The Klutz Queen
The incident with the magazine happened on Friday. Thankfully, I managed to get through the rest of the day without any other embarrassing moments (I even saw Calvin for a few seconds and there was no change in his behaviour – meaning he didn’t notice me). And now I was in bed after having gone out with Sarah and my two other friends, Derek and James, to a bar near my apartment last night, thankful that it was Saturday morning and I could stay in bed for as long as I wanted.
“I better find your love and I better find your heart I better find your love and...” Drake’s voice interrupted my thoughts. I quickly got out of bed and went to the kitchen in search of my BlackBerry.
“I bet if I give all my love, Then nothing’s gonna tear us apart,” Drake was singing the last part of the chorus, just as I dug my Blackberry out of my purse. One quick look at the display, told me it was my mum.
“Hi mum,” I answered the phone.
“Hi darling, how are you? Why weren’t answering your phone? I thought something happened!” she said worried. “You didn’t just get out of bed did you?” she asked shocked.
You see, the thing with my mum is that she, unlike me and my older brother Josh, is an early riser. Meaning, she believes in waking up at 6 am, even on weekends (yes, I know!), in order to make the most of her day. And of course, she expects everyone else to do the same. Now, you might think she’s like that because she goes to bed early and doesn’t have a social life. On the contrary she’s always either at dinner parties, or hosting them at the new UES condo she shares with my stepdad, Kevin. In fact, sometimes, as embarrassing as it is for me to admit, she has more events to attend than Sarah and I combined. Yea, it’s sad... I know, trust me I know...
“Well mum, Sarah, Derek, James, and I went out yesterday so I slept late. Plus, today is Saturday, so I thought I’d sleep in a bit,” I answered defensively.
“Ok, well anyways, the reason I called is because I’m on my way up,” she said.
“K, I’ll leave the door open,” I said while unlocking my front door.
I heard the door open a few seconds later, just as I was lying back down in my bed.
“I’m in here,” I called out.
“Hi sweetheart,” she greeted me with a smile. “I brought you your favourite,” she said handing me a Grande Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato.
Just as I was about to thank her, I saw her giving the room a searching look, taking in the clothes, shoes, as well as, last night’s outfit, scattered on my bedroom floor.
“I’m gonna clean up, I swear,” I said quickly in order to avoid any comments.
“Yes, of course,” she said succinctly.
Of course this wasn’t the first time she’d heard me say that. You see when I was still living at home, my room was always neat – I never left the house in the morning without making the bed and making sure everything was in its place. But then I moved out and well, life got busy. I mean trying to get a guy to notice you, is actually really time consuming!
“Don’t worry, I didn’t come here to discuss your organization skills, or lack of thereof. I came to ask if you’d like to go shopping for tonight’s girls’ night,” she said.
“Where?” I asked, playing for time.
Unfortunately, I already knew the answer. And if I didn’t come up with an excuse soon, I’d have to endure a trip to The Food Emporium on Madison Avenue.
“Probably to The Food Emporium,” she answered.
“Hmm, well to be honest I was planning on doing some work from home. And cleaning up a bit,” I said.
“Yes, but you can do that tomorrow. Besides you like going there; I don’t understand why you’re hesitant.” She said confused.
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out when exactly I gave my mum the impression that I enjoy going to The Food Emporium. I guess I must have made some remark that my mum interpreted as me liking that grocery store because she asks me to go there at least three times a month.
“Why don’t you ask Josh to come with you? You know how much he loves that store.” I suggested.
“Don’t be silly, Jess. Josh is on his way home from his trip in L.A.” she replied. “Besides he doesn’t like going there as much as you do.” She concluded.
Seriously! I still don’t get how my brother manages to get out of doing anything he doesn’t like. He’s probably making out with some girl he just met!
“Anyways, get dressed so we can leave, please.”
I had no choice but to go with her. Besides it wasn’t my mum’s fault. Much...
“Ok,” I said trying to sound enthusiastic. “The Food Emporium, awesome!”
About 15 minutes later, I was in the car with my mum and Kevin who was once again, talking about his work.
I have to admit that Kevin doesn’t have many faults: If you exclude the fact that, apart from my mum, his other big interest is his job.
That day, he was especially excited because he has just signed a deal with a client who has been playing hard to get for months.
“You should have the seen Jack’s face when Martin signed the papers. He was so shocked and confused I managed to get Jack to sign. It was priceless!” I heard Kevin repeat for the fifth time, from the front seat.”Oh and I forgot to tell you, I also got a whole week off, which means we can go to Barbados and stay at that resort you like.” He added.
“That’s great honey!” My mum exclaimed. “You deserve a break, and that resort really is amazing.” My mum said just before she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.
It was nice to see my mum so happy. After her divorce with my father, almost 9 years ago (when I was 16), I thought she would never find someone. Now my father lives in Alabama with his new girlfriend, the lamest state in the world. And my mum lives with Kevin (who drives a Maserati Quattroporte!!!!) here in Manhattan, and everything is perfect.
