A good relationship is like your favorite whoopie pie, you know? Sweet, simple and easy. Thing is, what happens when your bakery runs out of the kind of whoopie pie you’ve been enjoyin’ for years? Well, a different flavor can still be good, especially if you’re realistic about your expectations.
There’s this gal, Doris, in my book group. She lost her husband Mike a few years back, and just last fall, she started dippin’ her toe back into the datin’ pool. Boy, that can’t have been easy. But now she’s seeing a nice fella, Gerry, that she met at church. I run into her the other day down to the Busy Bee.
“The weird thing is, Ida, Gerry couldn’t be more different than Mike. Not just looks wise, but in what he likes to do. You know, Mike was a big outdoors guy.”
“Sure. Charlie always said he was a hell of a fisherman.”
“He loved it. But Gerry’s idea of camping? The Marriot.”
“Now we’re talkin’!”
“I know, right? He likes goin’ to movies, out to eat. Treats me nice. Not that Mike didn’t. He just wasn’t much of a talker, is all. And he was what you might call frugal.”
“Sounds like have a nice thing goin’ with Gerry.”
“You know, I do! And to think I turned him down for breakfast that first time. It was after church, and there were a few of us chattin’ in the parkin’ lot. Afterwards, Gerry walked me to my car and asked if I wanted to go get a bite to eat. I don’t know. I kind of panicked. ‘Sorry,’ I said, ‘I have other plans.’ I didn’t, of course. The only thing I had planned was to go home and do a load of laundry.
“But Gerry just smiles and says, ‘Well, how about next week?’ What could I say? I think I was kind of put off at first, ‘cause, you know, Mike was tall and rangy, with that nice head of hair and all.”
“I do. He kind of had the Clint Eastwood thing going, didn’t he?”
“Yeah. And Gerry’s, you know, kind of short and baldin’. He’s not fat, exactly, but he has some meat on him. And that first date, well, it started off a little awkward. I admit it, I was nervous as all get out. He was, too.”
“I don’t blame you.”
“But I had my book with me for book group and he asked me about it (which in and of itself was startling, ‘cause Mike just never expressed interest I that kind of thing).”
“Listen, Charlie doesn’t exactly grill me about what I’m reading, either.”
“Well, I told him the story as far as I’d gotten, and I’ll be darned, he looked interested! Then he told me about the book he was reading. And I think that kind of relaxed us both. Our food came and we kept talking, like you do with a new friend. Just basic stuff, but if felt comfortable, you know? Then he asked me to go to Bangor the next week for dinner and a movie, and I said yes.”
“I’m so happy for you, Doris.”
“I’m happy, too. And trust me, Ida, I didn’t think I was ever goin’ to say that again. I still miss Mike, of course, but the good thing is, me and Gerry can talk about him. And Gerry’s wife, too, ‘cause he’s a widower. And it feels fine. It’s nice to have someone to do things with, right? And we laugh alot.”
“Absolutely, Doris. Good for you! Oh look, I see that Babe just put out some fresh whoopie pies. You want one? My treat.”
“Hard to turn down one of Babe’s famous whoopie pies.”
“What kind do you want. I’m partial to the traditional chocolate.”
“Funny thing, that I used to be my favorite, too, but Gerry’s got me hooked on the gingerbread whoopie pie with the maple cream frostin’. Oh mister man, they’re yummy!”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
May 26: Book Reading Finding Your Inner Moose, Old Town Public Library, 11:00 a.m., Old Town, ME
May 26: Book Reading Finding Your Inner Moose, Pittsfield Public Library, 6:00 p.m., Pittsfield, ME