Sunday, July 11, 2010

BUS STORY # 192 (Flirting)

Red Line at Uptown, originally uploaded by busboy4.

I’m on the Red Line after leaving work. But I’m not getting off at Louisiana to catch the 11 home. I’m going on to Uptown where I have a rendezvous at McAlister’s Deli, a chain restaurant in an outdoors mall of chain stores, less than a hundred yards from the bus stop.

Over the last decade or so, I have become a poor frequenter of malls. And when I eat out, which is not often, I prefer local places, preferably on Fridays after work or during the weekend.

On this work night, I’d rather be going home where I’d be getting into some comfortable clothes and making myself a big salad or, if my wife was home, sitting down to a home-cooked dinner with her.

But my wife isn’t home. I’ve gotten myself involved in a little flirtation, and am headed for Uptown and a rendezvous at McAlister’s instead.

That’s how it is with flirting. The next thing you know, you’re doing something other than the thing you’d normally be more comfortable doing and you’re weighing the trade-offs.

When we were younger and much less married, flirting usually meant staying in rather than going out. But we’re both old enough and have been married long enough that we save the flirting for the not-sure thing.

My wife loves eating out and she loves the chain restaurants. But she also likes eating out with me. So we have settled into a once-a-weekend routine alternating her favorites with my favorites.

It is not the weekend, however, and we ate out at one of her favorites last Saturday. This is what happens when you start flirting around.

As much as she loves eating out, she hates computers. She did not believe in instruments of the devil until computers entered her life both at work and at home. (She also believes they will be the end of civilization as we know it, but that’s another story.)

Having one at home eventually lured her into the wonderful conveniences of email, sharing photos of the grandkids, and Google. But we have a cranky old PC that takes tinkering and forbearance – skills my wife has cultivated for her relationship with her husband but not her computer.

So last month, she went to Uptown and the Apple store where she bought herself a brand new MacBook Pro. She also signed up for classes to learn how to use it.

I’m proud of her. And I’ve made a point of letting her know it.

Of course, I have my own hidden agenda here. I want her to be a happy, competent user of her laptop so there will be less competition for the seat at the PC, and so I won’t have to stop what I’m doing to troubleshoot whatever isn’t working the way she expects it to.

So you might say I started it.

Her first class is today, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The night before, she asked me would I like to meet her after class.

“How would you like to . . . ” “What would you think about . . . ” “How about we . . .” Well, those are as unmistakable as a certain lilt in the voice, a certain arching of the eyebrows, a certain little smile. And, hey, doesn’t “meet me after class” make an old guy feel younger?

We could, she went on, go eat somewhere that has Wi-Fi and she could show me everything she’d learned. It would be a great review for her while it was still fresh, and I’d get to see all the neat things I could be doing if I ever wanted to borrow it . . .

She’s good, isn’t she?

But it’s not like I haven’t done the same thing myself. “How’d you like to go to a concert with me Sunday afternoon? We could walk over to La Provence for dinner afterwards.” And she did. Of course, the package included a piece by a 20th century composer she is not fond of. Oh, and taking the bus from the Park and Ride. But I think she thought it was worth the trade-off.


Blogger JM said...

This is a very sweet post. You two are so good for each other!

7:34 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Aw, thanks, JM.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laughed, I cried. Your wife sounds like a cool person.
and she certainly has a cool husband who has a great way with words.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

=D excellent story to start out the week

9:20 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

@ Anonymous and Heather: Thank you for your kind words.

Anonymous, yes, my wife is a very cool person. I sometimes underestimate just how cool she is, but she always finds a way to surprise me with some new reminder.

10:06 PM  

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