The Dating Game
by Carol White
Since my blind date, Pamela James, had just ordered her second twelve-dollar martini I knew I had to stick to club soda if I was going to be able to pay for dinner.
My friend, Charlie, had suggested that Pamela might be just the type of lady I’d be attracted to. Pamela was his travel agent and according to Charlie’s description, she was blond, tall and shapely. I had to admit she sounded perfect, but I’d said that before. Since my divorce three years ago, for some reason I can’t seem to find the right woman. Ordinarily, I’m the easiest guy in the world to get along with.
We met at the bar in a fancy restaurant that Pamela had suggested, a place that would stretch my budget, but to which I had agreed nonetheless in order to make a good impression. A few minutes into our conversation I realized that Pamela had an obsessive personality, repeating the same remarks two and three times verbatim. She was a bore, and I was already into the bar tab for thirty bucks. As she was about to order a third martini, I suggested we sit down for dinner. The captain led the way to a corner table and, of course, asked if he could bring us another round. Pamela said yes.
“I love the lamb here,” she cooed as soon as we were seated, “want to share a rack?”
“Sure, why not,” I said, almost getting apoplexy from the price.
“Christopher, I love oysters so would you mind if I started with a few?” Pamela said, speaking in baby talk that turns me off big time, but I nodded in agreement anyway. Our server delivered Pamela’s third martini in a glass that I could have washed out my socks in, and took our order.
“I’ll have a dozen oysters,” Miss Ritz said overwhelming me with her greed, since the puny mollusks went for three dollars each. “Then we’re going to split the rack of lamb, medium, please.”
I preferred lamb medium-well but let it pass.
“I’ll start with a small green salad,” I said, praying they had such an item as it wasn’t listed on the menu.
` “Ooh,” Baby Snooks crooned, “that’s a good idea; I’ll have a salad after the oysters, but make mine a Caesar.” A fourteen-dollar Caesar. Even Julius didn’t spend that much on a salad!
Pamela was pretty in an offbeat sort of way; her eyes were deeply set and her nose a bit long and somewhat pointed, giving her the appearance of a wolf or a wild dog. She was in great shape, probably from working out, which is something I’ve been meaning to do.
When the lamb came it looked like a raw wound, and Pamela immediately sent it back. Our waiter couldn’t have been nicer, and whisked it away for more time on the grill. Ten minutes later a new rack appeared and this one was done to perfection, even for me. The captain carved it into six tiny chops, and treated me to another club soda. Wolfwoman then proceeded to pick up the first chop and eat it like she was playing a harmonica. Up and down, back and forth; those little wolverine teeth chomping away until the bone was picked clean. She demolished a second chop in much the same way while I sat there in wonderment.
“So, Christopher, why do you think Charlie fixed us up? I mean it’s obvious that we’re not the same type,” said Pamela.
I was flummoxed that she had the nerve to state what was so apparent to me; after all, I’m a very eligible bachelor although most of the women I’ve met are always too busy for a second date.
“Do you like to travel?” Pamela asked. “I’ve been all over the world because my job makes that easy for me. New places excite me and getting paid to visit them before my clients do, well, who could ask for more?”
Pamela’s face took on a glow as she continued talking about her profession. She seemed more relaxed (although that could have been due to the third martini) and her conversation actually began to sound interesting.
“I know you’re a car salesman, but what do you really enjoy? What’s your passion?” she said.
“Poetry.” There, I’d said it and somehow I wasn’t embarrassed. “Would you like to hear something I wrote today?”
“Don’t tell me you carry around poems with you?” she asked in a flattering way.
“Always,” I said in a soft tone.
As I read her a love sonnet I could almost hear a harmonic accompaniment in the background as Pamela scaled the last chop. Her teeth glistened with the fat of the meat, and she held the bone like a baton. I put my notebook down and took a swig of the club soda. All of a sudden it tasted crisp and clear.
“How about a sip of my drink?” I said.
“You know, that’s not a bad idea,” Pamela said. “I was so nervous about tonight that I went overboard on the alcohol. Why don’t you let me pick up the bar bill?”
Now that was music to my ears but all I said was, “Maybe on our second date” and we both smiled.