It’s almost Christmas and I’m feeling very merry and kind of cute, you know, as I walk out of the Walgreen building. I get into a cab and the cabbie looks at me in the rearview and says:
“Where to, Honey?”
“Honey?” I say. “You don’t know me well enough to call me that.”
“Yeah,” he says, “but my eyes are good enough to see that you are one.”
“A real honey.” That makes me smile even though I don’t want to.
“You think so?”
I see he’s grinning at me in the mirror. “I know so,” he says. I give him the address.
They’ve put the lights up on Main Street and all the stores have begun to decorate their windows. I love Christmastime.
“Here we are sugar,” he says, pulling up to the curb in front of my little house.
“So now it’s sugar, huh?” I say, getting out of the cab, careful to avoid the slush puddles.
“What difference does it make so long as the nectar is sweet?”
I roll my eyes a little. Then I pay the fare and give him a tip.
He hands me back the 50 cents: “No tip, Honey. In fact,” he says, “if you call back, next time ask for Tommy.” He’s grinning again. “I promise you that the ride,” he stretches out the word ride and gives me a silly wink, “is on me.”
“You are so fresh!” I turn my back quick and walk to the front door before he can see I’m laughing. I get inside and barely take off my jacket when the telephone starts ringing. “Hello?” I say.”
“Hi, Molly. How’s my girl?”
It’s my boyfriend, Freddy. “Oh, it’s you,” I say, kidding.
“What do you mean: ‘Oh, it’s you? Aren’t you glad it’s me, Molly?”
His tone makes me smile. I twist the cord around my finger. “I guess,” I say, playing along.
“You guess? Don’t you know?” I can hear him pretending to plead and I laugh.
All of a sudden I get suspicious. “Are we still going to the movies tonight, Freddy?”
“Sure we are, Molly; unless I got to work late.”
“You better not have to work late,” I say, my eyes narrow. “You broke our date twice this month.”
“Now, Moll, what am I supposed to do? It’s more money, Molly.”
His pleading sounds a little more real, but not much. “You listen to me, Freddy Martin,” I say – and I’m mad. That’s why he called, to break our date. “You just better be here by seven.”
“Come on, Molly,” he says.
I change my tone. “I’ll have you know I have a new admirer,” I say and butter wouldn’t melt.
“What are you talking about, Molly?” He says. “I’ll bet he’ll take me to the movies if I want.” I purr, kind of.
“Oh, Molly,” he says and he sounds a little tired.
“Oh, Molly, my foot.” Now it’s me who’s whining. “It’s almost Christmas Freddie!”
“I’ll see you at seven,” he sighs.
So I go heat up a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup and a half grilled cheese sandwich left over from last night.
Freddy’ll eat supper with his Mom and sister. He moved back in with them after his Pop died. I don’t mind, him and me can grab something after the movies. I like that he helps his Mom out, even his sister Henrietta. But Henrietta can be very annoying. She should get a boyfriend and go out once in a while.
I come out of the shower and I smell like a million dollars. I bring my cosmetic bag and my mirror and set up everything on the coffee table. Usually, I only use three things: eyebrow pencil, cover stick and lip color — but Freddy’s getting the full treatment tonight: The Mask.
So I eat my soup and sandwich and brush my teeth so there’s no messing up my war paint. I prop the mirror up against a Kleenex box, then line up all my make-up: foundation, eyebrow pencil, two shades of eye shadow, eyeliner brush, eyeliner, mascara, eyelash curler, rouge, lipstick brush, two shades of lipstick, face powder, and Vaseline – in case I make a mistake.
Twenty minutes later, remembering what the cabbie said I’m grinning at myself in the mirror. I look even better than I smell.
(Stay tune for Part 2 and 3!)