Slice of Write

Stories & jibber-jabber by Janelle Parmer, Author of The Other Side of the Ledge & Chasing Calla Lilies

It was one of those weird days in March where you could sit outside and enjoy the sun without freezing to death.  I was sitting on the patio of my favorite café, enjoying the 60-degree heat wave sweeping the Midwest, while catching up on the news on my phone.  I deliberately ordered my Americano iced this morning to keep the spring feeling alive.  I couldn’t help but smile as I took turns drinking my coffee and eating my delicious piece of coffee cake.  This is the life.  Saturday morning and nowhere specific to be.  No work today, laundry is pretty much done, and the grocery store is tomorrow’s problem. 

A good- looking guy in his mid-to-late 40’s sits at a nearby table.  He pulls out a laptop from his computer bag and begins to set up.  He is dressed in jeans and a nice black button-down jacket.  I try to see if he has a wedding ring, but it’s not possible at this angleThe last date I had been on was about a month ago and I’m still recovering.  I met Jared at a mutual friend’s party and we hit it off.  He was one of those guys that seemed great in one setting, but completely different in another.  I couldn’t even believe that I had liked this guy.  During the party, he had a good sense of humor, and made me laugh.  During our date, all he talked about was himself. 

Specifically, he talked about how he had a picturesque childhood, and a wonderful New England upbringing.  He explained how it was always his dream to go to Harvard, and when he got accepted, he knew he was destined for greatness.  At this point in the date, I was frantically searching for the waiter to bring me a second glass of wine before we started the college years portion of his autobiography.  Needless to say, by dessert, he was just finishing up on how he ended up here to run his Uncle’s PR firm.  I was so buzzed I couldn’t stop myself from smiling, even though showing him any signs of encouragement was the furthest thing I had wanted to do.  As I had foreseen, he interpreted my crazy grin as flirting, and asked if I wanted to go back to his place.  I started giggling uncontrollably and said no because I had to wake up early.  He asked why since tomorrow is Sunday.  I imagine from the deadly silent ride home, and awkward hug goodnight at my door, that my excuse of having to wake up early to get to the bank did not fly. 

Suddenly, my coffee cake had disappeared, and all that was left were a few random crumbs on the paper bag.  If the cute guy in his 40’s wasn’t here, I probably would have carefully swept the remnants of the sweet breakfast cake into my hands and devoured them.  Sigh.  I could always get another piece.  Better not.  I have been down that road before and it’s not pretty.  I have to save some calories for eating later.  It’s only breakfast and I am sure I am already over the allotted 500 calories a day allowed by celebrities and super models.  I read these diets online and in magazines of what stars eat on a daily basis.  Fresh fruit for breakfast, slices of avocado and salad with no dressing for lunch, celery sticks and yogurt for a snack, and then a chicken breast with tomato slices for dinner.  Oh no.  How are people able to function on that type of diet?  I could eat all of that in a normal sitting and still feel hungry.  Do the women on these diets have a period?  If you are pmsing, you must add an additional 500 calories of chocolate and/or peanut butter to your diet to compensate.  It is the only thing that will get you through that long day at work of cramps, popping advil, and running to the bathroom every hour. 

I work as an office manager at a large IT firm downtown.  It’s a great job and I enjoy the people I work with for the most part.  The Human Resources Director I could live without, but she treats everyone badly, so I can’t complain.  She is like a villain in a movie.  You always need an antagonist for a good story line.  Carly fills that role perfectly.  She is very by-the-book, rarely laughs, let alone smiles, and enjoys walking the halls in search of someone or something to complain about at the next management meeting.  Whether it be too much talking by the water cooler, the receptionist trying to get away with wearing Birkenstocks again, or Debbie, one of the project managers, taking one of her “Debbie lunches.”  The term is lovingly defined as Debbie leaving the office by 11:55 a.m. and then reappearing somewhere around 1:30 p.m. 

That’s not even the best part.  The funniest thing about Debbie is that she’ll be the first one out of her seat when the clock strikes 5:00 p.m.  You better not be standing in her path or you’ll regret it.  She’s like a tornado swirling in the office and knocking everyone and everything out of her way.  We always try and guess where she is running off to because she is divorced, and her two grown children do not live in the area, so the grandchildren are not around. My favorite deduction comes from Mary.  She thinks Debbie goes to salsa dancing lessons.  It would explain why Debbie is so quick on her feet. Glen thinks it’s for shooting practice.  I think it’s so she can go home, feed her five cats, and watch Ellen on her dvr.  We threaten that one day we will follow Debbie and see which one of us is right.  Although that would ruin the fun of guessing, and then what would we talk about?

The cute guy stands up, gathers his stuff, and is on his way.  Oh well, maybe I will grab that second piece of coffee cake after all. 

2 thoughts on “Thoughts at a Coffee Shop – 5/25/2020

  1. Betty J Morgan says:

    I am loving these. They are so relatable and funny. I can’t wait for the next one.

    1. saidnell says:

      Thank you! Glad you are enjoying them! I find myself writing and laughing, but it’s nice to know others are laughing along with me 🙂

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