Bad Date

I sat at a table, impressively set with flowers and a candle, uncomfortably pulling at my tight dress. My feet hurt from the high heels I wore; I knew they would give me blisters but wore them anyway. I wanted to make a good first impression after all.

The friend who set up the blind date could not stop gushing over the majesty of who she set me up with. I was told the man I would meet was good, worthwhile, kind, and understanding. Everything I said I wanted. I would be presented with a man, a real man. Finally. Lord only knew what I would give it if were true.

“Your table sir,” a deep voice said over my shoulder, and the next moment a god entered my vision. Or at least a cousin of a god. Dressed like a romance novel character I ogled as his jaw line, thinking there was no possibility he was intended for me that evening.

But there he was, sitting down across from me. The waiter hovered and he ordered a drink politely. He then turned to me with a perfect smile and introduced himself. “Hello, my name is Mark,”

“Ellan,” I held out my hand, a bit breathless.

“Ah,” he eyed it, his whole countenance changing suddenly. “I don’t like that.”

“I’m sorry?” My hand went limp.

“Holding your hand across the table like that. It’s not very polite.”

“I—uh,” slowly I withdrew my hand under the table. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know offering your hand to someone was rude…”

“Depends on how you do it.” He smiled again. “So, Miss Ellan, tell me about yourself. Where do you work?”

I dismissed the odd beginning, answering, “I work for a marketing company in the city. I actually just started so I’m still getting the hang of things.”

He made a face. “I like women who are intelligent. Do you think you’ve made an impression?”

“Well not yet, it’s only been a few weeks,”

“What are your views on Scandinavian furniture?”

“I’m sorry?”

“What are your views on Scandinavian furniture? Do you think the style fits with the contemporary city or does it more suit the modern country?”

“I don’t—”

“How do you decorate your home?”

“Regularly?” I faltered. “I suppose I don’t really have a specific taste at the moment.”

“I see.” Mark looked across the table long and hard. Just as his drink arrived he asked for the check. “I’m sorry, but I don’t see this going anywhere.” He smiled again, just as charming as before.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I feel we don’t have the same interests.”

“Are you serious?” I scoffed. “That’s it? I get five minutes of your time and then you decide this isn’t going anywhere? Do you realize that I bought a whole new outfit for this date?”

“That’s new?” He looked me up and down.

“I dieted for a week in preparation of this night. I even got a pedicure!”

“Miss Ellan, please lower your voice. Don’t be so upset. I realize your friend probably raised your hopes up. Don’t worry, I’m sure you will meet a perfectly suitable man for you some day.”

My mouth dropped open while he finished his drink and stood. “I had to take a taxi across town to get here…” I mumbled under my breath.

“I’m certain you will be able to find another to take you home.” Mark handed a bill to the waiter and, with one final smile, made his dash.

“Miss?” The waiter questioned, hesitantly looking down at me.

I unfolded my napkin and laid it across my lap. “I would like to see your wine and dessert menus please.”  

Daddy

“I keep telling you, deary; you need to find yourself a sugar daddy.”

“What would I do with one of them?”

“Get pregnant is what you would do with one of them.”

“Billy!”

“Then all your problems would be poof—gone with the wind.”

I scoffed and focused on folding T-shirts. If the manager rounded that corner and saw two shift workers gabbing away he would not hesitate to bring down the ax. Billy rolled her eyes at my difficulty and returned to her work as well.

I thought about it. Billy wasn’t the first to suggest the idea after all. Maybe there was something to it? I did have quite the pile of bills at home and more surely on the way. I had to admit the idea of a sugar daddy was appealing. I didn’t have a boyfriend at the moment. My parents held no higher morals and in fact would love for their only daughter to find a well-to-do man to take care of her.     

“Seriously though,” Billy piped up. “No one marries for love anymore. People such as you and I can afford no such luxuries.” She motioned to her weather-torn sneakers for emphasis.

“I get by.” I said only half-heartedly. Billy deflated me with a look.  

“You’re cute, mildly intelligent, and young.” She emphasized the last point. “There is no reason you should have to live life as you have. Dress yourself up real nice one night and hit the town. I’ll even drive you.” I laughed at her reasoning and nodded. What could be the harm?

