You can find earlier excerpts of The Reunion here
It was half past 12 before Jen showed up, looking gorgeous and voluptuous and perfectly made up, waving to me with her French manicured hand, wearing some most-likely couture outfit. She’s always been a little on the extra-curvy side, but she has a wonderful sense of fashion and has the money to choose clothing that looks as though it was made just for her. Today it’s a beautifully tailored silky looking wrap dress, skimming her curves and draping around her figure without clinging, perfect for her job as a sales rep for a big pharmaceutical company. And her open toed booties look adorable and probably cost as much as my grocery budget for the week!
Okay, yes, maybe I’m a little jealous. But by the time I got the kids and hubby out the door I barely had the time or energy to shower and blow dry my hair and find nice black slacks and a sweater to wear. A quick swipe of mascara and lip gloss and I was out the door. I was just early enough to snag a parking spot in front of Le Bistro. It’s a cute little ladies lunch kind of place not too far from her work, with a great roasted beet and goat cheese salad and cozy booths where we could talk without interruption.
I just can’t believe that Jen is really planning to entice a guy she doesn’t even know to just sleep with her. I mean, I know I’m old-fashioned, but, at 38, that smacks of desperation to me. And after 17 years of marriage, I can’t see myself being with anyone else. Of course, Jen has been divorced for a while now and yes, I get that women have needs. I just think she should be sensible. And careful.
We do the best girlfriend hug thing and she looks at me closely and says, “God, Beth, are you pregnant? You have that dreamy look in your eyes.” I practically blush but assure her that no, it’s just all the great extra-curricular activity I’ve had going on. I’m pretty sure I’m not pregnant, anyway…
“Well, see,” Jen says, “that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you. I miss all those wonderful sextivities in my life lately. I haven’t met anybody that I’m the least bit interested in. So that’s why I’ve decided I’m gonna go home for my class reunion and just be open to seeing what happens. I wish I could meet somebody wonderful and fall in love, but I’m not 20 anymore. And yeah, a little excitement in my life would be nice.”
“But, Jen, a stranger? Do you really think that’s smart? Or safe?”
“Aww, c’mon, Beth, I’m talking about maybe hooking up with somebody I went to high school with, not some random stranger I bump into on the street,” she says.
“That’s exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about, ” I frown. “People our age don’t hook up. We date. We get to know each other before tumbling into bed.”
“Honey,” she says, smiling a little sadly at me, “single people any age hook up nowadays. It’s not like they’re coming over to meet my daddy before we go out! And I’m divorced. I’m pretty sure the guys will figure out that I’ve had sex before.”
“Well, of course, you’re a grown-up, you can lead whatever kind of life you want,” I say more frostily than I intended. “I’m sorry, that sounded really bitchy. You know I love you!”
“I know you do, Beth. And I love you, too! My life is fine, just a little boring lately. And work is not as satisfying as it used to be. There have been so many changes at my company lately that I’m not sure if my job is even safe anymore. And if I don’t have my job, what’s left? But I am a grown-up, one who’s tired of just seeing BOB all the time. So trust me to be responsible, okay?”
“And who is Bob and why haven’t we met him?” I’m frankly a little offended since I share almost everything about my life with Jen. She laughs back at me. “Oh, Beth, not who, what — BOB is short for battery operated boyfriend!”
I know I’m looking confused, because she leans in and says in a conspiratorial whisper, trying hard to hide a smile, “You know, my vibrator!”