November 1, 2007
I had such a hard-on for Lisa, the secretary in my office. She had an ass you could balance a cocktail on and double-Ds I wanted to bury my face in. She wore tight pants that showed off every curve and she slunk around the office like a panther. I went weak-kneed anytime she brushed past me or touched my arm. Holy shit. I wanted her so badly.
There was just one problem: she was a lot like my oldest sister Kathleen. They both had a predilection for dating musclebound assholes. All their boyfriends looked like they rolled off an assembly line; only their faces changed. So while I was not her physical type, she was definitely mine. I never expected to have a chance with her, but something funny happened. We started talking. Then we went out for coffee. Then we spent an evening on the town.
I was in a daze. She was single. She was spending time with me. Was this really a possibility? I went to my brother Patrick for advice and he told me not to force the issue. “Just keep hanging out with her and see what develops. If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen,” he said.
Seemed like solid advice to me, so I did just that – all while trying my best not to fantasize or overthink. But I was a 22yo virgin and she was a young, hot, nubile 18yo so that proved exceedingly difficult. My imagination went into overdrive, and then I hatched a plot after my last visit with Dad.
This time I was about to poke the beast right in the eye. I called Lisa, told her the plan and asked if she would be my accomplice. Shockingly, she was down for it. We set it up for Saturday evening. When the big night arrived I phoned Dad on my way over to Lisa’s house. I told him I was coming for a visit, and asked him to make sure Grandma was in bed. I said I had news and I didn’t want to give the poor old lady a heart attack.
That piqued his curiosity, and I took Lisa out for ice cream while I let Dad marinate. I felt like a king when we walked into Friendly’s. Look at us! Look at me! Look who I’m with! Holy shit! She took off her coat before we sat down and she was wearing tight-jeans and a body hugging sweater. I suddenly wasn’t sure whether Dad would blow his stack or give me a hi-five.
Before I knew it we were on our way over to his house. I couldn’t believe that she was in my car. I couldn’t believe that she was actually doing this. (Looked like out-of-the-box ideas were a surefire way to get her to spend time with me.) We parked across the street and I took her hand as we headed up the driveway. I knocked on the door. My heart was pounding like crazy.
Dad was working on a puzzle inside, and he peered through the glass for a moment before he opened the door. He looked rather surprised to see me with Lisa. I didn’t tell him I was bringing company. After I made the introductions, we stood there making chitchat before Dad interrupted to ask if we wanted anything to drink. Lisa asked for a water and I for a ginger ale. We sat down on the couch as Dad said he was getting a beer for himself.
“You might want to get two,” I told him as he stumped into the kitchen. As soon as he was out of sight Lisa turned to me and waved her hands excitedly, barely able to contain herself. She thought this was hilarious. When he returned and sat down, I took Lisa’s hand again and told her him that we were expecting a happy event.
“What kind of happy event?” Dad asked, looking nervous. I think he knew what was coming. So I told him that we were three months pregnant.
“Oh,” Dad said. “Oh…well… I… um… that… that’s… oh… erm, well… congratulations!” he stammered, hoisting a painful smile onto his face.
“And that’s why I didn’t want to tell you where I lived, because I thought if you knew we were living together then you’d be upset.” Dad took sighed heavily and agreed. Lisa was doing her best not to disintegrate into fits of laughter next to me.
Dad raised his beer bottle and made a toast, offering us his best wishes. Then he downed his drink in two gulps and quickly went to the kitchen for another. We made more chitchat for the next 10-15 minutes, and despite his good cheer I knew he was slowly dying on the inside. Finally I announced that we had to get going. Dad gave me a hug and Lisa a kiss on the cheek and bid us farewell. He watched us go down the front walk.
While I was tempted to leave on that note, I knew I had to say something. We were almost to the street when I turned and went, “Oh, there’s one more thing…”
“What’s that?” Dad asked.
