Scene from a dark restaurant

The problem is, the Jerrys of the world will always find me.

Recently, I dragged a friend to a Meetup. For those of you unfamiliar, Meetups are group get-togethers that are coordinated online but happen in real life. There are Meetups for people who like to bike, to eat, to travel. You name it, and you can probably find a Meetup for it.

I have lots of friends. But they tend to be scattered all over the world. And my friends here are lovely, but many are still in suburban mom mode. Being divorced, I’m in that mode sometimes and other times—when I’m without my kids–I want friends who are free to own their schedule for the weekend. So, off to the Meetup we went.

This particular Meetup was for people who like to do weekend brunch in the city. I figured this would be a civilized group, versus the crazed triathletes who meet to swim the Atlantic on a Sunday morning or scale Kilimanjaro after work.

My friend and I were among the first to arrive. As Kate headed to the ladies’ room, I checked us in with the hostess. “We’re here for the Meetup,” I said, quietly, trying to be unobtrusive. That was wasted effort because Jerry heard me from about 15 feet away. “Oh, I’M here for the Meetup too,” he yelled across the foyer. He must have bat ears, I thought to myself. So why doesn’t he realize he’s shouting?

My radar immediately told me who Jerry was—what I call a barnacle. Barnacles always find me. Real barnacles affix themselves permanently to rocks, boat hulls—you name it. And the human version of barnacles like to affix themselves to me—at parties, on the street—you name it. So, I was intent on freeing myself from Jerry before he affixed to me. I had come to this Meetup to get away from the suburban couple scene and meet new people, the lifeblood of us creative types. New people, new experiences. And I was not about to get stuck talking to Jerry-and-only-Jerry for the next two hours. Especially because for the first five minutes, I was treated to a long treatise on urban transportation.

As the hostess led our group to the table, I sped up to position myself somewhere Jerry wasn’t. I was chatting animatedly with a woman who had just gotten to the restaurant, hoping to deter him from following. As I headed to the far end of the table, guess who appeared before me to take the last seat—the one I was headed for? Jerry. He sat to my right, smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

I purposely left Jerry to his own devices. I chatted with Jean, the woman to my left, and we found we had a ton in common.

But as the meal came to a close, I relented a bit. We probably only had 15 minutes left. I turned to include Jerry in my conversation and he heard me say, “Every fine line and wrinkle on my face is because of those two little hoodlums.” I was joking about my teenaged sons.

“I don’t see any wrinkles,” Jerry said. For a moment, I regretted so completely shutting him out. And began to mentally pat myself on the back for buying that new avocado eye cream a couple of months ago. Hmph. It must be living up to its advertising, I mused. Maybe I’m not aging as poorly as I think. Cue hair toss.

At that very moment, the dessert menus arrived. As Jerry pulled out a magnifying glass, he shared that due to a motorcycle accident 20 years ago, he had lost all sight in one eye and about 70 percent in the other eye.

Let’s just let that soak in a moment, shall we?

Can I take the hair toss back too?

Jerry couldn’t see wrinkles not only because we were in a dark restaurant but because HE IS MAINLY BLIND. First thought—oh Jesus. Eye cream has nothing to do with it. Second thought—how the hell did he move so fast around this table? Third thought—no wonder his hearing is so good.

And just in case this little scenario wasn’t enough to put me in my rightful aging place, the Universe decided to weigh in one more time that week. As I pulled up to the Starbucks drive-through, the male server at the window simply said, “Beautiful,” as he gazed into my car.

I looked up, surprised, and smiled. Thoughts of the eye cream resurfaced. Cue hair toss. Which is when he added, “Your dog is simply gorgeous.” Yes, Bailey was in all her regal glory in my backseat. She didn’t take kindly to his flirting, growling low in her throat.

I wanted to growl too, but refrained.

Who says the Universe doesn’t have a sense of humor?

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33 Comments Add yours

  1. pirootb says:

    Enjoyed reading your post and could totally relate to it. Recently I had an opposite experience…I was expecting some rude reminder but narrowly escaped it. I was having a conversation with a four years old child. He suddenly told me “you look really old”. I braced myself and asked in a casual tone “how old?”. He sized me up and down and then said thoughtfully “at least eight years old”. The relief I felt….😅

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I’m howling. I remember when 24 sounded ancient to me! You dodged the bullet on that one:).

