Mother Goat is a writing demon these days heres another installment of the soap opera All that Glitters
Rochelle had met Bernie at a wine tasting party. Well, actually it was Bernie's roommate Scott who she initially spoke with. Scott was wearing a bright yellow Tommy Hilfiger rugby shirt and had just returned from the bathroom. Because she was seated, she noticed the bright yellow shirt tail protruding from his zipper area. Fortunately, she'd had enough to drink, so she walked by him and casually said, "You may want to put the horse back into the barn."
Scott, the handsome pharmacist, said, "What?"
Rochelle turned around and politely tried it again, "Your compact is open, and your lipstick is hanging out. I thought you should know."
Scott's blue eyes narrowed and a snarl curled around his lips, "What are you talking about?"
Bernie looked at his roommate, and slapped Scott's shoulder, "Dude! She's trying to tell you your fly is open."
Scott turned away from Rochelle with reddened cheeks. "I'm sorry. If it were me, I'd want to know. I didn't mean to embarrass you. I wasn't looking at your crotch, but the flash of bright yellow is what caught my attention."
"I'm Bernie! This is Scott. It's not often my pretty boy roommate gets smacked down by women. I, on the other hand, think it's awesome."
Bernie was cute. Certainly not the chiseled good looks of Scott, but definitely nice looking. Rochelle shook Bernie's hand while Scott continued to sulk. Bernie went to the bar and picked up some refills of wine. Scott was on his own. Bernie had noticed Rochelle early in the evening, but she had a forcefield of friends around her. He was waiting for the opportunity to approach her, when the opportunity knocked on his door.
The party was starting to wind down, so they found a table and chairs easily. Bernie poured some water in some glasses for them. "Rochelle, are you from Bozeangeles originally?"
"No. I transferred here eight years ago. I work in the retail rat race, more specifically, retail management. How about you?"
"Marketing. I'm a recent transplant here. It's a tough town to meet people. It's either college students or old people. Where do you meet people our age, give or take five years?" Rochelle sympathized. She remembered that all alone feeling all to well. No one would've known anything was wrong unless she hadn't shown up for work for a few days. It had been an unsettling feeling. She was happy the socializing with sales staff ban had been lifted at work for managers. She had regular girls' night every other Friday.
"Bernie, it is a tough town to crack. If you love the outdoors, Bozeangeles is a great place. There are several hiking, rock climbing, biking, and fly fishing clubs. If you consider yourself a "foodie" there are cooking classes offered through Bridger Kitchens. If you're looking for hole in the wall pubs, we have those here as well. At least you have one friend here, I moved here with two dogs, Jax and Maizey. . . neither hold a intellectual conversation."
Bernie and Rochelle chatted and told jokes until the vacuum roared to life. It was Marcella's subtle east coast way of saying, "We're done. Time for you to leave now." Bernie and Rochelle exchanged phone numbers and tentatively made plans for Friday night.
When Bernie called to confirm three nights later, they agreed he'd pick her up at her home and go to John Bozeangeles' Bistro for dinner. Rochelle had never eaten there but had recently read a nice review of the restaurant, and made the suggestion. Maizey and Jax growled and played in the background. The telephone call was interjected with barking and "Damn it! Stop that Jax! Maizey, bad dog!"
Friday arrived and Bernie arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule. As he walked up the driveway, he did a quick breath check by coughing into his hand and smelling. Nice and minty. His truck was in the shop, so his parents had loaned them their vintage Monte Carlo. All he needed to do was remove the backseat and replace it with a hot tub. The potential for an ultimate party wagon was certainly there. He rang the doorbell and heard dogs barking. Rochelle answered the door. She looked lovely in her black skirt and boots and vixen red cowel neck top. Maizey and Jax barked excitedly. "Hi Bernie, come on in." Let me just put the dogs in the bathroom." Bernie patted the dogs on their heads. Jax sniffed at Bernie's shoes. Maziey trotted after Rochelle and went into the bathroom.
When Rochelle returned, to her horror, she saw Jax wrapped around Bernie's leg, humping it. "Jax! Bad dog!" She grabbed a fly swatter and smacked Jax on the backside. He yelped, growled at Rochelle, then continued sharing his love. Bernie tried to shake his leg free from the more than amorous dog. "Okay Jax, that's enough. Down buddy." The terrier poodle mix wasn't moving. Finally, Rochelle picked Jax up under her arm, and put him in the bathroom. "Bernie, I am so sorry. He's neutered, but still thinks things work. He usually only does it to the Mormon missionaries that stop by on occasion. I let him go to town, because they leave quickly."
Fortunately, Bernie had a good sense of humor. "Well, I've never had that happen on a first date. Now that the awkwardness is done, shall we go have dinner?" He extended his arm to Rochelle. She turned off the light, grabbed her purse and locked the door. "You know Rochelle, I am a pastor's son. Maybe Jax has a thing for religion."
"Bernie, I am so sorry and embarrassed."
"It's okay. I wish I could say it happens all the time, but it doesn't." They both laughed. Bernie opened the car door for Rochelle, as she stepped down into the gutter, her boot heel got caught in the sewer grate, and she did a less than graceful fall, splitting her skirt in the process. "Really??? Really??? Why me??? Why? Who did I piss off in the previous life?"