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Monday, August 2, 2010

A funny story...

One of our students at the Anhinga Writers Studio Summer Workshops told me a hilarious story, and I told her she should write it down.  It turned out that she already had, so she forwarded it to me today.  I enjoyed it so much that I thought I'd share it with you.  Enjoy...
The Double Surprise
by DJ Towles

During the year Mr. Hayden and I talked business over the phone, we had become quite relaxed with each other. Sharing tidbits from our personal lives resulted in our discovery that we would both be in DC's Georgetown section on the same day the following week. It seemed natural to take the opportunity to meet for lunch, and, as Mr. Hayden said, "put faces to the names." Since my schedule was the iffier of the two, the plan was for the reservation at the Four Georges to be for one o'clock in Mr. Hayden's name. I would join him as soon as I finished my client calls.
My preparations were intensive, extensive, and most of all, expensive. No suit in my closet seemed fashionable enough. No dress seemed to work. No shoes seemed stylish enough for this lunch, this meeting which was just to "put faces to the names." Hundreds of dollars spent, not just on clothes, but on a salon coiffure for hair normally treated to a shampoo in the shower and a half-hearted finger fluff during the air dry process. A manicure. I hadn't had a manicure in years and years. The pedicure was the most ridiculous decision. A pedicure for toes that were going to be hidden in shoes, new, fashionable shoes, under the table while we're having the business lunch to "put faces to the names." Why am I so nervous? It isn't even a date. Well, maybe it seems like a date to me, but I'll bet he doesn't think it's a date. No. He probably really means it's just to "put faces to the names." 
For all my attempts to calm myself when I walked into the Four Georges I was a nervous wreck, a well dressed, coiffed, manicured, pedicured nervous wreck, but still, a nervous wreck. I had rushed through my morning appointments and arrived only minutes after one o'clock.
The maitre d' ushered me to a banquette table set for four.  There was only one occupant, a very attractive lady. No Mr. Hayden. Perhaps he had gone to the mens' room. Was this his secretary? His wife?
I extended my hand to the raven-haired lady in a typical business greeting.  "Hello, I'm DJ Towle."
Was there just a moment of hesitation before she clasped my hand in greeting?
She flashed a smile and in the husky/sexy voice I knew so well from the phone said, "Hello, DJ, I'm Elizabeth Terhayden. I'm so glad to meet you." 
Elizabeth Terhayden. Miss Terhayen. Not Mr. Hayden. Miss Terhayden!
While sipping coffee after our meal,  my need to confess could no longer be contained. I revealed to my new girlfriend that she was supposed to have been my new boyfriend. She hooted with laughter. "You were my new prospect, too. I even bought a this dress."
"I bought this suit."
 "I had my nails done."
"My hair, as well!"
The Four Georges is a pretty upscale place with a quiet, reserved atmosphere. The rest of the diners must have thought the two of us had consumed  too much juice of the grape. The heck with what they thought. We two husky voiced young professional women with names that could be male or female, each gussied up to meet a business associate with hopes of establishing a long term heterosexual relationship, hooted with laughter at the double surprise.
It's been decades and decades since Liz and I did business together. We don't even keep in touch like we once did. However, when either one of us retells this story we always let the other one know. I'll end this now. It's time to e-mail my friend, Miss Terhayden.


  1. DJ is absolutely, positively, no-question-about-it one of the BEST writers on the planet! You can't be successfully employed as a travel writer throughout a lifetime and be anything less than amazing! DJ IS AMAZING!

    She read for a few of us one afternoon during the Anhinga. The pieces were from her private journal. The work was stunning.

  2. Yes, she's a wonderful writer. And she also understands the importance of "fluffing up" before an important date. The fact that this date was with a person who was not the gender she was hoping for or expecting is completely immaterial. :-D

  3. Wonderful funny story and that it resulted in a life-long friendship is the icing on the cake.

  4. Somehow my dating stories of things like men who do things like lie about their age to a serious degree, resulting in me sitting across the table from a codger old enough to be my father, just seem bland and pointless...