1,000 word short story: “Adventures in Dating: Mandy”

OCPT2I was teaching a course at the local Community Center, and Mandy was one of my students. She was too young for me, too material, and too expensive; muy caro!  I have no idea why we went out that first time.  Maybe the ‘scared single male syndrome’ reared its ugly head.  What I do know, is that one day I just realized we were involved. My ‘wingman’ Rich said I should have met Mandy right after I got divorced; describing Mandy as the sports car of mid-life crises.

My best friend Donna cornered me one afternoon at the grocery, “You have gone out with her now, for what, almost nightly for three weeks! What the hell is wrong with you?” as she felt my head.  Donna just rolled her eyes and asked, “HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND!  I think you once told me to slap you if you ever lost you mind, so be grateful we are in a public place!”

“I do have fun with her.”

“’Fun’ is relevant. Spending money disproportionately to any return on equity is not ‘fun’.”  She holds up her hand, “Daah…don’t mention sex; that, you can pay for without the added dinners and trinkets!”

“Do you have to put it in such dehumanizing terms?”

“Her…or is it you, being dehumanized?”

Donna was right.  What happened was very simply Mandy taking charge of the situation.  She relentlessly set the ‘what for’ of our dates.  It was just a situation that got out of control.  Every time I approached the subject of slowing down, Mandy already had plans for another excursion through my wallet.

If I learned anything from the ‘Mandy Affair,’ as Donna called it, I recognized both the vulnerability of single people, and that I had changed.  The old me would have just walked away, never giving Mandy a second thought.  Even though I was lost for a way to cool the relationship, I was not going to run away from it.  I also recognized the final conversation was not an up-front one; I took advantage of the circumstances.

I have learned that people can try to hide their true personalities, but the oddest things will give them away.  Donna had made a comment concerning Mandy’s pretentiousness.  I thought about it.

Five weeks into the relationship, while Mandy and I were on our way to a trendy café she liked, Mandy raved about the desserts the place offered.  I asked if they had cheesecake.  She was in shock, “Cheesecake has become so…so passé.”

She might as well have told me the moon is no longer in the sky just for lovers.  So I gave her the ‘Oreo Cookie Pretentiousness Test.’

“Mandy, how do you eat an Oreo Cookie?”

“An Oreo Cookie?  You mean the ones with the white stuff?”

“That’s the ones.  How do you eat them?  Do you pull the two sides apart and eat the cream filling first.  Or maybe pop the entire cookie in your mouth all at once?”

“That’s sick!”

“What’s sick.”

“Stuffing the whole cookie in your mouth,” shudder.

“OK, so what technique do you use?”

“I don’t eat Oreo Cookies.”

“Why not?”

“They’re…so…so childish.  Adults do not eat them.”

“So you’re telling me, you never sit in front of the TV and eat Oreo Cookies?”

“No.”

“Would you even consider sitting with me and dunking a few Oreos in milk?”

“This conversation is pointless.  I stopped eating those things when I was a kid, and even then, I would never ‘dunk’ a cookie in milk!”

This is the basis for the ‘Oreo Cookie Pretentiousness Test.’  If she, or he, thinks dunking Oreo Cookies is childish, or does not have the desire to twist the two sides apart and savor the cream filling like it was gold, be forewarned!  As for Mandy, I understood her problem.  Dunking cookies endangered her jewelry, and most definitely her nails.

We reach cafe de jour.  Midway through the meal, Mandy tells me the waitress keeps looking at me.  A door has just opened.

“Which one?”

“Our waitress.  What are you blind?”

“No, just wanted to make sure;” and I purposely said it in a way to leave doubt as to what I meant; not ‘shoving it in your face,’ but ‘read between the lines.’

Mandy looks at me to read my face, and I just continue to eat as if the comment was just a comment; but she knows it was not just a comment.  “Are you interested in THE…WAITRESS?”

Very polite, nice, “If I was, I would keep it to myself.  As long as I am with you, you have my full attention.”

Again she reads between the lines, and I could tell she was weighing ‘as long as I am with you.’  “Are you saying that you would consider going out with her?”  Definitely a ‘with her’ comment that bespoke of ‘are you really comparing me to her.’

“Consider…I have to say no.  However, I would consider going out with any woman that I was attracted to.”

“Are you seeing someone beside me?” a not so subtle accusation.

“Mandy, I never said you were the only woman I was dating.”

