Julie! I just want her to settle down and start a family before I’m gone.” She sobbed.
I really shouldn’t have, but I clapped at her performance and laughed. “Worthy of an Oscar mom! Well done! You’re not going anywhere and there’s no rush. I’m only 27. I’m perfectly happy on my own. I don’t need a husband to ‘complete me’. When Mr. Right walks into my life I’ll welcome him with open arms, but you can’t force people to fall in love. It just happens.”
“Oh my heavens! Are you gay?” Mom asked…seriously.
“Ya…Ya, Mom…I’m gay.” I quipped, shaking my head in bewilderment.
“What’s ‘gay’ auntie Jess?” I spun around and found a throng of family that had come to investigate the weeping and wailing….including one of my sister’s ankle biters. All eyes were on me.
Great…how am I going to get out of this conversation, I thought.
“Are you going to die alone?” she added innocently.
“I sure hope not, baby girl. Don’t you worry; Grandma’s putting ads in every paper and looking in every deli. A husband’s bound to turn up.” The room roared with laughter and the tension burst like an over filled balloon. Even mom cracked a smile.
“Well, Jessie. Mr. Right may not be walking through the door tonight, but Mr. Ritters is…is that close enough?”
“What are you talking about, John?”
“My friend, from work. Ryan Ritters. I invited him over for dinner tonight. Remember?”
“Uhhh! Tonight?! Did you not see what just happened here? Cancel. Please.” I begged.
“I invited him over for dinner, Jessie, not a make out session. I asked him as a friend, not a date for you. I mentioned you would be here, along with everyone else, but it will just be casual. No pressure.”
“Sure. No pressure. Do you have a picture of this guy?” I asked.
“No, I don’t have a picture of him! Was I supposed to ask him to pose for me? Guys don’t just snap pics of other dudes, Jessie.”
“Just asking. Sheesh. What time will he be here? I’ve got to plan my escape route.”
“6:30…and be nice!”
The crowd dispersed and I snuck into the only private place in the whole house…the bathroom. I pulled out my phone and searched Facebook for Ryan Ritters. When a match popped up from Portland, and was friends with John I knew I’d found my guy.
I zoomed in on his profile picture. I think I actually drooled a bit. I might have even stopped breathing...just for a moment. He was intimidatingly handsome, and I found myself wondering why a guy this hot was still single.
Check back tomorrow to see if the date with the "intimidatingly handsome" guy turns out better than the date with the deli guy!