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Critique Archive 0016:
The cursor blinked a challenge at me: do. it. do. it. do. it. I reached for the mouse but my finger hovered over the button, not quite ready to click. Holding my breath for a minute while I screwed up my nerve, I finally blew it out with a defeated “Dang.”
There was a snort from the sofa. “Dang?”
I could see Sandy’s bright red hair peeking over the top of the sofa arm. “Quiet in the peanut gallery,” I told her.
“Sorry. It’s just….dang? Take it easy there, Jessie. That’s tough talk for a nice little Mormon girl,” she teased.
“I can’t use any of the really good curses because you’re inactive. I have to set a good example.”
There was an even louder snort from the sofa, but this one was laced with laughter.
“What’s your problem, anyway?” she asked. “You didn’t bring work home with you again, did you? What happened to New Year’s resolutions and all that?”
“Coerced resolutions don’t count.”
“Do I need to get your butter pecan again?”
Just last week she abducted my deluxe carton of Haagen Dazs and held it hostage over her head until I promised to go out more during the new year. I stayed strong until she waved a spoonful of ice cream under my nose. Then I folded like an extra chair in Sunday school. It was a dirty fight.
Which brought me back to Sandy’s question. Or rather, her accusation. “No, it’s not work.” I hesitated. “I guess…..maybe your nagging worked.”
The top half of Sandy’s face finally made an appearance over the sofa arm, her blue eyes showing curiosity. “I don’t nag. I make suggestions. Which excellent one are you taking?”
“There’s so many to choose from. Let’s see, I’m not going to get weekly manicures, I will not be taking up yoga, and I will never eat tofu on purpose.”
The last one I delivered with a glare. She tried to sneak some tofu into my diet by sticking it on a whole wheat pizza but I figured out pretty quickly that it was not, in fact, a gourmet Italian sausage. “Bean curd will never be meat, Sandy. Never. Leave me to my carnivore ways.”
“Okay, but I don’t think you should be praying for your double pepperoni pizza to make you ‘strong and healthy’, either. God’s too busy to work that kind of miracle.”
I burst out laughing. “It’s pepperoni, not anthrax.”
She grinned back. “All right, so I haven’t reformed you from your carnivorous, nail bitten, meditation rejecting ways, so what are you—” she interrupted herself. “Oh.” She looked at me thoughtfully for a moment. “You’re going to go on a date, aren’t you? Spill it.”
“Well, the thing is I, uh.…” I trailed off in embarrassment. Her eyes narrowed in suspicion. I squirmed ever so slightly in my seat.
“What? Spit it out.” She levered herself all the way off the sofa and beelined toward me, stopping when she could see over my shoulder. “Online dating?” I squirmed even more in an effort to block her view. She held me still with a hand on my head while she looked. Cringing a little inside, I waited for the jokes or the lecture. I got neither.
“That’s not a bad idea,” Sandy said after a moment.