I’m sure you know at least 2 freakin’ women!!
Beach bum with a taste for cold beer, oysters on-the-half-shell and sunsets, looking for same.
Andrea Conlin exclaimed. She walked over to the table at
the front of the café and dropped the paper on the table.
“Ok little sis, there are some really good ones today, and one in particular has your name all over it.”
Ramona Martin, Remy to friends and family, rolled her eyes. “Jeez Dre, give it up. What in the world makes you think I’d be interested in some loser who has to advertise for a girlfriend.” Remy loved her sister, but her continued attempts at finding Remy a mate were bordering on obsession.
“Besides,” Remy continued, “Don’t you have a coffee bar you should be running?”
Andre threw a glance toward the front counter, “Nah, the new barista seems to have things well in hand.”
Remy smiled as they both watched the stocky woman move with speed and grace behind the counter. And she looks kinda cute in that jacket too.
“Where’d ya find her anyway?” Remy asked.
“In the paper!” her sister snickered.
“Sheesh,.. just what is it with you and the classifieds?” Remy chided.
“Contrary to what you might think, my days are not spent solely trying to find a girl for you. Occasionally I do focus on my own needs!” Dre finished with a grin.
“I didn’t know you were looking for a girl.” Remy teased.
“Oh yeah, Woody would love that! He already calls the café my mistress.
No, actually I was looking for some help so I could spend a bit more time with my poor forgotten husband.
Sophie came with good recommendations from a shop up north, and she’s available pretty when ever I need her. We’ve been doing well enough lately that I can almost give her full time hours.”
At that moment a group of “suits” from the office building next door came in. The sisters watched as the new barista handled order after order without missing a beat.
They snickered, listening in as the customers seemed determined to “out specialize” each other with the complexity of their preferred brews.
Remy and Dre had long ago determined that you could tell the maintenance level of a woman by the length of her order.
One woman had to take a breath half way through her recitation before completing it.
“Shit, she must come with a manual!!” Remy moaned.
Dre snorted coffee through her nose.
“Geez Rem,.. a little warning next time, ‘eh?”
Remy smiled at her sister, “ Ya know,..” she paused, “I could never love a woman who needs more than 3 syllables to order coffee.”
“Ah yes,.. but those extra syllables mean a higher profit margin at the end of the year.”
Picking up the paper, dotted with red circles and stars, Andrea started, “So,.. where were we,.. oh yeah,.. SWF seeks,…..”
The last of the rush taken care of, Sophie looked over at the table where her new boss sat sipping coffee with a lanky woman dressed in board shorts and a tee shirt proudly proclaiming “Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.”
Somehow, I don’t think she’s advertising deodorant.
With a second glance at the taller woman, Sophie smiled and thought,
Hmmm,… Wonder if they want a refill?
Picking up the pot of “house blend” and making her way over to their table, Sophie tried not to stare too much at the casually dressed woman.
As she moved closer to the table, Sophie saw that Andrea was reading something from the paper to the other woman.
“Wait Rem, just one more, it’s totally you,..” Andrea read:
Beach bum with a taste for cold beer, oysters on-the-half-shell and sunsets, looking for same.
“Yeah baby,.. that’s me alright,.. shucking and fuc….mfpfnm!”
Andrea jumped from her seat and shoved a bit of scone in Remy’s mouth,
simultaneously bumping into Sophie and the pot of coffee.
“Jeez Rem!!!! This is a family shop! Keep your voice down!”
“Hey,.. you picked it out! “ Remy defended.
Realizing she’d knocked into someone, Andrea looked over to her new employee, “Are you ok?”
“Uh,.. yeah,..” Sophie replied, a bit shaken up, tho not willing to admit that to her boss. “I’m ok,..I uh seem to have spilled a bit though. I was just coming over to see if you needed a refill.”
Seeing that the woman was a bit rattled, Andrea said, “Here, sit, I’ll get a rag to clean this up,..tho I should make Ramona do it.”
Andrea shot Remy a look meant to freeze water.
“Not my fault,” Remy defended, “I didn’t ask you to read the ads out loud!”
Andrea rolled her eyes.
“Whatever. Look I’m just sayin’,… there’s more to life than just surf and work.”
Andrea looked over at Sophie again, had a small thought, and pulled out a chair. “Sit, I’ll be right back.”
Realizing that the woman had been standing behind the coffee bar for a couple of hours, she offered “Ya know,.. I think it’s about time for your break. Why don’t you take 15, and keep my sister out of trouble for a few minutes. You want something to drink?”
“Uh,.. yeah,.. ok,… how ‘bout a latte?” the barista asked shyly.
“That’s it?,.. Just a Lat-te?” Deliberately drawing out the 2 syllable word, while throwing Remy a look. “Anything for you sis?”
“No,.. I’m good Dre.” Remy replied, mentally rolling her eyes at her sisters implications.
Sophie sat and extended her hand, “Hi I’m Sophie.” Remy smiled, “Hi, I’m Remy, Ramona when Dre is pissed.”
Sophie looked down at what the sisters were reading.
“Oh?” asked Remy.
