Amygdala and Carybdis

I go to a birthday dinner for a friend of a friend. She’s a super nice lady and we’re acquaintances, having done the movies and dinner and parties as part of a group. After moping around all week, I feel as though I need to get out and join society again, so I pick up a Starbucks gift card and commit to the dinner.

I try to dress for dinner, but nothing I own fits anymore. Have I mentioned how much I hate shopping? I end up belting a pair of capri jeans, and, then I have to roll the waistband over the belt. At least they stay on my hips. I wear an old, bright green, sleeveless Polo button down that manages to cover up my haphazard alterations and slip my brown sandals on my feet. I’m ready to jam.

We agree to meet at Red Mesa, and it turns out to be a party of seven. Four women besides the birthday girl, and a younger man who is with his mother, a yoga instructor I’ve met on occasion. The man’s name is Scott, and we end up sitting next to each other, something I suspect he engineered. I’m definitely getting the vibe.

I look at him a little closer. He’s not bad looking. He obviously has a good relationship with his mother to be here with her instead of out with guys his own age on a Friday night. I decide to go with it.

“What are you ordering?” I ask him.

“I’m having the steak,” he answers. “You?”

“The salmon.”

“That sounds good, too. How do you know Becca?” he asks.

“Friend of a friend. You?”

“The same.”

When our entrees arrive, we share. It’s been my experience that sharing food with a man, if you’re a woman, seems to make the man feel like they are closer to you. I’m sure it’s some amygdala thing that dates back to when men had to go hunt for food and bring it home to their women.

We get around to talking about work, and here’s where things go south. He tells me he works in a warehouse where he’s the best worker. Something about his facial expressions makes think he’s joking. Well, to be honest, it’s a combination of his facial expressions, his mother’s diamonds, and the fact that I know his trainer and just how much she charges. So, I laugh. He tells me what he does for work and I laugh. Slick, huh?

Then I see that he’s serious, and I stop laughing. I look again at his mother, and the thought that creeps into my mind is that he may, in fact, be a little slow.

He doesn’t seem to mind that I’m laughing at him. In fact, I think he’s even more into me.

On the way home, I drive by The Winghouse, and I swear that the man standing on the deck outside with his back to me looks just like Jack.

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