Chapter 16 opens with some domestic bliss:
As the week went on, Hubert and I fell into a morning routine. I was never sure what time he woke up, but by the time I came downstairs, coffee was made, breakfast was underway, and the daily newspaper was next to my place at the table […]
“Can’t run an engine without fuel,” he said […] Previously, my engine had run just fine on cereal and milk.
They make such a cute couple, don’t they? Except for the part where she’s a horrible person.
She’s not alone, apparently. I guess we’re supposed to dislike this Drew character:
[Drew had] shown up for work on Tuesday, entirely forgetting he’d called in sick the day before. When Mrs K. asked if he was feeling better, the question puzzled him. Later he let it slip that he’d been up north hiking with his girlfriend.
I’m going to guess we never (or rarely) see this guy again. Just one more minor character for Lola to bitch about.
We jump ahead to Thursday, though not without another digression so Lola can show off how un-domestic she is:
“I just hung a but load of laundry,” [Piper] said on one occasion. All this and she managed to talk to me too. I imagined her working with the phone wedged between her head and shoulder. Babies are the reason women are experts at multitasking.
Dafuq? What, are they in a nudist colony where only the babies wear clothes? Laundry has to be done every week, even by precious little Lola.
I was sure of it.
Oh, she’s SURE of it, that makes it somehow better and not freakish at all. Seriously, I feel like some sentences were cut there — maybe she’d been feeding the baby and doing laundry AND talking? That seems somewhat impressive I guess?
Anyway, the big drama this week is that Ryan claimed he’d call her later in the week and he hasn’t yet. Don’t worry, though, folks. He made the back-of-book summary so we know he’ll stick around. Lola’s taking it pretty well — she almost managed to be wise for once:
If [Mindy] had to be top dog, I could be a big enough person to let her —
But failed .
“big enough person” being the key phrase here, seeing as how Mindy prided herself on her petite size.
Taste that bitter, bitter resentment.
Piper insists they make up some bogus story about losing Lola’s sunglasses, and Lola says repeatedly that it’s not going to happen. I doubt I’m far off when I suspect it’s going to happen. It’s a dumb plan, though. It reeks of desperation — you shouldn’t make a guy think you’re doing nothing but waiting by the phone, mostly because you shouldn’t BE doing nothing but waiting by the phone, since no guy should be the center of your universe after only one date. I mean, even if he’s the most perfect guy ever, it takes time to adjust to dating, and this guy is not perfect.
“Some guy” calls for Lola! But it’s just Hubert. Calling… to ask Lola out! Holy crap, tell me this doesn’t sound like a date:
“I was wondering if you’d go to this thing with me on Saturday night?” I heard him gulp. “It’s a show I want to go to. I’ve heard good things about it. We could go out to dinner before or after, if you want.”
[snip Lola’s internal monologue]”OK. sounds good.”
“So you can make it? That’s great! It’s kind of a dress-up thing, just so you know. They’re serving wine and cheese.”
Nerves, awkwardness, fancy dress-up thing… yeah, sounds pretty datelike to me. Unfortunately, Hubert isn’t going to be that proactive:
“Let me guess. Kelly is having an exhibit.”
“Not just Kelly,” he said defensively.
Again, Lola’s spot on when she calls this a very bad idea. I think she needs new friends — the one thing she has going for her is her ability to gauge disaster and swerve to avoid it, but her friends seem intent on dragging her headfirst into it.
What can distract from the heartbreak? Babies! Lola and her office mates go over the photo submissions for the Cutest Baby contest. Mrs K offers to hook Hubert up with a rebound date, but Lola’s not buying it:
I shook my head. Hubert and Lindsey? The two names didn’t even sound right together. Lindsey was a fussy-sounding name. She was probably one of those girls who wore high heels with everything, even blue jeans.
Way to judge, Lola.
Mrs K calls out sick — also faking it, apparently, though doing a better job of Drew. Ryan, however, drops by! Oh good, the sunglasses plot didn’t happen. Lola greets him with a hug and the truest thought ever:
So out of character for me, but maybe my character needed some updating.
Maybe indeed. Ryan claims to have lost her number — and that claim, of all the claims in two chapters, she takes at face value. She instantly accepts his invitation for dinner and a movie, and he departs.
Watching his backside as he left, I realized I probably wouldn’t get much work done the rest of the day. Floating on a cloud is very distracting.
I bet he sparkles in sunlight too.
“I don’t think he’s all that great shakes. He looks kind of shifty to me.”
Drew, you are my hero. Don’t ever change.
“Just the way he came in here looking around. It was hugely suspicious. Like he was casing the joint. And why was he wearing that jacket? It’s like sixy-five degrees outside. I’d be wearing shorts if I wasn’t at work.”
“Plus,” Drew said, “what’s the deal with him supposedly losing your number? You’re in the book, and so is Parenting Today. Why would he park his car in the lot, walk through the building, and come down a flight of stairs to talk to you for all of three minutes? It doesn’t make sense.”
Does he weigh more than a duck?
What did Drew know, and why would I listen to a guy who couldn’t even remember calling in sick the Previous Day?
And that’s the end of chapter seventeen. Seriously, can these be equalled out a little?