Helen sat at the restaurant table while she waited for her blind date to arrive. Tearing her napkin into more shredded pieces, she looked at her drink and wondered if she should get another one. She didn’t want to have too many, but if Travis Stone’s tardiness was any indication of how the evening was going to continue, she just might need to have another. How did she ever let Lisa talk her into this? Lisa was an old friend from college — a married friend that since the day of her engagement believed everyone should be in a relationship as fulfilling as her own. Of course it was easy for Lisa to be so happy, she had found Ben — perfect Ben with whom all men paled in comparison, or so Helen was beginning to think.
Looking down at her watch, she let out a groan, another five minutes had passed and still no sign of Travis. What was Lisa even thinking setting her up with a man who didn’t even have the decency to show up on time? Or even call her to let her know he would be late? Helen leaned back in the chair and looked around the restaurant. Today had not been a good day and it was looking as though the night wouldn’t get any better. After spilling her coffee down her shirt, jamming the copy machine, and burning popcorn in the microwave, she had unfortunately walked into a coworker’s office while he and a few others were having a conversation she wished she hadn’t heard. Desiring nothing more than to rip her own ears off, she stared at them for a moment, said nothing, and walked out. Seeing faces red with embarrassment had always been hilarious to her, except for when it was her own.
It wasn’t really that out of the ordinary for something like that to happen — out of the sixteen people in her office she was the only woman. Her friends often asked if she ever felt out of place there, but the truth was she never did. Sure she still had to put the toilet seat down every time she went into the restroom. And in case of a female emergency, she certainly couldn’t ask any of them if they had an extra tampon – which if they did, it would be disturbing on a number of levels and she probably wouldn’t take it from them anyways.
Checking her watch again, she realized that Travis was now over twenty-five minutes late. Feeling angry and foolish, she paid for her drink and walked out to her car. A shiny new black BMW with a familiar license plate was parked next to her, causing her to let out yet another groan. Super, she thought, looking at her boss’s car. She tried to remember the other patrons in the restaurant, hoping that if he was there, he hadn’t seen thatshe was stood up. They all knew she had a blind date tonight, and she knew what would happen. Contrary to what men like to say, they do in fact enjoy gossip and can pass it around an office faster than a pack of high school cheerleaders at prom.