I don’t want to date anyone whose name rhymes.
It took them a minute (and another beer) to control their laughter and refocus on their goal. After a close-up of a man’s genitalia, the next email seemed comparatively harmless. Julie hated to admit it, but the whole idea of going on a date, any date, to purge Ronny from her system was, well, fun and a much better way to spend her Friday night than her usual Star Trek Marathon of uncut episodes. She read the message out loud:
Dear Easy Lady,
You look like my kind of sock. Red, silky,
and luscious. Just what I want to wrap
my feet up in.
Dan the Man
P.S. Let’s make this real easy. Meet me.
Tomorrow. Saturday night. 8pm. Bella Vita,
where we can have a drink, some conver-
sation, and then a bella noche.
“Do you have to work tomorrow night?” Eve asked.
“Nope. It’s my one solitary Saturday night off a month. Why? You’re not thinking I should actually meet this guy, are you?”
Eve nodded. “Hit reply. He’s a winner, which is, uhm, better than a wiener.”
“You think you’re witty, don’t you?”
“Of course. I learned from you, cupcake.”
Julie shook her head. “Uh-uh. Look. He calls himself Dan the Man. I don’t want to date anyone whose name rhymes.”
“Yeah? You called yourself Easy Lady so I wouldn’t quibble over names too much.”
“Quibble?” Julie repeated.
“Yes, quibble. It’s a perfectly good word. Now, let’s hope this picture shows more than his package.” Eve clicked on his picture and they both watched as it appeared frame by slow frame. “Are you ever going to get DSL?” Eve asked.
“Who can afford it? Plus it makes downloading pictures so suspenseful.” They resumed watching the screen in complete silence as if watching the latest Saw movie. And then, there he was. Julie thought the guy looked pretty normal. He was a little soft around the middle, true, but he had a kind face. His reddish hair was spiky and he was wearing a bright blue shirt and a purple tie. His outfit was artistic, borderline bad, but it had one thing going for it: it didn’t match perfectly. A great sign that he was, indeed, heterosexual. Julie liked his smile. He had a soft smile, a smile that said “I like dogs and have a good relationship with my mother.” He looked handsome and, well, nice. In fact, his picture didn’t seem to match the email at all. He looked like the kind of guy that would help an old lady across the street and then invent a new traffic signal so she could do it on her own in the future without fear.
“Come on,” Eve prodded. “Just do it. He’s not that bad.”
“Anything compared to a picture of a man’s, uhm, johnson…isn’t bad.”
“No, you do it. You’re the one who needs the dating experience.”
“No I don’t. I’ve changed my mind,” Julie said emphatically.
“Okay, freak. Then I’ll do it.”
Dear Dan Eve typed.
“You forgot to write The Man,” Julie said.
“Right. Dear Dan. The Man,” Eve continued and returned to typing.
Dear Dan The Man,
I would love to meet you. 8pm it is.
“That’s not very interesting,” Julie said. “It doesn’t really sound like Easy Lady.”
“And how does Easy Lady sound?”
“I don’t know. Easy.” Julie scooted her chair over so that Eve was forced to move over and let her at the keyboard. “If I’m going to do this, I may as well do it right, right?”
“Right.” Eve walked behind her chair, crossed her arms over her chest and waited.
“And don’t forget you owe me a dollar,” Julie said.
“I’ll have to mortgage my house.”
“You live in a condo.” “Then mortgaging a house may prove difficult,” Eve conceded.
Julie rolled up her sleeves and began to type. She didn’t actually roll up her sleeves; she didn’t need to. All she did was unlatch her lemon bumble bee robe revealing her red teddy. Doing so allowed Julie to channel her inner Easy Lady and write the following:
Dear Dan The Man,
You sound hot. Real, real, hot. I love the part
where you said “bella noche”. I’m a sucker for
a man who speaks German. I will meet you at
Bella Vita. I’ll be the one in red wearing only
Eve took a long look at Julie and smiled. “You’re brilliant,” she said.
“I’m drunk.” Julie tried to wink, but could never do that feat while drunk. Instead she did an exaggerated blink. “I’m a brilliant drunk.”
“You know what this reminds me of?” Julie asked.
“This reminds me of college. Remember that apartment we had? Remember Drunken Tequila Night when we did all those shots and somehow that entire fraternity ended up coming over? That was fun. This reminds me of that.”
“Do you remember why they came over?” Eve asked and tipped the last of the potato chip bits from the bag into her mouth.
“No. They were hot though.”
“No. You were hot. The fraternity came over because you were drunk off your ass and sweating. You took your shirt off and called out to the parking lot that if anyone wanted a ‘hot tamale’ there were two in apartment 3S.” Eve watched Julie and waited for Julie to remember. “So,” Eve said. “Are you hot now? Is that what reminds you of that night?”
“Didn’t we pass out after all that drinking?” Julie asked. Her words were starting to slur. “ ‘Cause it’s the passing out thing that I was thinking about.”
“You wanna pass out?”
“Okay,” Eve agreed. She sat back down next to Julie and she rested her head on Eve’s shoulders. Julie’s hair was a mop of brown and bits stuck to Eve’s lip-gloss. As Julie drifted to sleep she thought there was no where she’d rather be right now than exactly where she was.