Ladies night out. There will be wine. Specifically, a wine tasting, followed by dinner.
Post-wine tasting, my friend Sue and I go to a nearby restaurant and order another bottle to accompany our dinner. The guacamole is sublime.
Sue and I are chatting away when I lean down to retrieve my phone from my pocketbook.
MY POCKETBOOK IS GONE.
Sue and I are sitting next to an aisle, and a suspicious woman has walked by, twice. She is suspicious because she wears a horizontal-striped shirt with vertical-striped tights. If that doesn’t scream “My years in prison have made me creative with stripes” I don’t know what does.
No, I don’t care that prisoners don’t wear strips anymore. She is suspicious.
I stand and circle our table in search of my pocketbook, my jaw hanging slack with shock. It has to be there somewhere. My face flushes hot with embarrassment that someone has stolen my pocketbook as it sat less than a foot from my foot, because in my head, I secretly think I’m some sort of ninja/superhero/bad ass.
I watch entirely too much television.
My mind races to inventory the things I’ve lost; my phone, licence, credit cards, the Winnie-the-Pooh pill box I’d bought on a trip to England twenty years ago. All gone.
I feel sick.
“Someone stole my pocketbook!” I whine to Sue. “I can’t believe this. Is it there? Is it over there? Is it on the chair?”
In my mind’s eye, I have a clear memory of tucking my pocketbook under my chair with my foot. Moments before I’d pulled my lipstick from it. How had someone stolen it without either of us noticing?
I am a millisecond from calling over the restaurant manager when my hand brushes the side of my blazer and I feel the flap of my pocket. It triggers a flashback to earlier that evening when I’d made the decision not to bring my pocketbook. Instead, I’d put my phone, credit card, license and lipstick in my blazer pocket.
My pocketbook is still at home where I’ve left it. The crystal clear memory of my pocketbook sitting beside me is from another night.
“Oh my god, I’m an idiot!” I confess to Sue. We laugh. I head to the ladies room, where only moments later I am dancing and singing to “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue. I haven’t heard that song in forever. Sometimes the piped music is the best part of going to a restaurant ladies’ room. Sometimes I go just to listen. Whatever happened to Kylie Minoque? Maybe I should follow her on Twitter. Was she Australian? I should Google her.
I am still humming when I realize I’ve been waving my hand under the sink faucet for a full minute. A woman is staring at me. The sink does not have a sensor that starts the water and I should have realized that 59 seconds ago. I smile sheepishly at the woman and turn the knob to wash my hands.
Hands washed, I move to the paper towel dispenser where I spend 30 seconds searching for how to get a paper towel. No crank. No open slot. Finally, it hits me that, unlike the sink, the paper towel dispenser does have a sensor. I wave my hand with a flourish, demonstrating my deep, inherent coolness. I’m talking style you have to be born with. Rewarded with a towel, I dry my hands and wink at the woman who has so recently doubted my bathroom prowess.
The woman seems unimpressed. I nod toward the towel dispenser, silently reminding her how elegantly I waved my fingers past the sensor. She avoids eye contact and wipes her hands on her pants as she leaves, just to avoid competing with my smooth jazz-like demeanor.
Jealousy is so unattractive.
I return to the table and drink more. The pineapple upside-down cake is amazing. The chick in the contrasting stripes knows I have her number. She can feel it. She steers clear.
I am a bad ass.