So there I was…sitting at a café in Paris, sipping my espresso, marveling at the surrounding ancient architecture, and basking in the rays of the setting sun against the picturesque landscape surrounding me.
“Comment êtes-vous aujourd’hui, monsieur?” the svelt dark haired beauty standing next to my table asked.
“Pardon moi?” I asked her, surprised.
“I said, what else can I get for you today, sir?” the pregnant waitress asked me.
Okay, really, it was Paris, Arkansas, population 3,622, and I was sitting at the 50+ year old local Dairy Bar and Grill drinking a milkshake while sitting at a rotting picnic table wondering, “How the hell did I end up divorced and alone?”
So why WAS I sitting at the Dairy Bar and Grill trying to have a reason to buy bigger pants?
Why, to meet people and dive back into dating again, of course! It had already been, what? 2 months? Time was a’wastin’!
I mean, I had been pretty lucky with the ladies back in my high school and college days. It shouldn’t be much of a problem to meet someone wonderful, sexy, smart and adventurous and to whisk her off her feet in no time.
Strangely, I was making eye contact with people and they weren’t staying with me for long. Granted, the Dairy Bar and Grill probably wasn’t the best place to meet women. Then again, the only other establishments were a couple of buffet restaurants and a diner. They already knew me there. Luckily they weren’t giving me that pity look yet. But like the rest of the small town, the women there were all married, underage, my ex was related to them, or all three!
But it wasn’t time to really start looking. Was it? I was too newly divorced.
First I had to take inventory of myself and see what areas needed restocking or all new merchandise. After 12 years of being married and living in a small town for five of those, it had never been a driving goal to be desirable to anyone other than my significant other.
I figured the best place to go for research in this little town would be the social hub of activity and traffic. It was time to head to the local Walmart!
Once there, it was obvious that I was not ready for the dating world. I had no clothing with rebel flags on them, nor did I have the appropriate number of weathered ball caps with beer company logos on them, not to mention the lack of anything to do with the states’ football team; the Razorbacks©™® (Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR).
I wandered over to the magazine rack and picked up a few manly magazines; Maxim, Men’s Health, GQ, Stuff, and Esquire. All this to see what was happening in the world of desirable men. I was particularly interested in the Men’s Health magazine that boasted the headline “10 Things A Woman Looks at To Size Up a Man,” with a sub-headline “Find out what woman are really looking at when they give you the once over.” It was JUST the kind of information I was looking for!
As I took my bag of magazines and a frozen TV dinner and headed to my car, a woman and her daughter got out of their car next to mine. The mother told the girl to wait while she got her purse out. The little girl watched me carefully as I approached. As I got my keys out to open my door, the little girl’s eyes got really wide, she looked at my car and said with the joy only an innocent little kid can, “Hey Mister! I like your pink van!”
Her mother turned to her daughter, to my “pink van,” then to me, gave me a weak smile, then took her daughter by the hand and whisked her away.
I stopped for a moment looking at my Iris colored Ford Escort station wagon and thought… ”OH…. MY…. GAWD! I DO have a pink van!!!!”
In my defense, it was an emergency purchase after a previous car blew it’s head-gaskets and it was between the “pink van” and a tiny pick-up truck. Thinking I might be starting a family soon AND that I had lots of nieces and nephews, the truck just didn’t seem like a good idea. Okay…and…the color Iris? Yeah. It was bright fuschia. Don’t know what fuschia is? You probably shouldn’t. Not if you’re a ‘real man.’
So the little girl had been brave enough to speak her mind about my ‘trouble’ areas. Maybe the magazines would have even more helpful information for me.
A bit disgusted at my predicament, I opened up the Men’s Health magazine and turned to the article I had seen highlighted. At first glance, my eyes fell on item number 3: “Must have nice shoes: If he doesn’t have nice polished in-fashion shoes, he obviously doesn’t blah blah blah…”
My blood pressure dropped.
My breathing increased to the point of hyperventilating.
I shut my eyes and slowly closed the magazine.
A feeling of dread and foreboding washed across my being as I slowly dropped my head and opened my eyes. There, adorning my feet, were a pair of 4 year old, worn out, thread bare, no-skid-on-the-sole, ratty tan loafers.
I let out a scream of fear and frustration as the realization hit me full force that I was now in a lot of trouble and, without a doubt, a single guy.
Stay tuned for more adventures!
© 2009 Eric Huber. The Single Guy is a work of fiction (even if the events seem familiar to everyone). All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.