We're Not In Pine Brook Anymore

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5/03/2009

Mr. Wrong

I wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who answered my little survey and sent me lovely emails about my novel!

I'm sure 14% of you will be thrilled to know that my paper mache boyfriend is drying as we speak. Luckily, I had more than one copy of my manuscript laying about -- and you actually encouraged me to blow the dust off the cover and take a peek inside.

In a nutshell, my novel, Twenty-nine, is a coming-of-middle-age story. The dawn of a new decade forces Katherine Hunter to take stock of her life and she isn’t at all happy with what she sees. Guided by her addiction to horoscopes, Kate navigates her way down a barbed path to the big 3-0, along the way juggling age-old friendships, romantic disasters, a stagnant career, and the evil beast that is her bathroom scale.

I thought I’d share a few snippets from one of my favorite chapters -- titled “Mr. Wrong.” Somehow, it rings as true to me today as it did when I wrote it more than 6 years ago…


“I’ve got someone I want you to meet.”

To many people those eight words were filled with hope. It was a chance to live the fairy tale. Happily ever after. To Katherine Hunter, those words were anxiety-filled disaster balloons waiting to pop and ooze all over her head. The last time Kate naively agreed to a fix-up was the summer after she graduated college, during one of many off-periods with her ex, Jack. The fix-up was with a red-headed, bird-faced octopus who got a swift knee to the nuts when he got fresh and forgot the meaning of “no.” The experience was enough to make her swear off blind dates forever.

Still, the offers came in over the years from unsuspecting folk who had not yet heard her “Under No Circumstances Shall Ye Set Me Up” manifesto. These people -- cab drivers, co-workers, friends, bosses, her mother, her tailor, her dental hygienist -- were all well-intentioned, but they never really took anything relevant into account when looking for love.


They'd say, “I have a brother (son/friend/dog walker) who is single (divorced/just got out of a bad relationship/incarcerated) who wants to (needs to/should/would if he knew what was good for him) go out with a nice girl like you.”

These collective yentas, invariably married or live-ins, and their star-crossed love connections had little motivation other than the fact that Kate and Prince Not Particularly Charming were both single. Nothing like putting two strangers at a dinner table in front of a hearty helping of small talk with a side of uncomfortable silence, Kate thought. Basing a date on this criterion was the social equivalent of setting up two people because they both had noses…


I won’t give away the meat of the chapter, but let’s just say that Kate eventually goes on another blind date. And it doesn’t go well.


… Kate stood up and walked out. In the one stroke of good luck that evening, a taxi of mercy sat outside the restaurant with its vacant light lit and whisked her across the Hudson to pick up her car. While exiting the Holland Tunnel, her cell phone rang. It was Alex.

“Do not speak. Pat’s a freak. He sent his friend Ed. And now you are dead,” Kate inadvertently rhymed turning this debacle into Dr. Seuss for pathetic singles. (I do not like guys with fake names. Please do not play these foolish games.)

Silence from the other end was broken by a male voice, “Kate, it’s Henry.”

“Ah. Well, pal, same goes for you. Please tell your wife that the next time I want to have an evening like I just had, I’ll head down to the Port Authority, find a man eating from the garbage, ask him to dinner, and then let him shit in my purse.”

“Come on, he was that bad?”

“He wasn’t even there! He sent a stunt double to determine if I’m datable!! Regardless, I’m becoming a lesbian tomorrow. Please be sure to pass it on.”

Kate snapped her phone shut and looked at the rear-view mirror in disgust as her cab driver with no vowels in his name raise his unibrow in interest. "Perhaps a nun would be a safer bet," Kate muttered under her breath as they sped off into the night.




So, what do YOU think of blind dates -- love them, or loathe them? And has anyone EVER been on a good one?
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't tease like that. I want to read more!!!!!

jessica said...

I met my husband on a blind date!

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

Anon #1: Aw, thanks. Maybe I'll post another snippet in the coming weeks.

Jessica: Sounds like you could teach me a few things!

Anonymous said...

you are HI-LARIOUS! i hope i get to read the full book someday. funny stuff.

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

Glad you liked it, Anon #2! If I let you read the book, maybe you'll tell me your name?