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Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Boy Meets Girl (2.0)

Photobooth-11-11-11Boy and Girl meet in High School Drama Class in the late 1970’s.  Both were creative teenagers, tender 14 year old Freshmen with visions of stars, certainly not each other (yet), in their eyes.  Cast in Little Women, Boy played Professor Bhaer to Girl’s Jo and at the end of the play, the characters ended up married – while the young actors would remain friends… for the next 34 years.

They remained the dearest of friends, Boy and Girl, holding each other in high esteem as they wove in and out of each other’s lives through the years.  Then a few years back, thanks to social media and a handful of lunches with Boy, Girl and Girl’s BFF from High School (they were “Honorary Sisters,”) had the three of them laughing, telling stories and discussing ways to solve some of the darker problems of the world (some personal) and picking up their friendship right where they left off, back in the day.

During one scheduled lunch with the trio, Girl’s Honorary Sister called to say she was tied up at work and unable to meet up for lunch.  Girl and Boy went anyway, talking a mile-a-minute to catch up on the world and giving each other advice on how to improve their situations.

The second time that Girl’s Honorary Sister wasn’t available (anyone sensing conspiracy here?) Boy and Girl once again met for lunch, where Boy had to share his lunch not-a-date date with two women who, apropos of nothing, decided Girl just had to be invited into their inner sanctum, like long lost friends who needed to catch up after long absence.  It was at this moment that the boy later said he saw similarities to another woman he adored: his mother.  He said that something about the way the girl interacted with not just those women, but all people and the way that she “made her way in the world,” that charmed and captivated him and he realized he had to find a way to keep her in his life.

Not long after this lunch, Boy received a panicked phone call from Girl asking if he would attend a theatrical play with her, as she felt the subject matter of a show she’d chosen might be too much for her young daughter, her original intended “date.”  She invited Boy as a friend and as someone she knew would appreciate a good show (and expensive tickets) more than anyone she knew.  Boy suggested that they grab dinner before, but her schedule wouldn’t allow (and, she sensed that it might smack too much of a “date”) so she declined.  So, they agreed to just meet at the theatre.  As fate would have it, the girl’s schedule changed, and she texted Boy that she was free after all and, being really hungry, maybe dinner would be good.  Since she paid for the theatre tickets, she told Boy that he could cover the cost of dinner and they’d be even.

During dinner, it was discovered later, Girl ordered two (of only a few) of Boy’s least favorite foods: Kale and Brussels Sprouts (which was made palatable only by the addition of Boy’s favorite food: BACON!) and the girl’s company.

Before the food could arrive, Boy took a sizeable amount of cash out of his coat pocket and handed it over to Girl saying, “Listen.  I know you’re going through a tough time right now and I realize that these tickets might have been both a luxury and a hardship.  I don’t think you should have to worry about any of that, so please take this and let me help you.  I’ll feel better knowing that you’re not struggling and can sit back and really enjoy tonight.”  They gently fought about this matter, with Boy not taking “No!” for an answer and finally just shoving the bills in her purse.

Most women would respond with a simple and heartfelt, “Thank you.”  Oh, but not our Girl.  She turned to our (eventual) leading man and said, “I’ll have you know that I am wearing WAY too high a heel to be accepting a wad of cash from a man in the downtown area.  Now, I look like a hooker.”

Despite this inauspicious beginning, they went on to sit beside each other in the dark, having a very nice time watching the musical “Next to Normal.”  A perfectly normal night for old friends.

At the end of the night, when Boy drove Girl back to her car and she went to hug him goodnight, he (still sensing this might have been a date) went in for a kiss and wound up with the cheek.  He was disappointed.  She was incensed. She drove home that rainy night muttering aloud to no one, “How could he go and try to ruin a perfectly good friendship by trying something like that?!  He’s always been one of the most stand-up guys I ha’ve ever known!  He’s like Jimmy Stewart!  Exactly the fellow you’d call when you needed him… in your darkest hour!  An angel of mercy to attend events with, who would never complain about charity rubber chicken dinners!!  And, he’d look perfectly fine in a suit!!  WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!”

To try and appease possibly ruffled feathers and speak to him in person about “just being friends” – Boy got a Facebook message asking him (since he was a professional dancer once-upon-a-time and had danced and appreciated ballet for years) if he’d seen, or had any interest in seeing, the movie “Black Swan” because she thought she’d treat him for his birthday, because she knew she could at least afford movie tickets.  The immediate instant messaging response was: Sure.  When?  Where? What time?

They agreed to meet at the movie theater on a Tuesday.  Tuesday — being a middle of the week, after work, and an official anti-date day.

Before she could park her car, Girl received a text informing her that the tickets were already purchased and she only needed answer one question: “Cabernet or Merlot?”  Well, duh.  Everyone knows that when you need fortitude to face a friend and be fearless about the entire future of the friendship, the only obvious answer is: Merlot.

Walking through the doors of the Arclight Cinema to enter the café, the vision that greeted our completely dense Girl was the long-legged Boy, leaning back and smiling, with two glasses of red wine on the table in front of him.  When questioned later, she says that it was as though she was seeing Boy for the very first time saying, “He grew up awfully nice.  In fact, he’s terribly handsome.  Why have I never noticed that?!”  She admits she must have thought he was more than just okay, as she’d remembered she’d spent the better part of three decades trying to set Boy up with every single woman she knew.  Well, every single woman she knew and liked.

For those who haven’t seen the film “Black Swan” it was NOT a sweet little movie about the Tchaikovsky ballet at night time (or during a dancer’s strike).  It was a dark, psychological thriller/horror film that caused a pretty big jump and a scream half way through the film.  Girl, not Boy.  Being the protective type he is, Boy reached for the slender hand that grabbed his sleeve and he would not let go for the remainder of the film, leaving Girl to miss what was left of the film as she silently ping-ponged questions about whether she liked or disliked this new development.

On the very quiet escalator ride down to the parking garage, Boy decided to take a chance, and gave his now officially-a-date date a slight dip (he was a dancer, after all) and kissed her.  Her version is… that all of the oxygen left the room and she was left breathless, as Boy had literally swept off her feet and she fell (head-over-heels) quickly.  When she asked if he had always felt this way about her, his response was, “All I know is that I have a friend I’ve adored for 34 years and she was never available.  Now, all I’m asking is that you give me a chance to throw my hat in the ring and make you happy.”

This isn’t the ending to the story.  It’s a new beginning… as Boy and Girl grow old and gray(er) together and to hopefully serve as inspiration to others that it is never too late for Happily Ever After.

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 “It’s never too late – in fiction or in life – to revise.” – Nancy Thayer

“One is never too old to yearn.” – Italian Proverb

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