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The Bookstore Chick

So my daughter picks up this woman for me at Barnes and Noble…

I think that its hilarious to listen to some single dads complain about their weekend with the kids.  They get all dramatic about this and that and how they were so exhausted and couldn’t wait to get the kids back to their mother.  It cracks me up.  It really does.

In a way, I wish that I had their reality.  I absolutely love my daughter and would not give up my full custody for anything, but truth be told, it would be nice to have the occasional weekend free from parental duties.  I also love how these same dads try and push all the “parenting stuff” off on mom, while they do their best to be the fun parent.  Deal with reality, losers.  You knocked her up, so you can do some of the heavy lifting yourself.  Life isn’t all about Chuck E. Cheese and ski trips!

So there I was, at home one night, a full-time single dad fixing dinner after returning home from my 9.5 hour workday when my darling 12-year-old announces that she needs to get a book at the bookstore for this project that she has due.  “OK,” I tell her.  “When is it due?”  “Tomorrow,” she replies very matter of factly.  As I start to lecture her about responsibility and all that stuff, she looks at me, rolls her eyes and says, “what’s your problem?”

What’s my problem?  Right now I have a 4’11” redheaded problem!  I quickly finish dinner and we gobble it down and jump in the car to head to our local Barnes and Noble.  Having just moved to Buffalo, I knew that we were almost halfway between two stores and I had been to one, but I really hadn’t ventured much into the neighborhood of the other one, so I figured that we would have an adventure and hit the one on “The Boulevard” (Niagara Falls Boulevard, for the record).

We arrived at the bookstore and I found myself perusing the wares on a table when this blond woman across the table from me makes a comment about how much some book costs.  I look up and said something back (I have no idea what I said.  It was that memorable) and we chatted for all of 10 seconds before she walked away with her daughter.  I went and found my bundle of sunshine and we were in another aisle about 5 minutes later when she pointed out, “that lady you were talking to at the table just walked past us.”  I looked up and said, “OK.”  To which she replied that I should go over and talk to her.  I glanced over at the lady and decided that she was kind of cute, but I figured that the odds of me picking up a woman at a bookstore at 7:45 PM on a Tuesday night were about as good as the chance my daughter was gonna get an “A” on this project.  So, I simply said, “Whatever.”

The next thing I know my little matchmaker was out of the aisle and slowly working her way over to where the blond was and as soon as the woman picked up a copy of a Rachel Ray kids cookbook, my daughter says, (in a loud voice) “I have that same cookbook.  Daddy, what recipe did we make from that cookbook?”

Oh no she didn’t!  The fruit of my loins just picked up a woman for me at Barnes and Noble!  I felt kind of pimped out.  What I should have done was said, “I don’t know what recipe.  We have to go do your project.”  But I felt kind of obligated to talk with this woman for a few minutes.

As I chatted with The Bookstore Chick, her daughter and mine started striking up their own friendship.  After a couple of moments, the Chick asked if I wanted to move over to the café and have some coffee.  I said sure, and just like that, I was on a date with a blond at the bookstore.

We talked about this and that for the next half hour or so and I looked at my watch and announced that we simply had to get home so that we could get this project done, but would she like to go out over the weekend?  She agreed and we traded numbers and e-mail addresses and went our separate ways.  She sent me a text that night saying that she was looking forward to Saturday night and that she would talk with me tomorrow.

As we sipped our coffee that first night, she mentioned that she was a little sore because she just had a biopsy done on one of her breasts and she had the staples in for a couple more days.  I politely inquired as to whether or not she had good news and she said the tumor was benign.  Why do I tell you this now?  Well, it probably has something to do with a text I received the next morning.

After a good morning text from her, I received another one.  This one had a photo attached.  “Hmmm,” I thought.  “I wonder what this is?”  I opened it up and to say I was shocked would be a huge understatement.  There, staring me in the face (pun fully intended) was her left breast, most of which was covered in a bandage!

Now I like a good boob as much as the next guy, but this was a bit weird.  It wasn’t huge by any means, but it wasn’t small.  The gauze bandage covered up most of it, but there was still enough hanging out to make it worth the view.  It wasn’t firm and full, but neither was it hanging down to her knee.  I scratched my head and wondered why she had sent it to me, and after a while I kind of panicked and wondered if I was expected to reciprocate.  I’m not sure that I was comfortable sending a stranger pictures of my junk.  For the record, I’m not sure how I feel about sending anyone pictures of the Southern Hemisphere.  Unless it’s my butt.  I do have a nice ass.  It’s all those years of playing ice hockey in California.

Long story short, we still went out on Saturday night, but it was probably my shortest date ever.  We met at a local pizza and wing joint, ordered a couple beers, some pizza and a few wings and started talking again.  I began to ask her about her job and about her family and she simply flipped out.  She got all flustered and gathered up her purse and her coat and said that this was all going too fast and that she couldn’t handle it.  The next thing I knew, she was out the door and going to her car.

I sat there for a moment, kind of confused, but then I leaned back in the booth, took a sip of my beer, munched on some pizza and killed a few wings before I too headed home.  As I drove back down The Boulevard I thought to myself how odd this all was.  I mean, I got a boob picture the day after I met her, so I figured that I would at least get a kiss on the first date.  Maybe even some tongue.  I wondered what to do with the rest of my evening and I thought about reading.  “There’s a Barnes and Noble just up the street,” I thought to myself.  “Maybe I’ll go look for a book…”

J.R.

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