“It’s my birthday next weekend, so come out to dinner with me and we’ll talk wedding,” my married friend ‘Rosa’ enthuses. “And,” she says darkly, “I want to see the ring.”
I arrive at her birthday dinner in Little Tokyo all shiny and bright and new. I glow as I glide over to her birthday party sitting in the middle of the restaurant. I came to the party late (for late night drinks and dessert) so the party is at that point where the men and women have separated and are now having their own personal conversations. I sail over to Rosa and the girls. There is a cacophony of seal barks and dolphin squeals when they see the engagement ring. “How did he ask?!” bark. “Oh, it’s so pretty!” squeal. Blah blah blah blah.
The conversation changes and in quiet, I ask Rosa if she can be my running partner for my newest upcoming race. “Oh!” She loudly laughs. (She’s loud because she’s a happy drunk birthday girl.) “You should ask Youssouf, he’s the one who got me into marathon running anyway.” She lackadaisically waves her hand, indicating the gentleman sitting directly to my left whom I have been ignoring since I was entertaining the circus of sea mammals in front of me.
Youssouf… is GORGEOUS.
He had been deep in the guy conversation but now, after hearing his name, he twists in his seat and his thick eyelash ringed eyes now rests merrily on me. “Hi,” Barry White’s voice drifts out of his mouth and onto my astonished face. “So you run?” He leans in, a hint of a smile playing on his lips.
Oh Jesus on a pogo stick! What to do? My hormones are stirred!
“Yes,” I purr, “Yes I do.” Meow meow meow.
And somehow, as we flirt over running, commuter biking, taking the metro train, him being Moroccan and not Egyptian, writing and the pain/joy of it; my left hand with that prized engagement ring that has caused grown women to transform into Sea World characters, that same left hand has somehow dropped into my lap, never to be seen again.
Bad on me for having had the ring resized! Now I can’t easily slip it off and transfer it to my right hand! It’s adhered there, stuck, like a huge sign that says, “Don’t flirt with me! I’m claimed! Like an auctioned animal, I am to be picked up by my new owner after the County Fair is over! Moo!!!”
No no no!!!!! This isn’t right! Why isn’t my man walking around with a sparkly diamond ball and chain?! I see tradition laughing in my face, “Ha ha! You wanted the ring and now that you have it, you can never flirt ever AGAAAAAAAAIN, you cock TEEEAAAAASSSSSSE!!!!”
“So… you live where?” Youssouf -the tasty Morraccan cougar snack- has now walked me to my car. (Err, it’s actually my boyfriend’s car… he lent it to me so I could save on gas.) The party is over and all crowds have dispersed.
I sigh. I brush the hair away from my face with my left hand at last. The diamond sparkles under the single street light. “Too far for us to be regular running partners,” I apologetically offer as I close the car door.