Robyn just posted a recent sonogram as her FaceBook photo. I decide to ring her and we meet for an impromptu picnic in the park. Something we both have shirked since I left the firm we sold our souls for. It was high time for some herbal Honest Teas, huge hoagies from Saigon Sandwiches coupled with Sprinkles’ vegan red velvety goodness.
“How’s what’s-his-face?” Her affection for a particular man-in-my-life zeroes in the second we meet up.
“We’re good.” I struggle with the Built NY bags as Robyn smooths the blankets on the still dewy grass.
“Just good? You two were inseparable last time I saw you guys.” She needles. Nothing escapes this woman. Her seventh-sense is always spot-on.
“Eh, you know. Growing pains.” I’m no good when it comes to being nonchalant.
“What’s THAT supposed to mean?” I feign offense. We’re cronies. We’re past pretenses, but it doesn’t hurt to act hurt once in a while. Keeps us from tip-toeing our way through each others’ lives.
“Nothing.” Her eyes dart to the way my fingers fiddle with the loose button on my cardigan. “You know when I met my husband, right?”
“When you went online.” I still have trouble piecing together what she’s driving at.
“Yes AND no.” She pinches my nose playfully. I grimace. She caught me wrinkling it again. Key word. WRINKLE. She has none, and insists it’s because she’s met her soul’s mate. “Yes. I met him online. No, that’s not what I meant.”
I look at her blankly. She giggles. “I mean to say, it’s good that you and what’s-his-face are not so hunky-dory.” She’s resorted to riddles. I sigh. Loudly.
“The day I lost ALL my guy friends, was the day I met MY guy.”
“Huh?” I swipe my pinky against the pseudo cream-cheesy goodness of the vegan cupcake. Robyn’s deciding to slam dairy during her pregnancy still eludes me, but I’m game for trying new ways of tricking my tastebuds into thinking they’re being sated.
“Look, I know you’ve got a ton of buddies that have your back. There’s nothing wrong with your band of bros. I just think it’s great timing for you to concentrate on you moving past [the EX-factor].” She’s chattering really quickly now. I’m certain she’s been dying to get this off her chest. “What’s-his-face is the best of the bunch. I know that. You know that. We all have known this.”
“So what’s your point?” I’m edgy. The cupcake is not cutting it. I reach for a Vietnamese sandwich. Robyn’s usually succinct. It’s not characteristic for her to circumvent conversational shrubbery. I bite down hard into my hoagie. She follows suit. We sit silent for a split second. Then it begins.
“I”m just saying. I’m glad what’s-his-face is giving you room now to meet the man-of-your-dreams.”
“Say what?” I’m puzzled. If memory serves me correctly, a few years back, I couldn’t get Robyn off my back about how my best bud and I were meant to be Plato’s picture perfect definition of soulmates.
“Emotional space.” Prompt replies are Robyn’s forte. “It’s prime relationship real estate. Own it. Stop letting what’s-his-face lease it with 0% APR.”
We both sip our teas in silence. Staring at the boats slide lazily across the Bay.
“Should I let what’s-his-face know?” My best bud balked the last time we spoke of my perusing internet dating. That particular conversation is partially to blame for the “[emotional] space between.”
“You’re no longer renting, hon.” I know this. “It’s time to buy.”