There is only one word to describe a middle-aged woman who has not been out on a 'date' in almost thirty years, but agrees to one while holding a broom at a busy coffee shop where she has been reduced to working for a minimum wage after leading a business class global life.
What is the big deal anyway about finding long lost friends ? Okay, maybe reconnecting with an old lover would be nice (sigh) but a former chemistry lab partner? Sure, I knew I would be safe with him in the event of a power blackout. His overly white teeth would guide us to the nearest exit.
But the evening was a total bust. I looked at my watch so many times he finally asked:
"Do you have somewhere else to be Joelly?"
"I want to be in bed actually."
That didn’t come out right.
"Asleep in my bed, I mean. My shift starts early tomorrow morning."
I will say this for AFG. He would have made a great diplomat. He said absolutely nothing of significance, pontificated on China when he's never been there, and discreetly held his tongue about my marriage, divorce, and financial destitution. The evening mercifully ended when he dropped me off and zoomed away. That was that.
Swallowing my pride, I ventured back on my break from my menial job to the office of the career counselors hopeful I could meet with a different one. Luckily, I was introduced this time to someone who assists women like me.
That would be the demographic of aging crones who have been out of the workforce or just out of it for years. I think of us as invisible women. We really need fiction writers to help us massage our CVs and initiate job searches.
Meeting a counselor slightly more mature than the last one, we decided that writing wasn't my way to go if newsletters were all I had written. Instead, we focused on all the community work I had done in the various countries we had lived in. Non-profit foreign aid organizations would be my new target.
"You’re going to do what now?" Deborah shouted at me when I told her. Can there be anything worse than being yelled at by someone you once diapered?
She relented when she realized it would get me out of Tim Hortons.
"I know you don’t want to talk about Dad because you want us to have our own relationship with him, but can you at least tell me if he's supporting you in any way at all Mom?"
I didn't want to lie to my daughter. That would involve confessing to what a trustworthy idiot I had been all those years as her father had systematically spent my inherited money as our money while keeping his money as his alone. Not surprisingly, my money was all gone.
"Why yes, he is Deborah." Technically, I wasn't lying to my daughter and managed to avoid bad-mouthing her useless father.
After all, his mother, dear sweet Edna is keeping me afloat now that her own son has set me adrift.