Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Road to Hastings

In the weeks between The Counselor’s announcement that I had to fire him and the time I hired another attorney, we met often for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. Occasionally, we even had dinner together. And although we danced slow and close at every opportunity and kissed like hormonal teenagers, that’s all we did.

Honestly, it was a good arrangement for me. I got to explore the gray area between friends and lovers with no concern about where any given date might lead. There was no doubt—for either of us—that we would each go home alone at the end of the night. At least, we would until he was no longer my attorney.

When the choice of a new attorney had been made and the papers drawn up, I began to get nervous. Very nervous. I had not slept with anyone other than The Wasband in 18 years; had not had an orgasm in all those years. Not once.

Would I know what to do if sex took more than 3 minutes from lift off to splash down? What if I couldn’t respond, even to someone whose kisses made my toes curl? Would he notice? Would he care?

All these questions and more raced through my mind, night and day. One evening shortly before we were scheduled to sign the papers terminating our legal relationship, I admitted my fears (some of them, anyway) to The Counselor.

“Relax, Jerri,” he said, his voice reassuring and gentle.

“We’ll go someplace special and let nature take its course. It’s not a date with destiny, you know. If you’re not comfortable, we’ll wait until you are. It really is just that simple.”

It really was that simple for him. For me, not so much. According to my friends, I needed two new outfits, pretty bras and panties, a nightgown that was sexy and attractive without being too “come and get me,” and a sophisticated new suitcase in which to carry all this stuff.

Then there was the matter of having a bikini wax, an absolute necessity according to these women. When I complained about the pain, they pooh-poohed me, saying, “Beauty is pain. Get used to it.” They also scheduled me for an eyebrow wax, a manicure, and a pedicure to make sure there were no unsightly hairs or ragged cuticles anywhere to be seen.

Finally, the girls pronounced me ready.

On the 19th day of July in the year 1994, The Counselor and I met at the law offices of DPM, my new attorney, to sign the necessary papers. The ink was barely dry on the documents before we were on our way to Rosewood, a charming bed-and-breakfast in the historic town of Hastings, Minnesota.

Riding down the country highways in The Counselor’s silver Porsche was surreal. It was, after all, a Thursday afternoon, and we were headed for an assignation the likes of which I’d never experienced in my life. I was wearing a black cotton sundress over a lacy new black bra and panties. The rest of my “go-have-sex” wardrobe was folded carefully into my new duffle bag, which was sitting in the back beside The Counselor’s old black gym bag. (He obviously had not had the benefit of my expert shopping consultants.)

About halfway through the hour-long ride, I decided to cast my fates to the winds, to “act as if” I knew what I was doing and was ready to do it.

“Suddenly, I’m feeling overdressed for the occasion,” I said. I reached beneath my dress, hooked my thumbs into the waistband of my panties, and pulled them off in one quick motion.

I twirled the miniscule scrap of lace around my finger, then threw it in the back and sighed, “There. Much better.”

I’m honestly not sure which of us was more shocked. The Counselor blinked his big blue eyes several times but said nothing. I didn’t say anything more either, just hummed along with the radio—Mary Chapin Carpenter singing “I Take My Chances.”

Truer words were never spoken. Er. . .hummed.


Suzy said...

okay,,,,, so don't leave us hanging my attention- love the panties flung in the backseat....
God, when you're ready you are READY!!
Loved the part " They also scheduled me for an eyebrow wax, a manicure, and a pedicure to make sure there were no unsightly hairs or ragged cuticles anywhere to be seen. Finally, the girls pronounced me ready."

Carrie Wilson Link said...

NO FAIR! You can't stop right there! What is it, sweeps week and you're doing a 2-parter????