I’m Howard Handsome. Yes, that is my real name. I am recently divorced and, after splitting the proceeds on the sale of our house, I purchased a large condo penthouse. It had to be furnished, and before my wife took charge of doing all that. But now it was up to me to do my own decorating and furnishing. So I went to a well-known furniture store where my wife and I had shopped before.
Yvette, the designer, knew me from previous visits and we spent about two hours discussing the needs of my new abode. She also knew of my recent divorce and told me that she would like to fix me up with Sandy, a woman whom she had known for a good many years, also divorced. Yvette thought that I would find this woman to be a suitable first date.
I wrote down her name and telephone number, and put it into my billfold. Local elections were coming up shortly and I was busy, so I didn’t even think of calling her.
After the elections, I again visited this store along with my mother, whom I had brought along to help me with some wall pictures. We were looking at prints of Picasso when Yvette saw us and asked me, in front of my mother, whether I had called Sandy. I said no.
Hearing this, my mother yelled at me saying, “She gave you a number to call and you didn’t do it? You better do it tonight or I will get after you.”
My mother is like that.
So I called that evening and spoke to Sandy. She said that Yvette had told her about me after my first visit to the furniture store and she was hoping I would call. I asked her out for Saturday evening. She gave me her address and on the following Saturday I got spiffed up, washed my car, and arrived at her condo.
As you know, the rules have changed since I first started dating. I don’t know the current protocol, especially on a first date. I arrived at 6 p.m. at the entrance to her high rise condo.
Oh boy. There was no parking in front of the building and the condo did not offer visitor parking. What to do? Drive around until I find a parking spot on the street and walk to her condo, and then the two of us would walk back to the car or what?
No, I decided I would call her on my cell phone and tell her I was waiting downstairs because of the parking situation. I kept the heater on full blast since it was near zero outside, and Sandy came downstairs dressed in a heavy fur coat with matching earmuffs. Now again with the rules.
Should I leave the warmth of my car and tell her to come in, or should I get out, go around, and open the door for her to get in? I decided to be a real gentleman, and get out and do the honors.
I took her to a fine restaurant where we each had one martini and we talked. Sandy told me she had been divorced three times because of poor judgment in picking husbands. At fifty-two, she had three children, none living at home. She was able to live in the plush high rise condo because of the divorce settlements.
We talked about our high schools, colleges, our children, and things that married people talk about during an evening out. Valet parking brought our car around and we were on our way to a movie.
I had selected a movie that was sex-free, tension-free, and lighthearted. A kind of movie that would be rated general and one that you could take your mother to.
We were no sooner in the car than Sandy, in her seat belt, moved a little closer to me, and whispered in my ear, “Howard, I don’t have any panties on, under my dress.”
I turned to her and almost had an accident, as I drove through a stop sign.
“Huh,” I said and turned a little red; after all, this was my first date after my divorce and I had to think about what I had just heard. I didn’t have much time to process her bold remark, as Sandy with a wicked grin, said, “Howard, I was just kidding! I wanted to see your reaction.”
I purchased so-called luxury seats for the two of us. Now I had another dilemma. What size box of popcorn to purchase? Should I buy the large size and we could share, or should I buy one regular box of popcorn for each of us? I decided that since we had just finished a delightful dinner one large box of popcorn would suffice. So I bought it and a huge drink, with two yellow straws.
We were watching the movie and she opened the popcorn box, helped herself to a big handful and I did the same, putting my hand in. Sandy then turned to me, looked sort of angry, and said in a voice that my wife used when correcting our children, “No man puts his hand in my box.”
Yes, that’s exactly the way it came out of her mouth. Needless to say, I kept my hands to myself, not even making use of the second straw.
After the movie, I took her home. She did not invite me up to her apartment, but did say that she had a wonderful time and hoped I would call her for a second date.