Being nineteen years old and just coming out of the closet, I was on a ‘dating spree’. Due to the fact that my appearance is not stereotypical of what people think a lesbian should look like, I had no gay friends, nor knew anyone who was ‘gay’. I had no source of networking, and to imagine, NO INTERNET!
I decided to put an ad in the newspaper. It drew in a few people who sounded a bit rough around the edges, and some that you really couldn’t quite figure out. The newspaper that I put the ad in was a bit north from me. If anyone knows New York, the more north you go, the more hillbillies with bad mullets are found. Believe me.
At that time, I was working in a warehouse as a pick-packer. Shut up. I had my share of trades back then. I spoke to one girl the night before, who sounded so pleasant on the phone. She has this soft angel-like voice, and she sounded as though she had a head on her shoulders, as well as a personality. I already liked her. We planned to meet up the following evening—which was on a Friday night. After speaking to her for two whole hours on the phone, I gave her my work number so she can let me know if she can’t make it.
While piling a mound of peanuts in a shipping box at work, the loud speaker blared throughout the warehouse.
“Debbie, pick up line three please! Debbie, pick up line three.”
My friend Carmella who worked along side of me shot me a look, because I never received phone calls at work.
“What, is mama calling you, Deb?”
“Shut up.” I said, walking over to the phone in the back. She knew I was single, and living at home, so she didn’t think that anyone would be calling me.
To my surprise, it was ‘her’…Janine. She called to just tell me she was excited to meet me. I was happy she called, and very nervous at the same time. She asked if we could meet at this restaurant up near her, which was only a thirty minute ride—so I agreed. We were going to meet at this Polynesian restaurant that was really good…They served this delicious ‘pu pu platter’---those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s basically a lazy susan filled with sweet honey wings, baby ribs, steak tips, fried shrimp and other goodies. In the center of this huge platter is a torch in the middle, with a big flame. You can heat up anything that gets a bit too cold for you. The ambience is also an added touch.
The best feature? The Scorpions! No, not the ‘real deal’---the drinks! They had these crazy drinks over there, like the Blue Hawaii, Mai Thais and other colorful and tasty cocktails. These drinks knock you right on your arse!
I pull up to the parking lot. I wait there for about ten minutes. Out of nowhere, I hear a knock on my window. I always have this proclivity for expecting a nice voice to go with a very attractive girl. I always expect the best when I hear a beautiful voice at the end of the line, hoping she is exactly how she sounds. The voice on the other end of my line was sweet, cute, possibly very sexy and absolutely stunning.
What was knocking on my window?
A woman who seemed to have a rough life. I saw it though her face. I saw the lines of distress on her face and her eyes seemed to have a yellow hue to them; as though she may have had a liver problem. I look for health warning signs on people. This woman was not the epitome of health.
I opened my car door to greet her. Even though I was hesitant to get out, I had to be respectful and go through with this date. It was only dinner in a very dark restaurant with lots of potent drinks—so it can’t be that bad, can it?
“Hi! I’m Janine!” She says, as she smiles and reveals absolutely no teeth. Maybe a few in the back, molars maybe? Her front teeth were missing-- I’m talking about three good choppers missing in the front. It was so obvious and such an eyesore. I couldn’t help but stare at first in disbelief.
“Hi, I-I-I’m Debbie.” I reach out to shake her hand. She reached out to give me a big hug. Oh when will the drinks start flowing??? I couldn’t help looking at her. Janine’s hair was very long, stringy, and dirty blonde. It could have been ‘blonde blonde’, but if you don’t wash blonde hair for quite some time, ---well you can figure out the rest. She was so skinny. The girl needed a huge t-bone. Frail and lanky, this woman dressed in acid washed jeans that were up to her neck, and a button up old blouse from 1970, tucked in tightly.
“You don’t mind if my friend drops me off, do you?”
“Huh?” I asked.
“Yeah, I had to get a ride with my friend, because our pick up truck was broken down at the house. Can you drive me home after dinner?”
“Uhh…” Before I can even give her an answer, the car she came in, was driving off onto the highway. Sh*t!!!
“Sure.” What else am I going to say? She tricked me! Now I have to drive her home, and of course the inevitable question of, ‘Do you want to come in’, is definitely a prediction here on my part.
We both walk into the restaurant. I was begging God in the back of my head, “Please God, don’t let me see anyone I know. Please God, don’t let me see anyone I know!”
The waiter in the red tuxedo (yes they wear red tuxedos there) sat us at our table. He sat us at a booth on the far end of the restaurant. Way back—so no one can see you. The restaurant was empty. He may have thought these two are bad for business, sit them in the back…
“Yerr, I’m so happy you came to meet me!” She said, smiling all proud.
