I like doing this at the end of the week since it always feels so well deserved.
Normally I go alone but in a moment of psychotic benevolence I invited her to come along.
The thing you have to know about Trudy is nothing’s simple. Where I would just throw something on and wander someplace, she treats it as an enormous event.
She was late of course, something I’ve learned to expect, and there’s always a stop to make along the way.
“My leg hurts,” she tells me so could I please carry her packages that need to be dropped off at the UPS Store.
Feeling like an ass in more ways than one we crawl, she can’t walk very fast, to do the errand before finally landing at the bar.
Alright it didn’t kill me but do you see the advantages of traveling alone?
Let me say I am never on the prowl. If I meet someone interesting it’s usually incidental. I prefer to sit quietly, sip my Pinot Noir and just be.
Trudy, on the other hand, opts to make a big splash. She seems to know every maitre d’ in Manhattan making more noise upon entering than I’m comfortable with.
Finally after she works the room like a senator we settle in.
You know the expression, ‘I can sure use a drink?’
The place we chose wasn’t very busy which is why I like it. Come 9 o’clock it’s a zoo but between 5 and 8 it’s peaceful with just enough action to make it pleasantly festive so you can actually have a conversation.
Trudy of course says only old people are out at this early hour and what’s wrong with me anyway? Ignoring the verbal assault I order an appetizer figuring if her mouth’s full she can’t insult me. Wishful thinking on my part since she’d find a way even if she were comatose.
Frankly I’m not much of a chatterer by nature so very often I perceive myself as a very large ear for those who feel the urgent need to prattle.
I heard about how cute the UPS boys are and how they gave her a free box. She told me about her hairdresser who only charged her 200 bucks for a cut and how she’s pissed at her son and not too nuts about her new daughter-in-law since she used labels on her thank-you notes for all their wedding gifts.
I can only describe this yammering as Muzak with lyrics.
Now let me just say for a woman in her mid 60s Trudy is very attractive however, men in their 60s unless they’re in a retirement community or have brain damage are not interested in a woman of a certain age. I was even too old and I’m 10 years younger. (This is New York remember)
Did this deter her?
She dug her high heels in like the bugle just sounded at a fox hunt.
To this man’s credit he was very polite as only a European knows how to be. He sounded Belgium to me but then again I was drinking so he could have been from Queens for all I truly knew.
After an hour of listening to Trudy trying to engage him in flirty banter I was ready to leave. As I pulled out my credit card the bartender came over to say the gentleman 2 stools down would like to buy us a drink.
Personally I think it was his way of ending the one-sided flirtation since he had successfully managed to escape Trudy’s clutches.
Two drinks are really my limit so I politely said no but Trudy, who had just perused our check, wasn’t about to. You would have thought we won the Kentucky Derby.
Knowing she couldn’t get me to change my mind she did something else extraordinary.
Rather than accept the drinks this fellow offered she asked the bartender to deduct it from our bill.
It reminded me of an old Margaret Smith joke when a guy strolls over and says, “Hey cupcake, can I buy you a drink?” And she says, “No thanks, but I’ll take the 3 bucks.” (you can tell how old that joke is since wine starts at 10.50 per glass)
Since she insisted on picking up the check I couldn’t say much.
Why did she pay?
In any event, we both went home.
Before leaving I gave the place a last long look knowing I wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon.
Did someone say good riddance…
or was that me when I left her on the corner?
This is my 300th post