Part 2

…We pulled up to the club. It wasn’t really a club at all. It was a small, small building. One of many in a small strip mall. He pulled out his tattered wallet and got out, not cash, but a yellow 2-for-1 coupon. Now don’t get me wrong. I love coupons! I use them myself from time to time but Ed went on to tell me the following story:
“This one time. I went out with this one girl. And she saw that I had coupons and totally freaked out on me and stuff. So I just wanted to let you know that I would be using a coupon before I gave it to the cashier so you didn’t freak out. I mean come on, if you can save a few bucks, save a few bucks, right?”
Keep in mind this isn’t the full story. If I were to write the whole explanation of the coupons, my “short” story would rival a novel like Crime and Punishment. Let me be honest. Ed paid for my ticket, $5.00. Somehow it just didn’t seem right. I mean being frugal is one thing but cheep, this was very close to verging on cheep.
I hadn’t been there before. Once you paid you walked down a long hallway and entered through a black curtain. When you stepped in there was a room packed with tables and chairs. All black too. They had about eight long conference-like tables in the middle and we decided to sit in one of those. We scooted into the middle of a table that seated about 16 people. Let me tell you the biggest flaw of the seating arrangements. The chairs were somehow welded together. So you couldn’t scoot them at all. Basically once you were sitting there was no moving – especially if you had people on either side of you.
The waiter came by and gave us the menu. It was then I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat all day long. I was famished! He proceeded to tell me,
“Get whatever you want.”
I decided on cheese sticks and a Dr. Pepper. He wanted nacho’s and a virgin Margarita. When the waiter came by he took our order. As he was walking away Ed yelled,
“Hey make sure there isn’t any alcohol in that drink at all! None! I don’t like it. It isn’t good.”
Some of the people around us looked up, I just smiled, what else could I do? Then I realized that the other couple that was supposed to meet up with us weren’t there yet. I asked,
“Hey Ed, where are your friends? The show is going to start soon isn’t it?”
“Yeah, I don’t know, they are late. Don’t you hate it when people are late??”
My mind flashed back to me sitting on my couch waiting for a tardy date just an hour earlier. Just as I was going to make an attempt to start a conversation he stood up and was hugging some people that just walked in. They all sat down. The woman who I had pictured in my mind as a super-human monster ready to pounce, was a short, squatty, round woman. Nothing to worry about with her. Her date was a tall, skinny, lurpy man.
“Jamie this is Steve and Pam. Steve worked with me and got me the coupon, and Pam, well I told you already, we used to date.”
“Nice to meet you both. We just got here and ordered.”
As I was sitting trying to get comfortable in the chairs I heard Steve say to Ed,
“Good job, Ed”
Then Steve proceeded to pat Ed on the back. I don’t consider myself a “catch”. But, I’ll take the compliment, no matter how sexist it suddenly seemed.
In the meantime during introductions the waiter had brought the food to us. I got my Dr. Pepper but still hadn’t seen any cheese sticks. Then I looked over. In the short time it had been since we got our food Ed had eaten most of the cheese sticks. They weren’t passed to me at all. They were gone and I was going to faint from lack of nutrients and they were eating all my food!!!! Ed offered me nachos. I didn’t want his yucky nachos! If I wanted nachos I would have ordered them myself! And now, now my food was gone! GONE! Suddenly the whole excuse of the offensive comic sounded quite appealing. Not because he didn’t give me my food, but because he didn’t give me my food. You know what I mean. How rude of him!
Well it was 7:30. What hadn’t the show started yet?? I was hungry, hot and really hating these chairs. My thighs were touching his and he probably was thinking I was doing it on purpose for human contact with my new “favorite man” when I was doing all I could to stop all the human contact in general. I thought the show started at 7:30! I leaned to Ed, engrossed in a computer conversation a.k.a. foreign language to me,
“Ummm Ed, sorry to interrupt I am your date though, some attention would be nice, but I was just wondering when the show started?”
Steve chimed in,
8:00?!!?!? Another half an hour! What was I going to do for a half an hour? Starve? I turned to look at the crowd and suddenly Ed had his arm around me. I guess the computer conversation is over. I turned to him. I wasn’t comfortable with this whole possession, arm around my shoulders thing so I thought, maybe if I scoot to the side he will get the hint. I went to scoot my chair over a little and kind of make it look like I was moving the chair to be able to face him better, stupid stuck together chairs! That wouldn’t work. So I just turned my body. He noticed I had a purple gemstone ring on my right hand.
“Hey could I look at that ring??”
Innocent enough, I thought. So I took off the ring and handed it to him.
“This is a really nice ring Jamie where did you get it? Wow you much have some money to get nice things like this!”