“Were you reading the personals?”
Remy blushed. “Me?,..No! Not me,.. Uh,..Dre was.”
“Dre was? Ah, I see.” Sophie said.
She looked closer at the circled ads.
Spotting a familiar heading she asked “Did she find anything interesting?”
“Well there was one that caught her attention, she was reading it when you came over.”
“Oh, I was wondering what made her jump up so quickly.”
“Well actually that was more a reaction to my reply than the ad itself.”
“Really? Which ad was it?”
Andrea chose that moment to drop 2 fresh lattes off at the table and sneak Remy a sly wink. Making a circle of the room to make sure all the customers satisfied, she went back to the counter.
After Andrea left their table, Remy proceded to read the ad out loud, when she was done, she looked up to notice Sophia blushing furiously. Remy raised an eyebrow and gave her a questioning look.
“Uh,..” Sophie started, “That’s my ad.”
“Really?” Remy asked, suddenly looking at the woman sitting across from here in an entirely different light.
“Why the ad,.. you don’t seem like,….”
Remy stopped short, realizing she was about to start flossing with shoelaces.
“What I mean is,.. you don’t look like,….”
Remy stopped again. Looking toward the ceiling, she hoped for some type of divine intervention, when she heard Sophie giggle.
“Well, thank you,… I think,…”
Remy nodded shyly.
Sophie explained, “I just relocated down here from Vermont. I don’t really know many people, and I thought this might be a good way to meet someone.”
“Well,” Remy started, “First off, welcome to the gulf coast, but, you should be careful with your ad. You have no idea what kind of loons read these things.”
Sophie looked down at the paper, littered with bright red circles and stars, and then back up at Remy. With a smirk on her face she replied, “Oh, yeah, I know.”
“Wha,.. me?,.. No,.. I don’t mean me,… I wasn’t even reading these,.. it was my sister. Well, no, not that she’s a loon,.. she wasn’t even looking for someone,….”
Sophie took pity on the easily flustered woman. “It’s ok,..” she smiled, “I know what you mean, I appreciate the concern, but don’t worry, I’m pretty good at culling out the weirdo’s.” Sofie waited a beat and then continued, “If you don’t mind my asking,.. why is your straight, married sister reading the woman to woman personals?
Remy sighed, “Ok,… It’s like this, Dre thinks my life will not be complete till I have someone waiting at home for me at the end of the day, besides my dog that is.
I, on the other hand, am quite content with the fact that I can sit out on the beach watching the tides change, and not worry about getting home in time for dinner. Which by the way does NOT have to be at the same time every damn night.
And don’t get me started on the remote control, I’ll NEVER sit thru another inane sit-com again. ”
Sophie watched Remy become more animated as she rattled off a mini manifesto of reasons for not being interested in the personals. Whoa,.. wonder what her ex was like?
“Uh,.. ok.” Sophie acknowledged.
Remy, realizing that she was at the beginnings of a rant, took a breath, “Look I’m sorry. I just get frustrated with the whole thing, ya know? I mean relationships are fine, but not at the expense of ones own autonomy, ya know?”
“Actually, yeah,.. I do know. That’s kind of why I’m sitting down here in your sisters coffee shop instead of the family business in Vermont. Well that and the fact that I don’t like having to worry about digging my car out of snow drifts between November and March.” She grinned.
“The family business?” Remy questioned?
“Uh, yeah, my family owns a small chain of coffee shops up in New England.” Sophie began.
Remy’s eyes widened at the revelation.
“My brothers each manage several shops. My ex and I had moved to Burlington, and in keeping with family tradition, were to open the next in the family chain,. There were only 2 problems with the plan. I couldn’t stand the thought of one more winter season in New England , or with my ex girlfriend.”
“Ah.” Ex girlfriend? Remy wondered. “So, I’m guessing she didn’t move down south too?”
“Uh, no,… actually, she stayed in Vermont, and about now should be right smack in the middle of staffing the new coffee shop,… with my brother Josh.” Sophie didn’t sound to bitter with this statement, so Remy asked,… “Your ex and your brother are opening a shop together?”
“Yeah, well it seems she was more interested in the family business than in me. And when I told everyone of my plans to move down here, well Josh wasted no time in asking Genna to join him in running the new shop.
The day I moved south, she moved in with him. From what I’ve heard they’re very content together.”
“Wow,.. gee,… I’m sorry,…. ”
“Oh, don’t be sorry.” Sophie interrupted, “I’m more than glad to be out of the relationship, my brother is happy cuz he’s had a thing for Genna since I first introduced ‘em, and the family is happy cuz the next shop will open on schedule.
What about you, Remy wondered, are you happy?
“Ya know,..” Sophie continued, “I used to wonder if Genna wasn’t with me to get to my little brother and the business, but, that’s his problem now, ‘eh?” She said with a smile. Looking Remy in the eye, she asked point blank,
“So, what about you, what’s your story?”
“Well,” Remy thought before she answered,… “I’ve been single for a few years now. Content with my life, and not really lookin to change the status quo. Ya know?”
Sophie nodded for her to continue.
