An original work of fiction
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: The following is based on a true story. It is at least as true as any current Made-for-TV movie now being shown. All names have been changed to protect any affected party. Some names have been changed several times. The author reserves the right for any vaguely autobiographical portion of the following to reflect more positively on his persona than would otherwise be true in reality. Please cut some slack to any recognized person, place or thing, however fictionalized it may be. END DISCLAIMER
This is the fourth installment of Lefty's continuing saga. You may want to read the first installment to give you some idea of the trials and tribulations leading up to the current dilemna.
Dating in the 90s:Parity Error
Chapter 1: The Perfect Babe (installment 4)
Comparing notes with Taz
"Taz, how's it hanging?" I greet him happily. It is Sunday and I am seeing how things are with old Taz.
"Shermie, it be hanging in the breeze."
I love trading banalities with old Taz. "So Taz, I have to tell you how much you mean to me. If you hadn't agreed to go to temple with me, if you hadn't gone to El Torrito's afterwards, and if you hadn't been mensch enough to share three beautiful women at one table with me, then I would not have met the looooove of my life."
"So your date last night went OK?"
"Taz, that could very well be the understatement of the year. You, still being single and all, probably have not experienced the oneness with the universe that goes with a date like last night's. It is an existential Zen experience. It is a combining of one's sprit with the essence of the life force. It is a freely flowing fountain of supernormal sustenance of the superego."
"So your date last night went OK?"
"Yeah, it went pretty good. How'd you make out with Rose? So to speak."
"Well Shermie, I want to clear up your obvious misconception. It sounds like you think that Leah is the most beautiful, most wonderful, and most desirable woman in the entire world. But that is not quite true. For Rose fulfills that category!"
"Taz, it sounds like you enjoyed spending time with Rose."
Taz replies, "Now you're catching on, Shermie. It looks like we both may be batting 1000!"
We proceed further with our male bonding as our discussion unfolds to include the serious softball subjects of softball batting averages, new mitts, and team schedules. My right ear numbs as the conversation meanders.
"Taz, as always, it has been a pleasure talking to you. I hope to be talking to you less in the very near future as I think I will be busy pursuing certain feminine wiles."
Taz readily agrees. "Shermie, that is a fine plan, and I won't hold it against you. Especially since I will be doing the same, only more so, and I'm sure, with more success.We are two wild and crazy guys who will most certainly be having our mature fantasies fulfilled."
Our conversation ends and we hang up our respective phones.
I had already obsessed compulsively. To focus my thoughts about something other than Leah, I decide to try chocolate. Hostess Cupcakes are my thing, and they work very well. That and the typical regimen of tennis, work, and passing time with my buddies, and I'm sure that life will return to my own special brand of normality. Except that I know that I had met the perfect babe. New fantasies and obsessions would be following; I feel sure of that.
Time for Leah
Later in the next week, Thursday, it is very slow at work. Customer support has been supported, programs have been programmed, and lunch has not yet been digested. This is a good time to give Leah a call and see what's up. I am looking forward to getting together with her. I pick up Leah's business card from the special place it has inhabited since I received it. It is in the awards area of my desk, next to a five year old softball trophy and an eight year old tennis trophy. I ring Leah's business phone.
Leah answers the phone, and of course I say "Heya Leah!" because I like the rhyme. I'm sure she gets that all the time.
"Hey Shermie, what up?"
We shoot the breeze about softball, my working day, and her working day. I tell her that I was thinking about her and I enjoyed getting together with her last week.
"Actually, Leah," I say candidly, "I REALLY enjoyed your company and I think that you are the nicest woman I've met in five years. I am very much looking forward to spending more time with you." Psychology books say to express yourself. I feel good about expressing myself to Leah.
There is quiet on the phone line. "There's something I should tell you, "Leah says, sotto voce.
This is good! She is returning my vibes! "Yes, go ahead, "I purr back to her.
"I really should tell you this now. You would probably find out soon anyway, but I think you should know."