“Uhh, yeah, me too. Thanks for coming out.” I said, staring at her yuck mouth trying to figure out if this town had any dentists at all.
“Ya know, I got a husband named Earl. He really thinks it’s cool for me to meet another girl.”
“Earl?” Not knowing she had a husband, but somehow grateful...
“Yeah, his name is Earl.” She said, giggling and smiling at me. She almost reminded me of that whacked out freak on Texas Chainsaw Massacre who was hitchhiking. (The old movie---not the new one) She had that ‘look’ about her. Greasy and deranged. She probably wanted me to come back home and meet grandpa! Oh no! What did I get myself into???
Two huge bowls of Scorpions later (if you know these drinks, you KNOW that I am absolutely tanked up to the gills here) I decided to drive this evil spirit home. It was time, I couldn’t take much more about “Earl” and his broken down pick up truck. I needed an out. I needed to go home and take a very long shower. I felt dirty. I was scared to drive her home in case Leather Face was there to greet me. No! I can’t do it!
If I were sober, I definitely would have called a cab for her. For some odd reason, I felt really bad for Janine. I decided to drive her home. She was only two streets away actually…(which in that area, means about fifteen minutes of a drive)
I pulled up to her house. She lived in an old ranch, with tons of trucks and crap out on her backyard. Her neighbor was…….a strip joint. Nice. Or was it? Were these women who worked there of the same breed? Is it the water? I was morbidly interested in her lifestyle now. Kind of far from where I lived, yet too close, there was a whole different species living here.
“Yerr wanna come in for a beer?” She asked, with that charming smile of hers.
“Uhh, yeah, why the hell not!” I said, chuckling at myself for the massive size that my balls grew into. I couldn’t help it. I had to take a peek at her place and what was inside. Earl wasn’t home yet, and so, I thought it may be safe to see what kind of lifestyle this chicky had.
She opens the door, and I follow behind her. Janine turned on the light, which was on the ceiling. It was basically just a light bulb with a little cover on it, to take away the brightness. There were no other lamps inside to warm the place up. Her couch was very old, ripped up, and the coffee table had tons of old cans of beer, magazines, newspapers, filled to the brim ashtrays and whatever was leftover from last night’s dinner. There was an alarming amount of flies swarming this place. I’m not talking about just a few here and there…this place was infested with them. I got a good work out by just swatting these flies away from me.
“Here, let me give you a tour of my house.”
“A tour?” I said, laughing inside a bit too hard. A tour! This will be all of what?—Ten seconds?
She led me down the hallway, ………….to her bedroom. HA!!! You gotta be kidding me now. She is leading me to her bedroom so soon? Let me tell you- red carpet wall-to-wall and plywood was the main theme to this house. She slowly showed me some things on her dresser. A musical box, a picture of her niece and nephew, and of course, Earl. She was taking her time to show me these uninteresting things, almost as if she was waiting for something to happen.
Oh Lord what have I gotten myself into?
“Hey!” A very loud man’s voice came from within the hallway.
“Earl! Meet my friend Debbie!”
“Hey girl, what’s up?” He says, reaching out to shake my hand.
“Hey Earl!” I said back, trying to fit in and be ‘okay’ with this set up I found myself in.
“Come have a beer!” He says, dressed in his overalls and mechanic’s hat from work.
Please don’t let him introduce me to grandpa, please don’t let him introduce me to grandpa!
I sat there with them for twenty LONG minutes, had a beer with them, and said that it was getting late. I told them I had to get up early for work the next day—which was true. She led me outside and Earl went in the garage to do more work on the pick up truck.
“We all gotta go water rafting sometime! Keep in touch Deb!” Earl said, from within the garage as he watched Janine walk me to my car.
“Deb it was great hanging out with you! Call me, and then next weekend we can all go water rafting!” She said, as if this was really going to happen.
“Sure, thank you so much for coming out.” I said, trying to open my door- avoiding ANY notion of a goodnight kiss. Oh no. Don’t even, think------
She smacked one on me as soon as I could get myself planted in my seat. It was a small quick one, but I am sure she had full intentions of a long nasty wet kiss. She kissed the corner of my mouth---much more on my cheek, but nevertheless, she got part of my lip. I almost banged my head trying to avoid the attack.
“Bye!” I said, through the window of my car as I pulled out a little too fast than I should have. This definitely calls for a five hour shower and a good alcohol rub. Curiosity is one of my biggest downfalls, and that night, I will never forget how much more trouble I could of got myself into. This was a planned set up. From her friend dropping her off—for me to take her home….to the unexpected husband coming home—I was lucky I got out of there alive.
I don’t think I ever told anyone that story.