I was contacted a few months ago by a woman who wanted, and was going to contract, me to write a comedy chapter in her book for her based on her life’s experiences.
Here is the piece I wrote as a sample of my writing which she ultimately rejected. But, I personally like it and think it is funny in my own off-the-wall comic and writing way.
It was sunny and hot in New York City. Thursday. It was so hot and smoggy even the pigeons were coughing. Little did I know that the heat and the smog would be the catalysts for my disability to raise its ugly head.
My divorce was finally legit. It had been a tough road filing all the papers. My lawyer, whom I loved, in a platonic way of course, he was barely 57, but cute, handled my case with extreme care. I wish I could remember his name. You know the kind, brown tasseled hair, strong chin, leather briefcase with his initials on it. And his alligator shoes he loved but which he claimed came from a farm raised gator so we couldn’t fault him for it.
My new chapter in life started with a whimper. I was looking to create my own bang somehow.
Where does a 30-something, attractive, newly divorced, perky, yet sophisticated young woman in New York City find a rich, attractive, straight, funny guy? I had only one real answer. The Personal Ads. Unfortunately, personal computers had only just been invented and had not reached the mass production or consumption stage.
Thank God for The New Yorker. I had a friend I was working with who suggested to me. She had found her new boyfriend that way and I thought it was worth a shot. After all, she was not a great catch having spent some time up the river, in The Bronx, that is. But, she had a great smile and the kind of mind any guy could sink his teeth into.
“Educated 30-something, attractive, newly-divorced, perky yet sophisticated young at heart woman, all woman, great woman, looking to be your woman if you are the attractive, straight, successful guy who can make me laugh and my feet tingle and cat sing… let’s discover the possibilities…”
87 guys responded to that ad. I had a tough time narrowing it down. My ex’s name was Steve so that was the first cut. No actors, republicans or blonds. Under 80. These were all out. That left Darryl.
We decided to meet in the village, Greenwich Village. I knew an outdoor café that would be perfect for a first meeting. I wouldn’t really call it a date. Ok, it was a date, but not really.
I spent the entire morning of the meeting worrying about whether he would like me at first sight. I had never done this before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Maybe I wouldn’t like him. Maybe we would see each other and then turn around and run away screaming. What if he had issues? Or baggage? Or emotional issues with baggage, like my purse? What if he thought my purse was too big and I was overcompensating for something? Am I overcompensating for something with my big purse?
What do I wear? I should dress casual. I don’t remember talking so much to myself. Hair. Makeup. Shoes. So many choices, so many decisions. It’s not easy being a woman.
What if I don’t like him? I mean, really, what would I not like? He passed the first hurdle with my personal ad. How do I ask him if mental illness or criminals run in his family? What if he asks me the same question? Why wouldn’t he? Why would he? I’m an upstanding, attractive, successful woman. What does he want? Who does he think I am?
I get to the café and look around. I don’t see anybody who might resemble him though I don’t really know what he looks like except from what he told me. But, I don’t see any man also looking around who may be looking for me.
There he is. He sees me. We smile. I hold out my hand for a firm handshake. Guys like that. Wait he walked by me. Ok, maybe that wasn’t him.
Melanie? I turn and meet Darryl. We shake hands and exchange some small talk.
I turn around and discover that I am a couple of blocks, it looks like, from where I met Darryl. He is running toward me. What happened?
I feel weird. Physically, I’m ok. Mentally, I don’t know how or why I got here.
Darryl tells me that, all of a sudden-like, I turned around and ran away from him. He asks me why. I tell him that it must be a psycho-motor seizure. I was out of control. I wish I could tell him that I was possessed, but I don’t have a devil inside of me to blame it on. I try to tell him everything and reassure him and keep repeating, I’m ok, it’s not you, I’m ok, it’s not you…
He abruptly turns and walks away. I don’t know what to say or do.
Oh, wonderful. How do I comprehend what just happened? How do I fix myself? How am I going to put this into a Personal Ad?