Friday, October 1, 2010

Sassy Susan

Oh happy day, Susan called me much too early this morning, but for some people, we make allowances. Like Jane, she does not read my blogs and she checks her Facebook communiques only once a week. I know, fellow FB addicts, what's the point . . . She is alarmed and firing questions at me re: the dog incident. I'm getting weary of repeating the story but I dutifully do and it is like I am reading from a script. We get past that and onto other things most importantly that she is moving back to San Diego this month. Susan is a midwesterner in love with the ocean and although she does enjoy a snowy Christmas eve by the fireplace that's about all of old man winter she can handle. She is now living in Alexandria, Virginia and the summers resemble sitting in front of an operating oven with the door open. When the spring winds of cherry blossom season howl up and down her elevator shaft she growls, "I hate this place. Can't wait to get out of here."
I first met Susan in 1985 at my Human Services job. Jane had left for the big city and I was experimenting with different social groups around the office looking for a new comrade. A supervisor had passed my cubicle during the noon break and once again saw me eating my lunch alone. "Dawn," she said. "You need to make new friends." It was dreary work and not easy for someone who did not make friends easily and was essentially shy. "Most people have an egg shell around them," Jane had said, "you have a walnut shell."
At last I came into the company of Mary Osbourne, a droll, academic woman whose sense of humor was desert dry. Occasionally, Mary would invite another friend of hers, Susan, to join us.
I did not like Susan. A few years older than me she wore tight black leather skirts and a stylish, slightly stiletto pump. She laughed too loud and too often and she would flirt outrageously with the young men in the office. A few years went by and I was in the process of buying a new home. I was divorced several years at this point and I found a little bungalow with real woodwork and a yard with lilacs. I made an appointment to meet with the realtor after work. "Is your husband coming?" he asked. I replied that I did not have one and he audibly sighed, the rude chauvinist that he was.

I was leaving the office to meet with my bank person and I ran into Susan returning from her errand. She asked where I was going and I told her. She looked at me for awhile and then said, "you're buying a house? Wow, that 's scary. Almost as scary as getting married." And it was one of those moments. A woman of like mind, Jane would have said.

Usually I was surrounded with well meaning women who wanted me hitched and excitedly would tell my about a friend of theirs who they thought I should meet. It seems they had spent considerable time studying this man sometimes employing other persons in this project, sort of a Team Dawn approach. And sometimes I would give in if nothing else so we could change the subject. But I put my foot down with the guy in the beige snakeskin boots who even with two inch heels was still shorter than my own five foot height. I opened the door and a cloud of Jack Daniels hit me and he continued to imbibe at the bar. He stumbled and slurred out his words and told me how much he wanted to meet my children. I excused myself for the ladies' room, called a friend - not the blind date friend, and escaped to her car out the back door. Rude? Yes. Necessary? Totally.

But the conversation with Susan clinched it for me. We were comrades of spirit, not ready to take the marital plunge, ready for discussions late into the night about how lucky we were to be the women we were - manless, but lucky.


MrDaveyGie said...

My fellow workers have learned to leave me eat alone. :-)

LoRFLoR said...

Oh how I enjoyed reading this post! I loved all of the detail and description in which your stories were told by. It came alive for me. Cheers. Did you buy the house?

dawn marie giegerich said...

Yes, the house was bought - that was in 1988 - and sold. Now I live in a townhouse with Cowboy Dave. And sometimes I miss that little house back in the day when it was just me.