I drove home after work…
With my fingers and toes crossed. Having some time to myself was top priority. The apartment was dark as I pulled into the lot, holding my breath I unlocked the door…empty, the apartment was blessedly empty!
Operation bubble bath commenced. Water drawing, bubbles added, candles lit…I grabbed my book and a bottle of wine…I was set for a long soak…with no interruptions. For hours I read, adding hot water as it grew cold, reveling in my time alone. Enjoying the silence until I could no longer stay awake. I tucked myself into bed, thankful.
Awaking hours later…
to Jane jumping onto the bed, still wearing the clothes from the night before and a great big smile. She had an incredible time with Larry. He was so thoughtful, respectful, courteous…she had fallen in “like”. After leaving the club they ventured back to his place for a movie and several more cocktails. They cuddled and laughed, enjoying each other.
Jane is flushed as she recalls the rest of the date…admitting that she had a few too many cocktails. The drinks mixed with Larry’s incredible-ness had wrapped them in a cocoon of intimacy. Jane did not need to impart the details, the look on her face told the tale. She could not wait to see him again.
She could not thank me enough for letting her move back home, for allowing her into my life, for introducing her to Larry-he was the one-she just knew it! She told me she loved me a million times that I was the best friend-EVER! I fell back to sleep with a smile on my face, visions of bubble bath’s dancing in my head.
That evening when I ventured into work…
Larry, was just Larry. No effusive “thanks” for introducing me to Jane…in fact, he did not broach the conversation of their date, so I did not ask. I assumed that he was being a good friend. We started a friendship without Jane, and this was my reassurance that our friendship would remain unaffected.
Our shift was nearing the end when Jane strolled into the club, seating herself in Larry’s section of the bar. She was dressed to kill, and acting flirty, as he took her cocktail order. I stayed in my area, talking with customers, giving Jane and Larry privacy. As I finished up and clocked out, they were no where to be seen, excited about the prospect of another evening to myself, I drove home.
A short time later…
Jane returned, looking puzzled, and a bit depressed. She had called Larry a few times earlier in the day, to thank him for a wonderful date. He had not returned her calls. She came to the club hoping to spend time with him, to pick up where they left off the night before.
He was cordial as he took her drink order, politely made a bit of conversation, then moved on to other customers. Jane had been looking forward to going back to Larry’s place when his shift ended and waited to walk out with him. She was very surprised when he walked her to her car-explaining that he was tired and would see her soon.
No definite plans were made. He did not kiss her good-night. After their closeness the night before, she began to worry.
No good deed goes unpunished…
For the next several days Jane left Larry messages on his voice mail, and stopped into the club to see if he was working. The excitement from their date was turning into agitation. I had not heard from him either, was my answer to her repeated asking. No longer was she thanking me for setting them up…she was quietly stewing.
Growing up on the West-Coast, as Larry did, is very different from the Mid-West.
In the Mid-West spending the night with someone usually cements a relationship. From that moment on, you have expectations of being defined as a couple. Jane had those expectations and as time accrued without her hearing from him…she became angry. When he did not return her calls, she called again…and again…and again.
Jane did not hear from Larry and neither had I, I did not want to be placed in the middle, so I was thankful. Four or five nights after their date Larry and I ended up working together, and as expected, in walked Jane. She sat herself in Larry’s section, looking rather upset, so I scurried to the opposite side of the bar. A short time later I hear her raised voice, tight, staccato and angry. Then I hear her heels moving rapidly across the floor as she ran out, slamming the door.
On the West-Coast, it seems, spending the night together means that…you spent the night together. Becoming an instant-couple is not a fore-gone conclusion. Larry had enjoyed their night together, but he was newly transplanted from the West-Coast. He was not ingrained with our Mid-West tradition or our dating customs. They were two consenting adults agreeing to physical enjoyment.
They did not have a conversation as to where their relationship was heading,
before she had returned home after their night together. Larry had been planning to ask her on another date-looking forward to getting to know her better. But Jane was holding fast to her upbringing, feeling “used” when he did not immediately return her calls. She had left Larry message after message, her tone quickly turning from intimate to shrill, he now had no intentions for another date.
This was my last foray into match-making. Although it was not my suggestion that they date, it was at Jane’s insistence. At her prodding I had given Larry the suggestion, they had taken it from there. The conclusion was no fault of mine, but I would come to regret it greatly.
No good deed goes unpunished…