Was I talking about my post surgery stuff last week?
About the nut who came over to tend to me but spent more time swiggin’ outta her stashed-away bottle of Popov?
Tipsy Tillie has been quiet since then. Not a peep out of her.
Since then it’s been a blur, for the most part. I’ve tried to sleep as much as possible, even with doctor’s orders to walk, walk, walk.
I do walk. From the sofa to the bed and back.
From the sofa to the fridge and back.
From the sofa to the garage where the laundry is and back.
But like ... putting on my Nikes and going for a walk? Ain’t happenin’ on my watch. I’ll go to the end of the driveway and kick the neighbor’s cat out of the way, but venturing much further than that is not in the cards.
I thought, however, that I might take a chance and hook up with a couple of gals I’ve recently become acquainted with.
What we all have in common is that we don’t really know many people around town.
The two gals I was going to have lunch with had never met each other, so I was hoping for some interesting interaction.
I shall refer to them as Gladys and Hortense.
Hortense is in her late 30s, looks like a power lifter. She’s recently divorced and has two boys right about The Kid’s age.
She is unemployed and looking for work, but doesn’t want to work outside of a perimeter she’s drawn for herself. She’ll only work where her legs will carry her. Luckily there is a trolley that goes around town about every hour on the hour and costs a quarter, so she can pretty much get anywhere by trolley and her short stocky legs.
She is not terribly outgoing and doesn’t seem to have a keen sense of humor, and admits to not being very dynamic.
Gladys is much older, lived all over the world, and has lived in town for about 15 years but still doesn’t know many people. Having said that, she has a great job that allows for her to meet all kinds of people and be right on the pulse of the community.
After having a long lunch with her, I can see why her circle of friends is so small.
She’s a Gladys all right. Gladys Kravitz.
All during the meal, she kept turning around and throwing eye darts at the young couple who had brought their not-quite-2-year-old in. The baby was doing just fine, not making a squawk. Not until her mommy and daddy decided to sit and linger over their beers, that is, and then the little one started voicing her protest.
I didn’t notice it because that sort of thing just doesn’t bother me. She wasn’t screaming or anything, just an occasional loud yap but not much more.
Gladys was really making me nervous because she couldn’t help herself — she just kept turning around and glowering at this cute little couple.
But I don’t like when folks drink around their kids ... it’s just not cool.
I would have been throwing eye darts about that myself, but they were already getting a brutal onslaught from Kravitz.
Anyway, Gladys dominated the conversation.
I just sat back and listened as she schooled Hortense on how to get around in this town.
“It’s who you know. You can have a stellar resume, but if you don’t know anyone in town, you’ll get nowhere. It’s all about name dropping. Trust me.”
Hortense had asked me previously if she should wear a suit or business attire and bring her resume, and I insisted that she just chill it and relax.
“Gladys is not a head hunter. She’s just someone who knows how the cogs in this town work. We’re just going for a friendly meet and greet lunch.”
I was trying to take mental notes, but I was so aware of the bullet holes in my side that all I really wanted to do was hobble the two blocks to my car, drive the four blocks home, and walk from the driveway to my bed.
“I’m walking, Doctor ... I’m walking!”
I did a lot of nodding and smiling, but I was slowly beginning to realize that these two women were not who I wanted to include in my Favorite Five circle.
I stopped babysitting years ago, and wasn’t about to start babysitting adults who clearly could not function well in the outside world.
Hortense had already tried to peg me into hauling her kids around when and if she were to become gainfully employed, and Gladys later insisted that I spend the day shopping with her.
I had to reel myself in and tell them both firmly “No.”
Hortense had to excuse herself from the lunch as she had an interview lined up, so I sat there for another hour listening to more of The
History of Gladys Kravitz.
When I finally managed to put an end to an otherwise long afternoon, I made it home to find The Kid standing by the door, tapping his foot.
He had been busy on his p.c. the whole time I was gone, but didn’t like that I had been gone so long.
He asked if I’d been at lunch the whole time and to tell him again who I’d been with.
I told him I’d been with Gladys and Hortense.
He shook his head, rolled his eyes, and said, “When are you going to learn to make good choices?”
I stood there looking at him, realizing that he immediately senses those people he needs to steer clear of.
“You’re either getting old, Mom, or you’re just being too nice. It has to stop. We can’t be havin’ all your freaky friends comin’ over here.”
I started laughing.
“Stick with the friends you’ve got,” he continued, “they don’t creep me out.”
I hope he’ll remember those same words when he starts high school.
“Betty White, Mom. If you’re gonna make new friends, find a Betty White. That I can handle.”
Except that she’d probably hit me up to drive her to her doctor’s appointments.
I can hear it now, “Come on, Betty! Let’s walk. The doctor’s say it’s good for us!”
“OK. Let’s just walk down to the bar. We can stop in there for a while before we head back.”
She’d be my new best friend with that kind of attitude.