The perky lady rang her handheld bell--how I wish that were a euphemism--and the sound of chairs scraping back replaced the murmurs of conversation. All of us "ladies" stayed seated at our two-person table while all of the "gentlemen" shifted right one table. The new man across from me(more) flashed his pearly whites.
(Could that be a euphemism, too?)
The lady with the bell thought this was all just so lovely--she reminded me of the mother in *Glass Menagerie*: desperate to see us as elegant ladies and dapper fellas rocking on the front porch, thoughtful and desirable and not the gimps we really were. I took my disgust for her (which was really for me, since I was participating voluntarily, after all) out on Pearly Whites.
"Neurosurgeon, yes, really; Michigan; takeout and a movie at home."
Pearly kept smiling, though there was a flicker in his eyes.
"My answers," I explained. "What I do, where I'm from, and what I like to do after work."
"Efficient!" He beamed. "I'm a home organizer, so I like you already."
I snorted. "Really?"
"Not as common as neurosurgeon, I know."
I couldn't help smiling. I uncrossed my arms. "I was a latecomer to my job--I passed my boards only five years ago. Bet you have a story, too."
"I do. We'd need to have dinner to have time for all the details, so for now I'll say: my first, and weirdest, job was in golf-course landscaping."
Before I could bite down on my cocktail straw to stop myself, I said, "No! Me too."
He squinted at my nametag. "Annie. Umm, you're not Annabelle, are you?"
I bit down on my lip, which wouldn't do me good now. As I'd always feared, I was legendary. Pearly and I didn't exchange numbers.(less)