Uh oh. Now I'm not too sure. That is one heck of a preamble. Her news may not be all that good. I am not feeling as "up" as I did a few seconds ago. "Leah, go ahead and tell me. Did something come up for the weekend? We can't get together?"
"I think you deserve to know this," she repeats. "...I'm pregnant..."
Whoa. This is not what I expected. I am not sure if this is a joke. It does not seem to be a joke. I swallow as my throat constricts. Tonelessly I say, "You're pregnant?" I don't have a handle on this yet.
"Yes," Leah continues quietly. "You remember that I told you that I had been married? And that I have been divorced for a year? Well he and I are still on speaking terms. Two weeks before you and I met at temple, I got together with my ex-husband. One thing led to another, and we did more than speak."
"Does this mean that you are back together with your ex?" I can't seem to figure this out.
"No. He is very irresponsible and immature. He has done things in our relationship that were reprehensible. We are not reconciling." She takes a deep breath. "But I do love him still."
I shout, "Get a life! Have you ever read 'Ten Stupid Things that Women do to Mess up Their Lives'! Are you crazy? You divorce a guy and then make love to him and are pregnant with his baby??" in my mind. But out loud I say, "That makes perfect sense."
"I did not know when we first met that I was pregnant, Shermie. I did not mislead you. I just found out about it. I am very ready to have a child. This may be my last chance and I am going to take it."
"Obviously, it would have been apparent soon that I am pregnant. I wanted to tell you rather than have you discover it by default. I am glad that this came out now. I DO like you. How do you feel about this?"
How do I feel about this? I feel like I am bending over to field an easy softball grounder and the ball takes a sudden jump over my glove and hits me in the nether regions. I don't know what to say. So I say, "I don't know what to say."
"I know it would be awkward introducing me to your friends or parents with me being pregnant. What would you say, 'Here's Leah, my pregnant girlfriend'? You might have a hard time with that."
"Yeah", I respond, desperately trying to integrate what she's telling me. I am trying to get in touch with my feelings, but I can't. I wonder if I've gone into feeling overload. My feelings have never tried to integrate with pregnant women before. "Yeah, I might."
"Listen, we could tone down the relationship and just be friends. Later on, after my body gets back to normal and I can concentrate on a relationship, we can try for romantic. Maybe that might be more comfortable for you."
"Later on" I wonder. When is "later on"? Is that when the kid is fifteen? "Yeah, maybe that is a possibility."
"I haven't really told you much about my ex-husband, other than I was married for three years." Leah sounds a little worried.
"I know that this won't matter at all to you. After all, why should it? My ex-husband is Afro-American."
I try to say the something other than "yeah". "Oh" comes to mind.
"I know that this is a surprise for you, Shermie." Leah rushes on, "I thought I should tell you before we went any further. What would you like to do? Just be friends? Do you want to call off getting together this weekend?"
Surprise? Naaaaaaaaah. Traumatic shock, unbelievable hit of reality, a whomping with the baseball bat of life, but not a surprise. I don't know what to say. My mind starts a repeating loop. A few thoughts begin cycling through my brain and I can't break out of it. "Is this important. Yes, this is important. How do I feel? I don't know but it's important. How important is this? I don't know. How do I feel? It seems important." I don't want to verbalize my thoughts. I have to make sense of them first. Probably by immersing myself in pop psychology texts. Maybe I could call Dr. Schlessinger on this one. Maybe I'd have to up the ante to Joyce Brothers. I'm sure they have heard everything before. Do they respond to emergencies? Perhaps if I e-mail them. I still have to respond.
"Leah, I would like to get together with you anyway. We can talk about it a little more then." I don't even know what I'm saying.
"OK, that's good." She's very excited about getting this out in the open, I can tell.
Leah continues, "I'm really excited and looking forward to having this child. My ex-husband, Gerard, is very dark and handsome. With the way I expect our looks to combine, the baby will be beautiful. It will be the perfect babe."
End of Chapter 1: The Perfect Babe
The next installment begins
Chapter 2, The Fairness of Life!