So Laura and I go out for Pho yesterday. I was a little feisty, 'cause she made me wait an hour before telling me she could make it, then she was something like 20-30 minutes late. I was starving, having last eaten at 10PM the previous day. So I ordered, had two cups of tea and had killed off two spring rolls and was halfway through a large bowl (with rice noodles, bbq pork and meatballs) before she showed up. I'd told her I was gonna order if she was late, so even though she was somewhat dismayed, she decided to give me a hard time in other ways.
So, we were verbally sparring (like we usually do) and I was holding my own, when She came in. Tall, slender, wearing blue jeans and thick turtleneck sweater. Chin length dirty-blond hair, big blue eyes and a cute little upturned nose. She was young, but at least old enough to ogle without feeling nasty. She was with an older man, with white hair and beard. I think he was her father. They sat at a table next to the door. We're on the far wall about 25 feet away.
As She came in she looked at me, smiling slightly. I guessed she saw Bad Ass Betty outside and was pegging me as the owner. My helmet was on the table next to me.
"Cute, cute..." I muttered.
Laura followed my gaze.
"She's gotta be like, 17." she sniffed.
"Nah, I'm guessing 19 or 20." I said.
So Laura launches into this story about her and her boyfriend. I'm listening but but still clocking Her and Her father.
Laura kicks me under the table.
"Stop that, I'm getting jealous."
"Why? You gotta man."
"So? You're with me...it's rude."
"Yeah, but...Cute, cute!"
After shooting me the greasy eye, Laura goes back into her story. Her food had arrived, so between eating and talking, she didn't notice I was still staring...for about a minute.
She follows my gaze again.
"17." She said again, drawing out the syllables like saying the number that way was supposed to put a stop to my (completely superficial) attention.
"OK...how about 19?" I say, amused at her annoyance.
"What do you wanna bet?!" Laura challenged.
"I'm not betting anything!"
"17 or 19...let's bet!" Laura was really fired up now.
"That's 'cause you know I'll get up 'n' go over there and ask her, don't you?!"
Seeing that I was sufficiently cowed, she then asks me for some advice. I give it my best shot, though I'm still somewhat distracted but I seem to be doing a little better at hiding it.
Soon we're both done eating. I get up to pay-I had to leave so I could meet my friend Patty in Fremont.
As I follow Laura out the door, She makes eye contact again. I can't read Her face, I don't see anything there but the mildest interest, like She'd ask me about my bike if her dad wasn't there.
Suddenly, Laura blurts, "Yup! Seventeen!!"
My cover (if I ever had any) is blown.
"Will you SHUT UP!" is all I can say, hurrying through the door as Laura cackles with glee.
Much later, Laura and I are on the phone. She's annoyed because I refuse to make any New Year Resolutions.
"But why not?!" she wants to know.
"'Cause I figure if there's anything that Life wants me to know, it'll just slap me upside the head with it!"
"It does seem to work that way doesn't it?!" she giggles.