I’ve never been able to relax around attractive people – somehow I blurt crazy cat-lady anecdotes or laugh like a hyena at their bad jokes. But I do try to behave like someone with social skills.
For example, at the local cafe is a gorgeous creature – one who could be carved from the marble of Mt Olympus and set here on Earth to remind us mere mortals that the Gods are spiteful. Worse, the man-god is as charming as he is attractive and I can’t help but feel just a little giddy in his presence.
Last week I went for coffee with my friend, Beth, so I could drool politely in our corner of the cafe. I knew he was on shift by the amount of women cramming the tables.
“Meg! So good to see you!” He approached our table with a dazzling smile.
“Uh, yeah, you too I guess,” I managed. “Would you like to see my latest cat photos? Or maybe the ones I took of a kangaroo last night? It pooped right on the driveway! Wish I got a photo of that one, let me tell you, heh, heh… The kangaroo, not the poop.” I wiped my hands on my serviette. ” Well, you know what I mean. Heh, heh.”
“Thanks so much, but I’ve got to get to work. These tables won’t wait themselves! I’m sure they’re great though,” he said with his smile faltering only a little. “The usual?”
“Yes they usually are.”
“Oh, I just said they usually are.”
“Yeah, I got that bit. What usually are?”
“I’m not sure now. The cat photos maybe?”
He looked at me, his delicate brow furrowing in the cutest way. My face blazed with heat. I knew I’d said something stupid, but I wasn’t quite sure what.
“So…” he said, “Shall I just go get your usual order today, Meg? Or are you just here to share your latest photos?”
I laughed – sort of like a hyena bark that tapered into a snort.
“The usual would be fine,” said Beth, elbowing me in the ribs. “And I’ll have a latte.”
We watched his tight jeans disappear into the servery area.
“You know he does it on purpose,” said Beth.
“Does what on purpose?”
“You’re confusing me,” I said. “He’s delightful.”
“He’s not delightful. He’s cute and he knows it. And he knows you know it. And he uses it to his advantage.”
She arched her eyebrow. “Really? Want me to prove it to you?”
I nodded carefully and she dragged me out of the chair. I crept quietly behind her to the niche beside the servery where man-god was prepping our coffee. A waitress glided up behind him and asked, “How long?”
“Twelve seconds. A new record so pay up, Sweets.” She smiled and placed a five-dollar note in his pocket.
“Next time,” she said. “I’ll pick a harder one for you. Meg’s too easy – she blushes with very little provocation.”
Huh? I turned back to my friend, whose smile said, I’ve tried to warn you…but I’m here if you need to cry.
We returned to our seat and before long, man-imp sashayed over with our drinks.
“Mocha with extra cream, just how you like it,” he said. And winked. How could I have ever thought this guy was cute?
“Thanks,” I said. “But maybe next time no cheese.”
“Yeah, those cheesy lines you use to get women to blush.”
It was his turn to be flushed with a delicate crimson hue.
I turned to Beth. “Only eight seconds. Pay up, Sweets.”
She smiled and put a five dollar note on the table.
And we’ve found a new cafe down the road. One where there’s a woman behind the counter who calls me liebchen and pushes danish at me.
Who needs handsome when you can have cake?