“Dre and Woody got married about a year ago, and for last few months she’s been after me to‘expand my world’ as she puts it. She thinks that everyone should enjoy the ‘completeness of finding one’s life partner’.” Remy flashed a mock wince and continued, “Hence the daily reading of the personals. She can read ‘em all she wants, but I really have no intention of answering any of ‘em. My world is pretty fine just the way it is.” Remy produced a smile that spoke of more hope than her satiric reply implied.
At that moment, the bell over the door rang, and a small group of customers entered the shop. Sophie looked up just as Andrea was looking toward her. Nodding her head to show she was on her way, she stood up and told Remy that she had to go back to work.
Remy acknowledged with a smile and a nod, and leaned back into her chair to think about the impromptu conversation that had just taken place.
Remy thought about the barista, pulling up stakes from what appeared to be a lucrative settling, and relocating to the small beach community. And what about that girlfriend, she thought, I’m sure there’s more there than meets the eye.
She realized that after a few minutes, she knew more of Sophie, than Sophie knew about her. She was impressed by the woman’s adventurous streak, her willingness to talk about herself, and daring in placing a personal ad. She also realized that she wouldn’t mind knowing a bit more about the woman. Hmm,.. what’s that about? She wondered.
Making a decision, she settled back to enjoy the remains of her latte.
With patrons now sated, Andrea strolled over to Remy’s table. “So sis,.. am I gonna get you married off any time soon? She’s cute, has a brain, and a simple coffee order to boot! Seems ideal,..’eh? And she’s got a bit of meat on her bones too, just the way you like ‘em.”
“Oh good god Dre,.. can’t I spend a few minutes in conversation without you calling a justice of the peace?”
“Actually, no Remy,.. YOU can’t. Given the fact that anyone outside of family has to pry words out of your mouth with a crowbar, I’d call 15 minutes of more than ‘yep, nope, and cool’ cause for celebration!”
“Yeah well,… this really outta throw you into cardiac arrest then, I’m thinking of askin’ her out, just to talk a little more,.. nothin’ serious,.. but she seems really cool, and I’d like to know more about her.”
“No shit!” Andrea exclaimed, “Well damn,.. that’s cool,.. I can’t wait to tell Woody. He loves ya but I think he’s done being you only weekend fishing companion.”
“Woody doesn’t like our trips?” Remy started to pout.
“No honey,” Andrea added quickly, “He loves spending time with you, he and I both just really want you to try and find other companionship besides family. Speaking of which, do you think that you might actually open up a bit and talk to this girl, it’d really be great to see you get a bit more involved with someone,.. ya know?”
“S’okay Dre, I kinda know what ya mean, it’s just that I’ve gotten used to being accountable to only myself. I just really hated what I went thru Lonnie.”
Andrea got up and pulled her chair around to her sister. Sitting down she put her arm around her shoulders and gave her a light hug. “It’s ok sis. Not every woman you meet is gonna turn into an obsessive compulsive control freak.”
“Geez, Dre,.. don’t hold back,.. tell me how you really feel.”
“You know what I mean. Just because Lonnie needed to hold like a boa constrictor with cramps, doesn’t mean that every woman will behave the same, as a matter of fact, Sophie seems just the opposite, she’s really up front about things and very casual. Nothing seems to rattle her, just look at her when she’s running the bar. I mean, Little Miss ‘I come with a manual’ didn’t even shake her!”
“Yeah,” Remy agreed, “She does seem cool and collected, but not in a ‘I’m controlling everything’ kinda way.”
And here’s something you’ll get a kick out of,… one of these personal ads is hers!” Remy snickered.
“What? No way, which one?”
“The beach bum one.”
“Shucking and, uh,.. you know?” Andrea said in astonishment.
“Yeah,” Remy laughed,… “That’s her!”
“Oh my god Rem, it really is a sign, don’t cha think?”
“Well we’ll see if she agrees to go to dinner with me, and then maybe out to the point to watch the sunset,.. ya know?”
“Oooh,” Andrea cooed, “that sounds sweet, but you better stay away from the oysters on the first date.” She warned in an older sister tone.
“No worries sis,.. I’m just workin’ on that whole ‘talk’ thing. Speaking of which,.. I gotta go but I wanna ask her out before I leave.”
“Go ahead,.. I’ll keep an eye on things so you’ve got her full attention.”
Remy sauntered over to the counter, trying to look more casual than she felt. Sophie watched Remy walk head to the espresso bar, and wondered at the possibility of asking the tall woman out. Then again, given her candor about liking her single life, perhaps not.
“Hey, uh, Sophie, would you like to get something to eat tonight after my slave driver of a sister lets you off for the night? I know this great little Tiki bar down by the water, they’ve got a great seafood menu and some excellent beer on tap.”
With a smile Sophie replied “Sure! Do they have oysters?”
Andrea, who’d been listening at the other end of the counter laughed out loud, Remy just blushed.
That night at home, Andrea told Woody the news of the day regarding Remy and Sophie.
She finished by reading him the personal ad.
“Cool!!” Woody exclaimed. “Shucking and fuc…mnfphmf”