Frankie put an ad in the singles’ section of her town newspaper. Burt answered the ad. They talked on the phone several times, once for with three hours. He told Frankie that he made plastic limbs as movie props. They were both in their late 20’s. When Burt told her he lived with his mom, Frankie asked, “What, are you totally ugly or something?”
Burt said he was average looking. They decided to meet at a pizza place called Shakey’s that did karaoke since they both liked to sing. Frankie invited her best (and gay) friend, Manny, to come along, since he wouldn’t be a threat. Frankie and Manny arrived early and ordered a pizza. Frankie watched the parking lot and stopped eating when Burt pulled up. His car was a piece of junk.
“Oh God, please don’t make him ugly,” Frankie said while Manny cracked up.
A huge guy with no neck and short legs got out of the beater car. The guy was average looking for a houseboat! Frankie knew it was sad to be so shallow, but she needed to have at least a little attraction physically for a relationship to go anywhere.
“We can hide!” Manny said.
“No,” Frankie said, “but we need to stop laughing.”
She had told Burt she would be wearing a cat shirt. When Burt walked in, he said he would have brought his friend along, too, a guy who was bigger than he was, but he hadn’t wanted to scare her away.
“Nice meeting you,” Frankie said.
The date was awkward to say the least. Burt was quiet around Manny. Frankie offered up the rest of the pizza for Burt to eat.
“This was fun,” Manny said. “We’ve got to do this again sometime.”
Frankie shot eye daggers at him.
After the pizza date, the phone conversations between Frankie and Burt lessened to a half hour, then 15 minutes, then 5 minutes. Finally all communication faded away.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
Frankie always had a back-up friend when going on first or blind dates (Manny). They would joke about men they passed when they went driving around.
They would see a guy and Manny would say, “He’s cute.”
“If he looks at you,” Frankie would say, “I’m outta here.”
This happened long before cell phones. These days Frankie still has a back-up friend if she goes on a date because she can text or call her if she runs into trouble. Frankie does the same for her friend.
Maybe on that first date with Burt, Frankie should’ve had Manny sit on the other side of the restaurant and order his own pizza. Just sayin’ . . .