Reporter and I casually saw each other the rest of the semester. Despite a teacup set displayed in the corner of his bedroom, I was taken with him. (Regardless of where it was from [Reporter clears throat and shoots cuffs for WASPy emphasis “the New York Athletic Club…”] it was a strange decorating choice.)
Whenever I heard U2’s “The Sweetest Thing,” I assumed he was the blue-eyed boy to my brown eyed girl. Instead of using my desk phone, I would avoid the Blue Bell Sorority Sisters’ prying ears and would sneak into an unused office to call him. He made me so giggly and nervous I would pray for his voicemail because of the high probability I would say something stupid during a live call.
Always the gentleman and never discussed, Reporter was from old Texas money and went all-Ivy.
He used wooden shoe trees in his brown leather lace-ups, wore bespoke suits, and had his dry-cleaned shirts folded into boxes instead of hung. He liked to stay in bed on the weekends and listen to NPR. He listened to the jazz music of Vince Guaraldi, had friends who stayed at home and traded stocks on the internet for a living, and wanted to discuss the latest Tom Wolfe book “A Man in Full.”
He liked to stop at la Madeleine before taking me home from our dates so he could have a fresh quiche waiting for him at breakfast. When it came time for happy hour, we went to the Scotch Bar at The Willard Hotel instead of slumming it at the pub. I was ill-prepared to date such a chap, but the cocky hubris of the young made me think I could.
When he picked me up for our first formal date, I made him wait a few minutes in the lobby of the Blue Bell Foundation. I walked toward him with aplomb in a hot pink and black faux Chanel jacket with huge shoulder pads and a long black skirt that added pounds and took height away from my 5’4 frame.
And of course, I was wearing the wrinkled floor-length trench that still didn’t make me look more worldly and intellectual. Reporter must have been equally bowled over by the black canvas LL Bean messenger bag slung across my body. Whether he was hungry or horny, or both, he took me to dinner.
Pleased with myself and my chic styling, I wasn’t carded at dinner and felt smug at my rouse’s success. Naturally, as if it was done everywhere, as the restaurant cleared Reporter stepped over to the piano and casually started entertaining the stragglers and tugging at my heartstrings.