My friend Kelly and I hit it off the first time we met. I mean, it was inevitable seeing as how we led such parallel lives. We both grew up in Eugene, Oregon, we both graduated from Oregon State University ("Go, Beavs!"), we both attended law school for a year before realizing what a horrible mistake that was, we both love eating Wheat Thins while watching colossally shitty reality TV, and we are both raging alcoholics ("Huzzah!"). The latter is how we met, actually. After my A.A. sponsor Nancy passed away, Kelly was
As Kelly is obviously so jealous of my glamorous single-mom existence, it was only a matter of time before she too got divorced and joined the loving sisterhood of child support and celibacy.*
*Of course, the fact that her husband was a lying, cheating douchecanoe certainly facilitated the decision as well.
And because my coterie of homies is nothing if not supportive. . .*
*And because those asshats will look for any excuse to have a cocktail
We took Kelly out to
"I don't know", Kelly said, shaking her head morosely. "it just seems so weird. . .being single again. Shit, we've been together since college. I just can't wrap my head around the whole 'DIVORCED' label."
Gina snorted disdainfully. "How about if you just focus on the whole 'adulterous twatwagon' label; that should soften the blow. Seriously, Kell, you married beneath you."
Alex nodded in agreement. "That is so true. I mean, remember when we were playing Trivial Pursuit and he was all 'I've never seen the Godfather'. Dude, what the fuck? Who hasn't seen 'The Godfather'.
"Umm," I raised my hand wanly "I've never seen it."
"Well, yeah," Alex continued "but you're a chick. If a guy says he hasn't seen 'The Godfather' he may as well put on a dress and start singing showtunes." He raised his beer glass to Kelly in tribute. "You had a real closet case on your hands there, my friend."
"I know, right!" I yelled, smacking Alex's arm in agreement and sending his pale ale flying. "Shit, sorry, Alex. But c'mon, Kelly, haven't I been telling you for a year now that your husband was just a little too in touch with his feminine side? I mean, the guy TiVo-ed 'American Idol' for Chrissake. If he were any further in the closet he'd be in Narnia."
Kelly laughed halfheartedly. "Yeah? If he was such a Friend of Dorothy, then how do you explain the myriad of skanky ho's he's entertained over the years."
I waved my hand dismissively. "Classic overcompensation. Believe me, I went through the same thing with Gil. Let me guess, Tom always says he loves your hair short? Tells you you look SO much better without makeup? Likes to do it from behind?"
Kelly choked on her Diet Coke. "Umm, at the risk of oversharing: yes, yes, and yes. Holy shit! Gil too?"
I nodded and signaled the waiter for another iced tea. "Yup. Total flamer. Hey! Maybe we could fix Tom up with Gil! They'd be pretty cute together. Except, Tom's a lot smaller than Gil. Do you think he'd be cool with being the Receiver?'
Max stood up abruptly. "Aaaaaaaaannd, this is the part of the conversation where I walk away awkwardly." Gina grabbed his sleeve and pulled him back to the table as he grumbled softly.
"Man up, Dances With Whores." she said before turning to Kelly excitedly. "So, enough about that asshat. When are you going to start dating again? I know some super-cute guys at work I can introduce you to!"
I abruptly spit out an ice cube and sputtered, "Hey! I've been asking you to set me up with a hot lawyer for months now! Why don't you fix ME up with your coworkers?"
Gina shrugged. "Because I like my coworkers."
"Whatever," I rolled my eyes. "Anyway, don't you think Kelly should wait until the ink is dry on the divorce decree before she reenters the dating pool? Or, you know, wait until she's actually LEGALLY divorced?"
"I don't know" Kelly said stoically, "I mean, I'm not getting any younger. I don't want to be in my forties, coming home to an empty apartment every night and falling asleep on the couch eating Wheat Thins."
I bolted up out of my chair. "Aaaaaaaaaaannd, this is the part of the conversation where I walk away pathetically."
Kelly yanked my arm, pulling me back to my chair with a satisfying thud. "Jen! I didn't mean YOU! I mean, that's kind of you. . .but not in a BAD way!"*
*Oddly, this was less comforting than one might think.
"Besides," she continued "it's kind of a moot point anyway because it's not like I'm going to find another guy anyway."
"Are you kidding!" I yelled "You are funny and smart and successful and you look like frickin' Courteney Cox! Every guy in the Portland metro area is going to be all over you like a fat kid on cake."
Kelly snorted bitterly. "Yeah, right. Scrawny, wrinkled, and flat-chested. Think I can fit all of that in my eHarmony profile?"
"Kell, you're totally hot." Max offered, cramming a handful of nachos into his mouth. "I'd do you."
I barked out a laugh. "A few more Jack and Coke's and you do him." I said, pointing to Alex.
Max shrugged. "Well, he's not bad looking." He turned to Alex. "So, what are you doing later?"
"Not you." Alex replied before reaching for Kelly's hand. "Seriously. You really don't have any idea how gorgeous you are?" Kelly laughed wryly. "C'mon, Kell. Don't you know you're beautiful?"
"Yeah," Max chimed in. "I mean, you light up my world like nobody else."
Gina nodded enthusiastically. "And the way you flip your hair? It totally leaves me overwhelmed."
Kelly burst out with her first real laughter of the evening, then whirled on me with a steak knife. "I swear to God, if you start singing I will stab you in the face."
Let the healing begin, my friends.