The chill began to rapidly frost the air, the room became too small for her, and her eyes flashed goodbye.  Mandy saved me from facing the hard task of being up front and saying ‘stop, it’s over.’  The next day she called and said that she forgot about whatever and, well, our shopping trip was a no-go.  And so was our relationship.

To set your mind at ease, Mandy started seeing a recently divorced doctor who needed an expensive woman to be seen with in his new BMW.

(Adventures in Dating: Mandy, is work of fiction, copyright 2010, Steven S. Walsky, and is adapted from Through a Stranger’s Eyes, copyright 2005, Steven S. Walsky.)

A-LIST of interesting story fodder

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I thought I would share with you some interesting story fodder from Google search bonus information.  Please feel free to use the following:

A business opened up in 2011 by a man who died in 1993.  Thought, since he is/was buried next to his wife, does she know that he is no longer retired?

As strange as it may be, according to both the 1990 and 2000 US Census, the most common surname in the United States was not ‘Hayyou’.  It was Smith, at 2,376,207 in 2000; while Hayyou did not even make the top one hundred.

At about 750,000,000 annual cookie sales, the Girl Scouts sell 1,350,000,000 less than Oreos.

And can we believe everything Penny says?  Even with Sheldon Cooper and crew  trying to scientifically disprove that Penny had once tipped a cow back in Nebraska, the majority of male Big Bang Theory viewers (not pointing any fingers) still believe Penny.

So, I went to the world’s authority on just about everything, to see if they had instructions on cow tipping.  While the Wiki article on Cow Tipping did not provide instructions, the article did provide an understanding of the science one needs to know when approaching a cow:

(A) 2005 study led by Margo Lillie, a doctor of zoology at the University of British Columbia, concluded that tipping a cow would require an exertion of 2,910 newtons (654.2 lbf) of force, and is therefore impossible to perform by a single person.  Her calculations found that it would take at least two people to apply enough force to push over a cow if the cow does not react and reorient its footing.  If the cow does react, it would take at least four people to push it over.  Lillie noted that cattle are well aware of their surroundings and are very difficult to surprise, due to excellent senses of both smell and hearing] but that according to laws of static physics, “two people might be able to tip a cow” if the cow were “tipped quickly—the cow’s center of mass would have to be pushed over its hoof before the cow could react”.  The Lillie study has been replicated by other researchers, who confirmed that at least two to four people can, in fact, push over a cow.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OREO COOKIES

In continued celebration of the 100th birthday of the Oreo Cookie, here we have Dave giving Mandy the Oreo Cookie Pretentiousness Test, as described in my 1,000 word flash fiction piece Adventures in Dating: Mandy:

Five weeks into the relationship, while Mandy and I were on our way to a trendy café she liked, Mandy raved about the desserts the place offered.  I asked if they had cheesecake.  She was in shock, “Cheesecake has become so…so passé.”

She might as well have told me the moon is no longer in the sky just for lovers.  So I gave her the ‘Oreo Cookie Pretentiousness Test.’

“Mandy, how do you eat an Oreo Cookie?”

“An Oreo Cookie?  You mean the ones with the white stuff?”

“That’s the ones.  How do you eat them?  Do you pull the two sides apart and eat the cream filling first.  Or maybe pop the entire cookie in your mouth all at once?”

“That’s sick!”

“What’s sick.”

“Stuffing the whole cookie in your mouth,” shudder.

“OK, so what technique do you use?”

“I don’t eat Oreo Cookies.”

“Why not?”

“They’re…so…so childish.  Adults do not eat them.”

“So you’re telling me, you never sit in front of the TV and eat Oreo Cookies?”

“No.”

“Would you even consider sitting with me and dunking a few Oreos in milk?”

“This conversation is pointless.  I stopped eating those things when I was a kid, and even then, I would never ‘dunk’ a cookie in milk!”

This is the basis for the ‘Oreo Cookie Pretentiousness Test.’  If she, or he, thinks dunking Oreo Cookies is childish, or does not have the desire to twist the two sides apart and savor the cream filling like it was gold, be forewarned!  As for Mandy, I understood her problem.  Dunking cookies endangered her jewelry, and most definitely her nails.

(Adventures in Dating: Mandy, is work of fiction, copyright 2010, Steven S. Walsky, all rights reserved, is adapted from Through A Stranger’s Eyes, copyright 2005, Steven S. Walsky, all rights reserved.)