Author of Jobless Recovery Second Edition, Talented Horsewoman, Night Camp, and We Interrupt This Date
Join me at "The Moose," otherwise known as A Moose Walked Into a Bar - Sit Down Comedy. Three funny lady writers and blog on the humorous things in life. http://amoosewalkedintoabar.blogspot.com/
Charleston Harbor at Sunrise view from Battery Park
I rushed into SNOB—Slightly North of Broad-ten minutes late. Veronica was leaning casually against the wall near the door. She was wearing an ordinary silk dress in a sage color that exactly matched the contact lenses she’d chosen to wear over her light gray eyes. Her short hair framed her face in wispy blonde curls that set off her features. Not for the first time I wished I were petite and had a perfect figure like hers. Instead I’m tall, pushing five feet ten, and too much comfort food since my divorce had glommed fat onto my hips like a pair lumpy parasites, one on each side.
At least my face hadn’t gained weight. Veronica has assured me my face is heart-shaped, with lovely cheekbones, and that I’m lucky my large brown eyes have no need of color enhancing contacts. I have so many style options, she insists, unlike herself. Veronica always complains bitterly that her jaw is too square, something I think is hardly noticeable except when she gets angry or bossy.
Veronica isn’t one for air kisses or for beating around the bush. She peeked once at her watch and allowed her eyes to widen the slightest bit. It’s one of her signature moves. “Susan, we have so much to discuss.”
“Sorry, the parking was--”
She patted my arm. “I know. Never mind. I have good news. After I give you every last detail, and you realize how fantastic your life is going to be, we’ll have a nice catch-up chat.”
“What good news?” I glanced around to orient myself. I hadn’t been to SNOB since my divorce. Everything was the same, though. It’s in a nineteenth century brick building. Lots of atmosphere and fantastic food.
Veronica was already following the hostess to our designated table, the stylish heels of her designer shoes barely making a sound as she seemed to float an inch or so above the floor. “How long has it been since we’ve made time for each other?” she called back over her shoulder, ignoring my question. “Other than quick phone calls which hardly count.”
“At least two months.” I frowned, wondering why my shoes clumped when I walked instead of tapping gently like hers.
Maybe longer than two months. Veronica had been my roommate in college until I married T. Chandler halfway through. But we’d kept up our friendship over the years, helped by the fact that we live in the same town. She’s originally from Newberry, a picturesque little town west of Columbia, but Newberry hadn’t been big enough for her ambition—Veronica’s words, not mine.
She hadn’t given me a clue of any kind when she’d called a couple of days ago. I wondered if she’d decided to marry Walter, her latest relationship. I remembered, though, the last time she’d mentioned him she’d complained he was too clingy in a sad, orphaned gorilla kind of way.
Veronica eyed me over the top of her menu. “I don’t know what to say.”
“About what?” Had something happened to my hair in the few minutes since I’d run a comb through it before I left my car? Wind-blown? A bald patch? Pigeon droppings? Maybe I should have applied new golden highlights last night instead of deciding to postpone for a week.
“You look different. Have you changed your makeup? No, that isn’t it. It’s something intangible.” She narrowed her eyes and tilted her head to one side to focus on my face.
“Same old me.” I turned my attention to the lunch special and tried to decide if I wanted the southern crab salad, a favorite of mine.
But my thoughts drifted. Though I’d told Veronica I hadn’t changed, I admitted to myself that wasn’t one hundred percent the truth. I’d moped around for months feeling like the world’s biggest failure after my divorce, but recently I’d caught myself showing sparks of life. I was no longer spending every weekend raiding my refrigerator and vegetating in front of home decorating reruns on HGTV hoping Mama wouldn’t call to give me advice.