I felt a hand on my shoulder. Still giggling I turned to see a tall man standing behind me. “I’m sorry,” He nodded to Billy by way of interruption. “But I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation and I must say your friend has a very valid point.” Reaching into his suit jacket he pulled out his wallet and opened it with a flick. I couldn’t’ help but notice the expensive leather it was fastened from. “I don’t mean to come off brashly, but I’d really love to spank you. You are a very attractive woman after all. Should you ever find yourself in need of a place to stay just give me a call.” Handing me a small piece of paper he politely bowed away, quickly leaving the scene. Stunned, I turned over the small gift to reveal his personal business card. A project manager, huh…?

Next to me Billy silently rejoiced. She whispered plans of grandeur not only for me, but herself. She was the one who made it all possible after all. I stared at the gateway in my palm. Taking hold of the card’s corners I cleanly tore it in two. Paying no mind to Billy, my all-knowing co-worker, I tossed the two halves into the trash and returned to my work attentively.

Maybe next time.   

 

*Note: Based on a true story! 

Little Lady Princess

Lady looked out the window dismally. The day was beautiful, gorgeous, perfect even. The sun smiled down on the land and everything on it. Birds chirped, rejoicing the recent hatching of their offspring. Dogs barked and people talked. A group of children, Lady recognized some of them from around the town, were playing a game of ball just outside her house. She felt it must have been a cruel joke by God for them to pick such a spot at such a time.

Lady was mature for her age not by nature but by upbringing. She knew this and felt the difference between herself and her peers. She often lay in bed at night and mourned for her youth, tossed aside in favor of someone else’s agenda.  She knew the opportunities she would be granted were beyond measure and well worth her trouble, but she could not dash the sound of distant laughter from her mind for all the bright future in the world.

“Lady.” Her mother called, entering her bedroom. Turning from the window Lady curtsied. “Now there’s my little princess.” Examining her daughter, she straightened her dress and fluffed her hair while quizzing. “Let’s begin today by going over what we learned yesterday.” Walking to the front of the room her mother stood in such a way that would make a marble statue jealous.

“A proper lady,” Lady began. “Keeps a decent house and home, thinks much and speaks little, and can silence a room with just a look. She reserves her bedroom behavior for the bedroom; it is not for the world to see therefore employing the valuable moral of “leaving something to the imagination”.

Lady didn’t understand everything she said. She knew at a young age she was promised to a boy a few ages older than her, but in all the years since she had met him not once. Her mother promised they would meet when he was ready and that in the meantime she should work on improving herself for her future position.   

“Good.” Her mother, once in her own position (so she was told) smiled. “Today we’re going outside.” Lady perked up, daring to hold her breath for hope of feeling the sun directly against her skin. “We are going to practice walking up and down stairs.” Her mother elaborated, clapping excitedly. Lady fought hard to maintain her composure and not throw herself to the floor in exasperation.

Handed a pair of new heels, considerably taller than any she’d worn before, she was led out into the hall. Standing before the grandest decent in the house Lady swallowed nervously. “A real lady looks the most graceful when descending a staircase in heels and a dress.” Her mother said over her shoulder.

Lady took a deep breath, gathered her skirts, and took the first step. It started out shakily but with each clap of her heels she became more confident. She lowered her skirts just enough and reached for the railing hoping to convey eloquence. It only took a second for her skirts to mingle with her heels and form one budging mass, sending her tumbling down the majority of the flight.

Disoriented she heard the clack of her own mother’s heels as she rushed down the stairs after her fallen child. Hoisted up, sorting up from down, Lady counted her bruises but sent a quick prayer in thanks she was still alive. Sighing, her mother held her head.      

“Maybe we should start smaller…” She looked at Lady encouragingly. “I’ll have to think of something… For now why don’t you go outside for some fresh air? You’ve seemed pale lately.”

Blinking, Lady broke into a grin and ran upstairs back into her room as if nothing had happened. Changing into a more manageable outfit she dashed out the front door without a care in the world.