When Calvin and I get married, I’ll accept all his eccentricities; that’s what I decided while Kevin and my mum continued making plans. I’m sure that he wouldn’t talk about his work all the time, but I’m sure he’d want to discuss a football game or a soccer match sometimes.
I’d listen to him carefully, and make clever comments that would express my interest. I’d make sure I made comments about the games, as well as, individual players – how hard can it be to google someone and find out their stats? And on the plus side, I’d get to stare at pictures of hot guys! – until Calvin saw that we really are meant to be.
We arrived at The Food Emporium, a big, vintage looking store, with 6’ tall, vivid images of food on the outside and a big sign advertising this week’s special on Ghirardelli chocolates and Big House White Californian wine.
“Ok, let’s get organized,” Kevin said joining my side. “Jess, you go get the wine, and your mum and I will get everything else we need.”
“Ok, sure. Mum you want 3 reds and 2 whites right?” I asked while walking towards the alcoholic beverages just to make sure.
“And get a bottle of champagne, please,” she called out.
Calvin and I would eat out a lot. At least two times a week. We would meet after work at quiet, romantic restaurants and we would talk about our amazing careers.
From time to time, I’d surprise him with a home cooked meal that I would have put together on a whim. Probably something Greek or maybe something exotic like Thai. Calvin would be delighted and gaze at me with tears in his eyes, telling me how lucky he is to have met me. Because not only was I am amazing marketing executive, but also an amazing cook...
“Hello? ... Miss...?”
I looked up to see a young girl staring at me.
“What?” I asked irritated.
“Would you like to try some of our new chocolate croissants?” she asked politely.
Yum! Who can say no to chocolate!?
“Oh. Um... yes, please. Sorry for snapping at you,” I said apologetically, “I was just thinking about something important.”
“No problem!” she said while handing me a warm chocolate croissant.
I thanked her and continued walking past the bakery to the alcoholic beverage section trying not to look too excited.
Umm, one taste and I was in heaven! I’ll admit, even though I hate this store, their chocolate treats are to die for. Plus, they usually handed out little recipe cards to go with the samples, which was actually pretty cool.
I arrived at my destination and began looking at all the wines thinking about Calvin’s reaction when after dinner, I would bring out dessert (a chocolate brownie topped with espresso ice cream and chocolate syrup, for which he would go on and on about with enthusiasm – pointing out the fact that along with all the things we had in common, we also shared a passion for chocolate).
As I was trying to figure out which wines to buy, I became aware of someone behind me. One quick glance told me that he was around my age, maybe 2 or 3 years older, about 6’ tall, with curly hair the color of espresso bean and he looked very at ease, like the whole world belonged to him.
Ignoring him, I turned around and reached for my mum’s favourite, Krug Clos D’Ambonnay Blanc De Noirs Brut Champagne ’95. Next, I grabbed two bottles of Cheval Blanc MG and I was about to pick up a bottle of D’YQUEM when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
Turning around to see who it was, I looked into the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.
“Do you need help with that?” the man with the curly hair said in a deep, raspy voice.
“Um... uh... no... not really...thanks though.” I said trying – but failing – to sound confident.
“K,” he chuckled in response. He grabbed a case of Heineken from the shelf and then walked away.
I stared after him for a few seconds, trying to fight the urge to throw one of the bottles at his curly head, and then proceeded to the check out.
On the way there, I remembered that The Food Emporium had self check out, and immediately felt better. I love using the self check out because when I was little, I would pretend to be the cashier (sadly, something I still do) and it would be the highlight of the shopping trip. Plus, since practically no one uses the self check out, there are never any line ups which means no waiting around for the cashier to finish flirting with a customer (annoying), or to figure out how to use the register (even more annoying).
Anyways, I arrived at the self check out section and saw that all but one were already taken. Grateful for my good luck, I walked over and gently placed the bottles on the machine.
Just as I picked up the first bottle to scan it, I heard someone tapping their foot. Turing my head to the left, I saw the man with the curly hair staring at me. I noticed that he was in a hurry, because he kept glaring at my bottles.
Ignoring him, I turned around and continued scanning the bottles and placing two bottles in a bag. I had already bagged four bottles, and was about to bag the last bottle. How what happened next occurred, is unknown; all I know is that both bags were on the machine, still. Suddenly, however, one bag fell from the machine and was immediately followed by the second bag, both bags making a loud thud.
And of course, I was standing beneath them.
I don’t really think that there is any need to go into detail about what my, until recently, clean white sundress looked like thanks to the wine. Nor about the puddle of wine that I was stepping in, which had completed ruined my brand new Louboutin sandals.
Evidently, this whole event was completely ridiculous. But, still, it doesn’t justify the shameless cackle I heard coming from the guy behind me. He was laughing so loud, that I’m sure the whole grocery store heard him.