“APRIL FOOLS!” I yelled, and Lisa and I ran to my car and laughed until we were weak. When our mirth subsided I said this called for a celebratory drink, and I took her back to my place. I was more nervous about getting her alone than I was about telling Dad I knocked her up.
I’d spent the week leading up to this night going apeshit cleaning my apartment. If I succeeded in bringing her back with me, I wanted to make the best impression possible. I repainted everything. I broke out my new bed and comforter set. I vacuumed and scrubbed and organized every inch of the place. Finally, I spent 40 bucks on Grey Goose and cranberry juice cocktail because I knew that was one of her favorite mixed drinks.
That was as far as I planned. When we arrived she went into the kitchen to prepare our adult beverages, and while she was in there I dug through my file cabinet in my bedroom. I’d told her some Dad stories on the way over, and I was trying to find the letter he wrote urging me to boycott my cousin’s wedding. I was still rummaging when I heard her light tread on the carpet. I looked up as she came around the door and walked towards me.
“What are you doing in here, you animal?” she said with a grin. I straightened up and handed her the letter that I’d finally found. Lisa sat down on the corner of my bed to read it, and I tentatively sat down a couple of feet away. My heart was hammering like mad. Was this a signal? Should I make a move? I wanted so much to push her backwards and climb on top of her. And what if I totally misread things? That would be disastrously awkward, considering that we worked together. It was all I could do to maintain my composure.
She shook her head and laughed when she got to the end of the letter. I took it back from her and said, “That’s typical Dad for ya,” as I folded and unfolded it in my hands. We looked at each other for a moment and I quickly sized her up. She didn’t appear to be giving me any come-hither looks, nor was I detecting any vibe suggesting I go in for a kiss.
Patti was the second and last girl I’d been with, and that ended over four years ago. To say I was out of practice was an understatement. But I was fairly confident in my assessment of the situation, so I stood up and said, “C’mon, let’s drink.” I let her walk past me out of the room, mostly so I could ogle her ass on the way out. Damn, son… I silently prayed that I didn’t just let the biggest opportunity of my life leave my bedroom.
We sat at the table drinking and sharing stories. I learned some interesting tidbits about her. First, she mentioned hooking up with a guy the week before, so clearly she had nothing against hooking up. Then she mentioned seeing a married man, so clearly she didn’t believe in monogamy either. I’d be lying if I said that last one wasn’t a bit of a turn off – the idea of potentially stirring another man’s vanilla. And if she was trying to drop a hint that she was sexually open and available, I doubted she’d do so in that manner. I poured myself another drink.
Finally she said she was getting tired and had to go home. We’d been together for four hours and it was getting late. But I tested the waters one last time, just to be sure. “You don’t have to leave,” I said as nonchalantly as possible. “You can stay here…”
“No, that’s okay,” she said.
“… you can sleep on the couch,” I joked. She laughed. But in the end I drove her home, gave her a kiss on the cheek, said good night and sadly watched her go into her house. So close… so close… she was in my apartment… she was on my bed!… but as Patrick said, if it was meant to happen, it would have. At the very least I could pat myself on the back for not doing anything monumentally stupid, as I was wont to do. We continued to talk afterwards, but that was the last time we were ever alone in that capacity.
A few days later I dropped in on Dad to see how he was coping in the aftermath of our visit. It was hilarious. He was in such a state. He said he couldn’t even sleep after we left because he didn’t know which part was supposed to be the joke – that we were pregnant? That we were living together? That we were dating? All of it? I finally straightened him out, and he just shook his head going, “You ass!”
However that wasn’t Dad’s last word on the subject. I must have stirred up old resentments, because a week later he showed up on Shannon’s ex-husband Barry’s doorstep. Dad was ranting as usual, brandishing hospital bills totaling $800. They were from ten years ago when Shannon and Barry’s daughter was born. He flung them at Barry, who picked them up and said he’d pay them. Anything to get rid of Dad.
Jesus. I hoped my juvenile prank hadn’t stirred up a hornet’s nest…