Saturday, March 24, 2007

Not That Kind of Girl: Bold

In late spring, when Rebecca’s husband is promoted to Vice President of a major national corporation, he hires a new assistant. He doesn’t mention this to Rebecca, mind you, but she notices a new voice deferentially announcing “Mr. XX’s Office” when she calls his top floor corner office to remind him to bring home milk.

Over dinner that night, Rebecca asks Billy whether he likes his new assistant, and he says not much. He says Candi is well over 55 and not up-to-date enough to be provide much assistance with his high-powered position. He also says he’s not very comfortable being represented by a decidedly unattractive woman.

In early December, Rebecca decides at the last minute to attend Billy’s office Christmas party. She’s never gone to company functions but wants to meet the woman not attractive enough to sit outside Billy’s office. She dresses carefully, hoping he will feel she represents him well.

Before dinner is served, a woman introduces herself. Her voice is familiar and her nametag says “Candi,” but Rebecca is sure she can’t be Billy’s assistant. This Candi is not a day over 25 and stunningly beautiful.

At dinner, Candi seats herself next to Billy, leaving Rebecca to sit across the table. Candi steers the conversation to Billy’s favorite topics and signals the server to refill his coffee before he even notices it’s empty. Rebecca comments on this and Candi tells her it’s all part of her job. She has, she says, learned to anticipate Billy's needs.

The conversation lags, and Rebecca leans across the table to catch Candi’s attention. Speaking in a loud, theatrical voice, Rebecca asks what kind of skin care products Candi uses.

Candi’s perfectly tweezed eyebrows shoot up, and her lovely eyes narrow.

“I’ve just got to know,” Rebecca says. “Whatever it is must be absolutely fabulous. Billy tells me you’re over 55 years old.”

No one at the table finishes their dessert. Suddenly, every single one of them feels compelled to visit the cash bar or the restroom.

Rebecca feels compelled to call a cab.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

LOVE this! DON'T STOP!!!!!!!

Deb said...

This is so perfect! The comeback that most of us don't think of until days and miles later. Funny and heartbreaking in equal measures. You are in some new territory with this story - not sure where, but looking forward to the emerging landscape!

kario said...

OMG! Just the kind of thing I'd love to pat a friend on the back for doing, but couldn't do myself for fear of embarrassment or retaliation or something. Thanks for the laugh, Jerri!

Prema said...

Right on, Jerri. Put something in this door so that it doesn't close. I sense there's so much more. Love it.

Go Mama said...

There she is!

Between Rebecca and Sheila, you've got some juice.

Amber said...

LOL! Jeez. Nice.

keep it up!


Kim said...

Absolutely, ditto to all, love this! More please!!

Wenda said...

Lost your link a while ago, Jerri, but am I ever glad I've found it again.

Stacy said...

Oh my ! Where's my voodoo doll ? Both of them!

Suzy said...

Rebecca needs to call Candi something.....screw the cab.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Oooooo! You can cut the tension with a dinner knife!

(I'm on commercial break in Dancing With the Stars. Tell Mystic Sela Ward is in the audience).

holly said...

Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.

Love that comeback line!

Hilarious and perfect.

love that i'm back w/ wifi and can keep up with this story now.

Skyelarke said...

I just LOVE Rebecca! I cringed as soon as the first paragraph was read and absolutely love her strength of character, her boldness and her resolve to not be a push over. Wonderful writing.

Monica said...

Dear Jerri,

This is IT!! You are doing it. Oh my god, I find this so compelling. This has just the right touch. Keep going with this. Beautifully written, Jerri.

And I'm so sorry. I could kick him in the head. Would LOVE to.