  2. Karen Lang says:

    If we don’t laugh at life, we would cry a lot!! Great story 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! The universe definitely provides me with plenty of fodder for laughing.

  3. Roy McCarthy says:

    Which is why I am pretty anti-sociable (not anti-social) and choose my acquaintances carefully. I think this behaviour maybe has its roots in the days where, sitting on an empty bus, total strangers would come and sit beside me 😦

    1. candidkay says:

      I know the feeling all too well, Roy :-).

  4. Dale says:

    Kristine – you are a hoot and a half. Of course, I always attract the Jerrys, too. Must give off that nurturing vibe…which has a habit of biting me in the ass – and not in a good way!
    I will, however, check out Meetup because frankly… you know.

    1. candidkay says:

      Why does it not surprise me they the Jerrys like you too? I am sure it is that earth mother nurturing vibe. I don’t know what it is with me that attracts them-I’m not sure I have that vibe but whatever it is—ugh:).

      1. Dale says:

        Me neither! UGH squared…

  5. Seriously, your posts make me chuckle at the end of a long day!! 🤣 Thank you! 😁

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m so glad this one gave you a laugh! No better medicine.

  6. Oh Kristine, I’m here laughing at your expense–only because I’ve been in similar situations before. Thanks for the chuckle!

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, do tell! C’mon, don’t leave me hanging out here all by my lonesome:).

      1. I’ll share the following because it gave me the most laughs: when my grandson was up in my lap one day, he was fondling my neck and said “Your skin is so soft.” I smiled, but then he added “and crinkly.” He got such an animated reaction out of me that for months after he would grin and say “crinkly” every time he saw me. 😂

      2. candidkay says:

        Oh, the gift that keeps on giving:). Reminded of “crinkly” for months, eh? A true test of love! Good thing he’s a cutie pie.

      3. Ha ha, exactly. Let’s them get away with a lot.

  7. 😀 “Your dog is simply gorgeous” actually made me lol!

    1. candidkay says:

      Well, it made her growl🤔

  8. suemclaren24 says:

    Absolutely Love this one! Thanks.

    1. candidkay says:

      Glad it made you laugh! Happy Monday.

  9. mydangblog says:

    Too funny! Yesterday I got carded buying fireworks and the young cashier said “Oh you could pass for 19!” I blushed and said “Aw shucks!” Then she continued, “ I mean, I go to high school with people who look like they’re 82 so…” 🤣🤣

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh wow! Talk about a backhanded compliment :-).

  10. markbialczak says:

    That was a great meetup, Kay. You learned a heck of a lot in one meal session and it wasn’t so painful at all.

    1. candidkay says:

      It was actually fun, Mark. You’re right. I know you’ll understand this being a fellow journalist–I had a feeling it would be fun because I love meeting new people and learning about their stories. I know you will relate to that.

      1. markbialczak says:

        Every new introduction surely is a gate opening to something potentially interesting, you are right, Kay.

  11. srbottch says:

    So funny. You’ve written a couple of funny ones lately. Lovin’ ’ it, ‘gorgeous’! (Just testing your sense of humor 😂)

    1. candidkay says:

      Every once in awhile, I can tickle the ‘ole funny bone 🦴 😀

  12. It’s good to laugh at ourselves. Thanks for sharing yours Kristine.

  13. Judy says:

    LOL! I also used to have a problem with needy people attaching themselves to me. Going up in a needy household, I excelled at filling needs, making people feel comfortable and wanted. Counseling helped me learn boundaries. It also took the restraints off my facial expressions. Sometimes, my face speaks far too loud. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I hear you on the facial expressions! I’m the youngest of six girls so boundaries have been a necessity most of my life and it took me awhile to learn them:).

  14. Oh I need to try this meetup!
    You always make me laugh, find a part of myself and remember I need to make sure I have a life… I’ve been absent writing due to health reasons and I’ve come to realize absent in part of my life as well using my health as a weapon!
    I’ve slowly started coming out and somehow, just at the times I need the “extra” you write something that gives me the sign from the universe!
    Thank you So Much Kristine! 🥰
    Keep Hope Alive!
    Kim

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, Kim, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been having health issues. I wondered why you’d been so quiet on your own blog. I hope you are on the mend and they’re not too serious. PLEASE go out and have fun–I had the best laugh over this silly little incident. And you know laughter is great medicine!

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