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Confessions of a Serial Dater
By Michelle Cunnah
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Michelle Cunnah
All right reserved.
The Profiterole Problem
Sometimes, I wish I were a turtle. Amongst their many other fine qualities, turtles can breathe through their asses, which would be a pretty handy fail-safe ability to possess, especially when facing death by asphyxiation . . .
On the downside, I would be hunted or accidentally killed to the point of species extinction, which is not great at all. But at least I wouldn't have to sit through dinner with Jonathan's godawful boss . . .
"This bloody country is going down the toilet," Horrible Boss booms to the dinner table at large, his jowly face flushed with indignance and too much brandy.
Normally, I am Rosie the Calm, the Organized, the Mildtempered, the Reliable, the Logical, but after two minutes in this man's presence I am goaded beyond reason to change the habits of a lifetime.
I am sorely tempted to poke him with the heel of one of my shoes, which are too tight and are greatly adding to my general state of misery. It could be an interesting experiment to see if my pointy heel would deflate some of his pompous, self-righteous bigotry.
Trust me, I do not possess homicidal maniac tendencies, but deflation by shoe heel is a nice fantasy. . . . Can you imagine the mess Horrible Boss would make if he did explode? Tempting . . . but think of the cleanup job and additional work it would cause for the hotel staff. I'd never do that to them.
I push off my pinchy shoes under the dinner table just as my boyfriend, Jonathan, gives my free hand a friendly squeeze and smiles his charming smile at me.
My heart does a little skip, and this reminds me why I am here. To radiate the "right" company image for Jonathan. I squeeze Jonathan's hand in response. It's not as if he makes a habit of torturing me with Horrible Boss, after all, and now that my feet are liberated, I'm already feeling a million times better. My toes have blood circulating around them again, which is always a good thing.
Jonathan's smile widens in a way that says "later," because Friday night he always stays over at my place, and I shiver just a bit. Jonathan's "later" is of the very, very good variety-- not exactly earthquakes good, but let's just say that the bedside table has been known to tremble ...
I pin a vacuous smile on my face and reach for my wineglass. In the hope of creating the "right" image, I am practically channeling "perfect company wife" vibes. And although the company at the table might be awful, at least the woodsmoked Merlot has a lot of personality. So I decide to drink a little more.
As I raise my glass to my lips, I have this really odd feeling that someone is watching me. I've been having this feeling all evening. I'm sure I'm not imagining it.
I glance furtively around the room. And freeze midsip as I nearly lock eyes with a man at the next table. As soon as he realizes I've caught him, he looks back to his companion. His exquisite, blond companion.
He's to-die-for gorgeous, and I mean that in a very dangerous, endearing kind of way. The kind of gorgeous women line up for to get their hearts broken by. And although I am not immune to a bit of male flattery, I just don't get why he's staring at me. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than okay with my body image. I know I don't resemble the back end of a bus, but I would never get mistaken for a supermodel.
Not that I'm remotely interested in him: It's just a way of passing time and phasing out Horrible Boss. . . .
Of course, Horrible Boss isn't really called Horrible Boss. He's Sidney Smythe-Lawrence, CEO of Jonathan's company. But I call him that in private, because he is one of the most obnoxious people I have ever met.
I clamp my mouth shut and fasten my attention firmly on the dessert course before I can say something rude, thereby ruining the evening for Jonathan and my fellow diners. Of course, I would never do anything like that ...
Oh, great -- profiteroles. I love profiteroles. All that lovely cream encapsulated in mouthwatering pastry, and dripping with chocolate. But they're just so hard to eat. I mean, one profiterole is just too big to scoop up and push into your mouth. If I were at home, I'd do exactly that, but it's not really the kind of thing you can do at a Christmas fund-raiser in a posh hotel ballroom full of posh people, is it?
"I'll tell you what's wrong with this country," Horrible Boss booms again.
Oh, please don't, I think but don't say ...
Excerpted from Confessions of a Serial Dater by Michelle Cunnah Copyright © 2005 by Michelle Cunnah. Excerpted by permission.
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