“I actually got it at Target for 10.00. Thanks though.”
I went to look down at my bare hand and suddenly he grabbed my left hand and slipped the ring onto my wedding ring finger!
“Jamie will you marry me?”
I was freaking out! Was he kidding? He looked serious, didn’t he? No, he was smiling. Was he smiling because it was a joke or because of the petrified look I must have had on my face.
“Whoa, no I guess. Just kidding anyway.”
No you guess!?!?!? It was going to be a looooooooong half hour until the show started. I grabbed the ring off my left hand and put it right back on the right hand and clasped my fingers. If he was thinking this was some leeway to holding my hand he was wrong!
“So Jamie what do you like to do in your spare time?”
Now there is a typical first date question.
“Well, I like to play piano, hang out with friends, go to the theatre, you know just stuff. Oh, I also like to write.”
“Tell me something you have written?”
“Oh I don’t share it. It is just mine.”
“Come on I write poetry too. I’ll share with you.”
“Ohhh no thanks. It is just mine. Sorry.”
“Come on”
By this point he was starting to lean in towards me and hang on me and… beg.
“I think we are close enough we could share.”
“No, thanks.”
“Come on!”
Now he is starting to get a little pushy, not to mention a little too close for my comfort.
“Ed No!”
I didn’t realize I said it loud. I guess I forgot we were in a public place but, both Steve and Pam were jolted out of their conversation to look at us – along with all the couples around us. Pam said,
“Is he bugging you Jamie? He isn’t getting what he wants… he isn’t used to that.”
Now that comment verges on things that are offering up too much information, especially from an ex.
“Well he better get used to it tonight!”
At that point Pam leaned over to Ed and tickled him and said,
“Oooooo Ed! I like her!”
Thinking to myself she better not like me this is the last she is going to see of me. Just then to my relief the lights dimmed. I sat back, slightly pinching Ed’s skin between my chair and my back, maybe he would get the point then. No such luck.
The first two comics went without incident. There were some pretty funny jokes said and I would start to laugh and look to Ed to see if he was laughing too but he had on his “I’m so offended, but wont leave because I paid good money for the tickets” face. I muffled my laughs most of the time, but there were sometimes I couldn’t help it and turned to see him changing from his first face to the “I do not believe you thought that joke was funny” face. Oh well! At this point I could care less about impressing him and just wanted to have some fun. The main comic came on.
“So Utah, hu? Mormons… I read an article in the newspaper about you Utan’s. It said 2% of the population are polygamists. So by raise of hands… where are my polygamists in the audience??”
Waking myself from the dream that the rest of the date would go off without incident, Ed jumped, that’s right, jumped up from his seat and waved his arms and pointed proudly to ME! Realizing what was going on I tried to stop him, pull him down or something. By this point the place was packed with people all at this very minute looking from him to me with amused faces.
“Must be hard handling that many women!”
“No, just expensive!”
The audience laughed, the comic thanked Ed with his eyes for going along with this whole thing and Ed sat down. Placing his arm around me again. The stares lingered from people in the audience. He smiled at me,
“That was funny hu Jamie.”
I gave a half smile with a pure look of fear and turned back to the comic. Please don’t make any more jokes about Mormons, or marriage, or men, or women, or love, or sex or anything. Please end now – for the love… LET ME GO HOME!
The set was going well. The jokes turned to Hollywood and things Ed wouldn’t know about. Then it happened again.
“There are some beautiful women in Utah!”
“Right here!”
Ed yelled pointing at me. Like I said before, I don’t think I am anything special, but even this time although the compliment was just that – a compliment – I was so humiliated that I didn’t want it.
“Beautiful women, like you – you have beautiful black hair, and you, you are a cute little thing, and you, wow!”
“Right here! She’s beautiful, Right here!!!”
Ed continued to yell. Turning to him and trying to silence him, he finally gave up. Why he gave up I’ll never know. But thank heavens! He gave up. Endearing and flattering as it was – he gave up.
The sets were over. Time to go home. Best part of the night. We shuffled out with the rest of the crowd. Many of the guys giving us looks of amusement and many of the women giving me looks of sympathy. The comics were all standing in a line ready to shake our hands and give away some of those yellow coupons. I was in front of Ed. We had said a quick good-bye to his friends inside because they were still paying. I hurried out as quickly as possible and I heard to my terror Ed yelling to me over the crowd,
“I didn’t like it Jamie. I thought that the jokes were very off-color and all those guys just look so depressed.”
I didn’t look back, I couldn’t then I would have to look at the faces of the comics. I walked toward the door. I wanted out. Get me out get me out get me out!!!!!!!!!
To Be Continued (in one more part)…


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