I suppose entitling this blog “Girl Talk” is a bit of a misnomer because I think guys like getting together without their feminine cohorts and hashing things over with the rest of the testosterone set as much as the ladies do. I lived (as the only female) in a male-dominated household for over twenty years, and at times, I craved hanging out with the gals over margaritas — or any alcohol-based beverage, really — laughing and chatting about topics I’m sure the men in my life would do anything possible to avoid.
Today my sister and I went out for lunch over pomegranate margaritas and chimichangas, we giggled, groused and reminisced as only two women who’ve known each other for 54 years can do. So what if we talked nonsense about manicures, wrinkles, and old boyfriends, we also caught up on each other’s families, our dreams and our concerns about our mom.
In honor of my bit of girl time, I decided to publish my short story “Girl Talk”. Hope you enjoy it!
Girl Talk ~~~ by Kate McGinn
The outdoor cafe was a favorite spot for the young and successful to gather on a Friday afternoon. Vanessa Wallace sipped on her cup of black coffee nodding at the appropriate times to the buzz of conversation at her table. She had been meeting the same group of friends on Friday afternoons for the past 8 years. Their conversation points were essentially the same — work, men, fashion, men, bitchy women and men. Vanessa’s mind was occupied with something else entirely.
She’d worked her way up the corporate ladder to become a successful financial analyst. Vanessa loved her job, money wasn’t a problem, and she didn’t fret about bitchy women, because she was one. It was the age-old problem in the city — more eligible women than eligible men. And just because they were eligible didn’t mean they met her standards. Vanessa had very high standards.
Her boss had invited everyone and their significant others to his latest dinner party. No way in hell was she going alone. Vanessa had one day to find the right date. Tonight, she was scoping out the possibilities.
“Nessa, are you listening?” Hailey asked. “I don’t know why you even came tonight if you aren’t going to participate.”
“Sorry, Hailey. I have a bit of a work problem.” The group commiserated with her by nodding their heads and making sympathetic comments before heading onto the next topic. Men.
“Well, you just won’t believe who’s back in town.” Anita smoothed her skirt, performed a hair flip which she followed up by biting her bottom lip. Vanessa thought Anita had the simpering female act down pat. The girls leaned in with their heads hovering over the table to hear the latest gossip. Vanessa leaned in along with the others, mentally chastising herself for doing so.
“Matt Summers.” A chorus of “No!”, “You are kidding!” and “What an ass!” followed Anita’s news.
Vanessa leaned back in her chair with a slight smile flitting across her lips. Matt Summers was a pretentious ass. A handsome one. He’d asked Vanessa out multiple times in the past, but she always said no. He had a reputation, and she was focused on her career. Maybe he had some potential as a dinner date. Matt was wealthy and business savvy, so he would be a perfect fit for her work crowd. She turned her attention back to the girls.
“I heard he might be here tonight,” Anita informed. Vanessa chuckled as her friends tried, unsuccessfully, to scope out the cafe for the man of the moment. It didn’t mean Vanessa wasn’t on the watch with her friends. Vanessa ordered a glass of red wine hoping it would relax the knot in her stomach.
Halfway through her glass, her companions exhibited visible signs of shock. Their eyes locked on a point behind Vanessa. She wanted to turn around but forced herself to stay relaxed and face forward. She felt a touch on her left shoulder as a familiar voice spoke softly in her right ear.
“I was hoping I would run into you again, Vanessa. Can I sit down?”
“Matt Summers — I didn’t know you were back in town.” Vanessa had found a dinner date to rival her colleagues’ trophy wives.