What an asshole! He was standing there with his pressed black Polo shirt and he was laughing maliciously while the wine mixture was dripping down my arms.
I shot him a look that (I was hoping) could kill. And then, as gracefully as possibly, I bent over and started picking up the broken bottles.
Sadly, I think that I must have looked pathetic because the laughing idiot remembered his manners and bent down to help me.
“Thanks, “I said blatantly, grabbing the bottle from his hand. “I can manage.”
“Oh, common stop it,” he said in a tone that sounded like he was talking to a little kid.
“You stop!” I exclaimed, not caring that I sounded like a five year old. “Are you deaf?”
Evidently he wasn’t. He shrugged, laughed ironically and walked to a recently available check out, stopping there for a few seconds, and then walked out of the store.
Thankfully, an employee appeared at that moment and cleaned up the mess, giving me time to go and get more wine.
Finally, I met up with my mum and Kevin who both raised their eyebrows but seeing my expression didn’t ask any questions.
What would Calvin do if he saw a damsel in distress in front of a self check out? I mean if that was where we met for the first time.
The answer is obvious. There is no way he would laugh. Not one in a million. Carefully, he would set everything on the ground – in this case his beer bottles. Then, he would crouch down on his knees to make sure I wasn’t hurt (he would pick up the broken bottles later).
He would look at my dirty dress with a worried expression and then he would take out a clean handkerchief and offer it to me. Our hands would touch lightly. And, suddenly, the atmosphere between us would become electrified. Words would be superfluous. And at that exact moment we would both know that we are...
“Ok, honey, here you are...” my mum’s voice interrupted my thoughts. “Thanks for coming shopping with us!”
“Yea, no problem. See you guys later,” I said as I got out of the car.
“Good afternoon Miss Brown,” Sergio, my building’s doorman, greeted me with a smile. I could tell he was trying really hard not to laugh at my dress.
“Hey Sergio. Like my outfit?” I asked just to see his reaction.
“Um... Oh, yes. Of course. The colors... they uh, suit you,” he replied nervously.
“Good reply,” I said and then winked right before I went in through the door he was politely holding for me.
A few minutes later, I was in my bathtub relaxing with a glass of wine (ironic, I know), listening to one of my favourite Pavarotti CDs, and fantasising about Calvin. Living alone was wonderful! No little brother to bug me, no mum to yell at me, just me, alone with my thoughts...fantasizing about Calvin...
“I better find your love and I better find your heart I better find your love and...” Drake’s voice interrupted my latest fantasy. I groaned and reached for my BlackBerry promising myself that next time, I wouldn’t bring it with me in the bathroom.
“What is it?” I asked annoyed, without looking at my display screen.
“Hmm, if you aren’t in the mood to talk, I can call later,” I heard Sarah say hurt.
“S! Hey, no, sorry about that. But you wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through today!” I said changing the tone of my voice.
Ten minutes later, Sarah knew every little detail about the whole wine incident, and she was laughing hysterically on the other line.
“It’s not funny,” I said to her. “I expected some sympathy from you and some comforting words. But instead you are laughing louder than that asshole. You have no idea how much I hate him.
“Oh my god! This is hilarious!” I heard her say while gasping for air. “You totally made my day, Jess!”
“Oh, I’m so happy my misfortunate made you laugh.”
“Oh, common Jess. Don’t be like that,” she said seriously. “So you embarrassed yourself. What’s the big deal? It’s not like you’re gonna see him again!”
“True,” I said. “I guess that’s something.”
“Imagine if Calvin had been there!”
“You’re right,” I said. “I have to think optimistically.
“Oh, know that you said that, let’s talk about what I called you to talk about. I have good news! About you and Calvin!” Sarah exclaimed.
My heart started racing. Was this for real? Had Calvin talked to someone about me? Had he actually realised that we are soul mates?
“To be more specific, I’m referring to your horoscope for next week.” Sarah added.
My heart stopped racing. I decided to stop thinking optimistically. What was the use?
“K, listen,” Sarah began enthusiastically. “Cancer: Under intimate Venus, you will find yourself successful in getting noticed by your soul mate. You will manage to impress him very easily thanks to enthusiastic Mars. Finally, this is the best time to start a new sport. It just might turn out to be the beginning of a very interesting few weeks.”
“That’s all?” I asked slightly disappointed.
I have to admit, I was expecting more details. For example, what was I supposed to do to get his attention? Where and when? Those kinds of details: Simple and straightforward.
“Jessica, don’t be meticulous,” Sarah answered. “It says it here clearly. You will get Calvin’s attention this coming week. What else do you need to know?”
“I need details,” I said. “A plan so analytical and straightforward that even an idiot could understand. Don’t forget we’re talking about me. The klutz queen.”
“You just have to sit back and let things happen,” Sarah replied. “And everything will fall into place, you’ll see.”
I promised I would, since I didn’t really have a choice. Plus, it’s not like I had anything to lose.