Free mini-fiction: The worst pickup line ever

Adriennes blog 20 butt picHi, I’m Adrienne.   I’m getting really tired of ranting about my divorce, so I asked my friend Rob what I should talk about.  He said I should tell you about the (very misguided) night my sister Kristen and I went to a bar.

You have to understand that we were both a mess.  I had a baby a few months ago but was recently mistaken for still being pregnant, and Kristen was getting over being dumped… by her married boyfriend.  So we weren’t A+ on the self-esteem scale.

Kristen and I don’t hang out together too often.  She’s a few years younger and doesn’t have kids.  She says she doesn’t want to have kids specifically because of me.  That’s what a stellar mom I am.

Normally Kristen would have a date or a girls’ night out with her real friends, but on this one particular Friday, I was home alone and so was she. I could have dealt with it by putting on PJs and watching The Ugly Truth for the fourth time, but Kristen does not sit at home and she does not spend time alone, ever.

She lured me out offering to make me look better (and less pregnant – she wasn’t promising any miracles).  I have brown, curly, almost kinky hair, whereas Kristen’s is blonde and straight (with a lot of money and labor, mind you).  I put on some mascara at 7 a.m. before work and that’s it for the day, while Kristen believes you must reapply at lunchtime and dinnertime and before going out at night.

I’m sure this is one of many reasons why she dates more than I do, but hey, we’re both single, so I don’t think she’s winning.

After carting in a mini suitcase of makeup, spackling my face, and spraying something sticky in my hair, Kristen pulled half the clothes out of my closet and finally approved of a sparkly black sweater over dark rinse jeans.  She made me put on heels too.

Our choice of hangouts is pretty slim pickings:  either a club dominated by people who are right around age 21 or one of the neighborhood bars where the average patron is 60+.  There’s not much in between.  I vetoed the club, so we ended up in one of those dingy establishments where everyone turns around to look at the door every time it opens to see who’s coming in.  They’re rarely surprised either, so it was an exciting night at the Lucky Mug when Kristen and Adrienne stepped through that door.

Obviously Kristen gets the most male attention, and she deserves it.  She works for it.  Besides, she was like insect repellent – all the gnats were bothering her and leaving me alone.  One guy in a black t-shirt that actually had a hole by the armpit strode up and bumped into her leg.

“I knee’d you,” he said.  “Get it?  Knee’d?  N-E-E-D?”

Kristen just glared as the guy’s friend yelled from across the bar, “Knee with a K, you dumbass!”

“Lay off, Eddie,” the bartender said, shooing him back to his friends, who were laughing at him and high-fiving each other.  He had probably fulfilled a dare just by coming over to talk to Kristen.

“What’ll you girls be having?” the bartender asked us as she wiped down the bar in front of us with an infectious-looking damp rag.  She thunked down a bowl of sad looking half-crushed party mix that I’m sure got scooped back into the gallon-size jar every night at closing time.  I could just imagine that those orange tortilla chips would taste like smoke.

As Kristen ordered us each a beer, I turned my back to the men at the end of the bar, only to hear one of them yell out, “Are those space pants?  Because your ass is out of this world!”  Another riot of laughter started up and Kristen said out of the corner of her mouth, “See, I told you those pants are good on you.  Look at that, you getting hit on already.”

So this is what I’ve been missing?  I think I was better off at home with my pint-sized pals Ben and Jerry.  I’ll tell you the rest of the story next time, but if you want to read more about Kristen and me and our swinging single lives, check out Giving Myself Away.   How about making me feel better by telling me the worst pickup line you ever heard?

GivingMyselfAwayCover

Available at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format

Available at Barnes and Noble in paperback and Nook format

Advertisements

The only adult in the house

Adriennes blog 19 washing machine picHi, I’m Adrienne and I’m the only adult in my house.  Most of the time, I’m okay with that.  I get all the closet space, no one steals my stash of Oreos (that I keep too high up for the kids to notice), and the toilet seat is never up in the middle of the night.

Other times, it’s really hard.  I’ve lived on my own with no problem, but there’s something about having kids in the house that raises the stakes.  If there were a break-in or a fire, it’s not affecting only me anymore.  When there’s a tornado warning or a flood watch, it’s all on me to keep the kids out of harm’s way as best I can.

When Drew first moved out, I woke up countless nights to every little noise, convinced that something awful was happening.  Someone was trying to creep in the basement windows or pick the lock on the front door.  I’d startle awake, my heart pounding, and grab my cell phone.  But who to call?  After listening and sitting so still that all I could hear was the blood rushing though my head, I’d eventually calm down and realize it was just a noise like all houses make.

Then there are the times a major appliance breaks down.  I’ve had to figure out how to turn off the electricity and the water because pipes have leaked, the washing machine has become unbalanced, and the furnace made a scary sound.  Men probably feel intimidated about certain home repairs too, but they have a more exploratory nature, whereas I assume that anything I touch is going to break down even further with my intervention.

Growing up, I learned how to change the sheets and cook and iron and sew, but my dad didn’t teach me guy things because he never expected I’d need to know them.   As a result, I’m as unbalanced as the washer.  I don’t think of turning off the pipes to the outside faucets or cleaning the gutters because they were never in my realm of responsibility before.

I’m teaching my sons everything I know.  I hope they have someone to share the joys and responsibilities of home-ownership, but just in case, they won’t be as unprepared as I was.

Read more about my life after divorce in Giving Myself Away, available now.

GivingMyselfAwayCover

Available at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format

Available at Barnes and Noble in paperback and Nook format