The Literary Girlfriend: The Bluff
After a week of busting through relationship milestones way too quickly (spending the night, moving in together, and settling into a routine), Danielle and I decided she was going to start meeting some of my friends. Even though Danielle was eager to meet my friends, she didn’t think I was ready to meet hers yet. According to Danielle, my friends were probably safer to meet than hers. That probably wasn’t a good sign, but I figured I could deal with that issue later.
First up were Kirk and his girlfriend Linda. Kirk had been a college roommate, and we both ended up moving into the same city after we had graduated. Kirk had been dating Linda for a few months, but Linda was taking things very slowly (supposedly for religious reasons), and Kirk was getting antsy.
Before we had gotten girlfriends, Kirk and I would go to a local college’s home football games. The games were cheap and entertaining, and they usually started in the late morning, and we could hit the sports bars later to watch the late afternoon and night games too. That was, if Kirk’s girlfriend Linda wasn’t having him go to art museums or something cultured.
I had told Kirk that I was bringing a date, but I hadn’t said much about her. Eager to make a good first impression, Danielle wore her glasses but let her hair down. She had a university jacket even though she never went to college, and when I asked her why she had a jacket (it was probably a tacky question), she said a friend had given it to her. Once she put her college jacket on, she looked like an eye-turning co-ed. I was okay with that.
Despite Danielle’s unpredictable nature, I wasn’t worried about how this meeting would go. Yeah, Danielle had walked bra-less into the laundry room while wearing a tight t-shirt when I first saw her. Yeah, she had asked to share a dryer with me when we were strangers. Yeah, she had coughed like an old man in the library, eaten corn chips really loudly in the library, and fake sneezed really loudly in the library. Yeah, she had a history of wearing really tight and revealing clothes in public.
But recently, she had behaved herself. She still walked around bra-less in tight t-shirts in our apartment, but there was no way I wanted her to stop doing that. And as long as Danielle had on the thick glasses and carried my copy of Sense and Sensibility, she seemed to have more self-restraint in public.
Once we entered the stadium, Kirk and Linda waved to us from their lower deck seats near the 20 yard line. We had to scoot past a few strangers who were already seated. Danielle slid gracefully past them, and I almost stumbled over somebody’s foot. By the time I started to introduce Danielle to Kirk and Linda, she was already talking to them.
“Sorry we’re late,” Danielle said. “Jimmy let me oversleep.”
Before anybody could respond, Danielle introduced herself. She complimented Linda’s earrings and asked where she had gotten them. She asked them if they had been waiting long. While Danielle was talking, Kirk was trying to check Danielle out, but Linda’s eyes kept darting back to him. Poor Kirk, I thought. If Linda wouldn’t spend the night with him, the least she could do was let him check out my girlfriend.
Before Kirk could determine what kind of body Danielle had underneath that jacket, she had sat down next to Linda on my left, so Kirk reluctantly sat next to me on my right. Danielle had taken his seat, but he wasn’t going to say anything about it.
While Danielle talked, Linda eyed the university jacket. “You go to school here?” Linda asked.
“No, I just have the jacket,” Danielle said in a light tone so that it didn’t sound sarcastic.
“What do you do?” Linda asked.
“Nothing,” Danielle said. “I’m… deciding what I’m going to do.”
Linda paused. “So you don’t work or go to school?”
Both Kirk and Linda stared at Danielle. I knew they wanted to ask her more questions (like how she paid for stuff), but they probably didn’t want to be rude. Kirk kept leaning forward to hear.
After a kind of awkward pause, Linda asked, “Where did you meet?”
“The library,” Danielle said, making eye contact with me. “I could tell he was shy. I had to corner him just to get him to talk to me.”
“That sounds like Jimmy,” Kirk said.
“The library,” Linda said, leaning forward.
“I was returning Interview with a Vampire, and Jimmy checked out some big book written by a dick.”
“Tom Clancy,” I said.
“He looks like a dick,” Danielle said.
“You read Interview with the Vampire?” Linda asked.
“I didn’t finish it. It sucked.”
“Finally!” Linda said with a smile. “Somebody else agrees with me. I don’t get what everybody sees in it.”
“I just started Sense and Sensibility,” Danielle said, pulling out the paperback from her giant bag/purse.
Oh no, I thought.
“Now that’s a great book,” Linda said.
Kirk clenched his fists. “You don’t bring books to a football game.”
“I’m not going to read it here,” Danielle said. “I like football.”
Kirk’s mouth hung open a little. “Then why bring the…?” But nobody was listening to him anymore.
“What do you think of it?” Linda asked Danielle.
Uh oh, I thought again. This was the first time that anybody had questioned Danielle about Sense and Sensibility. I knew she hadn’t really read much of it. She was only pretending to read it. I had warned Danielle not to mention Sense and Sensibility to Linda, that Linda was the type of person that might cross-examine her if she mentioned it. I had warned her, and Danielle had gone and brought it up anyway. When you only pretend to read a book, you run the risk of somebody figuring it out, and Danielle had just put herself in that situation. I wanted to interject or cause a distraction, but everything was happening too quickly. I didn’t have any drinks to spill, and even if I did, I was curious how Danielle would handle the situation. Danielle was going to have to bluff her way out of this herself. She was on her own.
To be continued in… The Literary Girlfriend: The Bluff, Part 2
And to read “The Literary Girlfriend” from the beginning, start here.