Today’s theme is talk me down and when I considered the idea behind that phrase, I was reminded of the way my best friend and I talk to each other. There’s just something about having a heart to heart with your girlfriends that can open up new perspectives or instill a sense of adventure/bravery. Cheryl and Grace in Happy Hour were patterned after me and my best friend and I thought I’d share one of their “talk me down” conversations. However, in this case, I think it’s safe to say it’s a “talk me into it” chat!
“So I totally think you should try to hook up with Jamie.”
At Cheryl’s unexpected comment, Grace choked on the sip of beer she’d just taken. “W-what?” she asked.
Cheryl gave her a wicked grin. “Thought that would get your attention. I’ve been watching you two lately and I think he’s got the hots for you.”
“Yeah, right. And the Pope is Jewish.” Grace spoke the words lightly, trying to hide how much she wanted Cheryl’s observation to be true.
“I’m being serious.”
“He’s young, handsome and definitely not looking for an older widow with a teenage daughter. I’m toting too much baggage. Trust me.”
Cheryl shook her head. “I don’t think that’s true. I swear sometimes it’s like he seeks you out. There could be twenty teachers standing around in the cafeteria and he’ll make a beeline for you.”
“We’re friends. We have the same twisted sense of humor. Plus, have you ever considered the idea that I’m not a threat to him? You’ve seen how the new female teachers flitter around him like a swarm of flies around a sugar cube, hoping to get his attention. He’s probably just using me as a buffer to keep them away.”
“How many single guys do you know who try to keep hot young women away from them?” Cheryl scoffed. “He doesn’t want them because he wants you. You two are perfect for each other. Mark my words.”
“Well, I hope you’re wrong because I’m not interested.”
Cheryl burst into a fit of loud laughter. “Jesus. Sell that shit to someone who doesn’t know you, sweet pea. I’ve seen you flirting tonight. You’re as hot to get in his pants as he is to get into yours.”
Grace narrowed her eyes. “Why am I friends with you again?”
“Because you don’t want to grow up any more than I do, Peter Pan. Neither one of us is going down without a fight.”
Grace had to agree with Cheryl’s assessment. The older she got, the younger she felt. She wondered lately if there was something wrong with her. Wondered if by being widowed so young, something inside her had been broken and it stopped her from maturing the way she should. Of course, Cheryl was definitely going through the same phase, which proved that assumption false as her friend was happily married. If anything, Cheryl had it worse than her. At forty-five with two kids in college, it seemed sometimes as if Cheryl was reliving her youth all over again, attending rock concerts and even getting a tattoo.
Grace sighed. “Unfortunately I think the cruelty of nature is going to win this battle. I’ve got crow’s feet around my eyes and my breasts are definitely succumbing to gravity.”
“You’re gorgeous, Gracie. I’ve known you for nearly fifteen years and it’s safe to say you’ve never looked better. After Drew’s death, you made it pretty clear to everyone that raising Maddie was your number one goal. You made that girl the center of your universe because she needed you and you needed her. But she’s going to go away to college in a few months and that’s going to leave you on your own for the first time in your life. It’s time to open yourself up to some new experiences.”
“Cheryl—” Grace interjected, but her friend waved her off.
“Hear me out. All I’m asking you to do is consider what I’m saying. You’re a beautiful woman with a lot to offer any man lucky enough to snatch you up. You’re smart, funny and sexy. Hell, if I wasn’t happily married and getting sex three times a week from Jeff, I’d do you.”
“Forty is the new thirty,” Cheryl continued, “so stop hiding behind that number and get out there again. Besides, you weren’t made to live alone. All that nurturing and loving shit would come bursting out at the seams if you didn’t have someone to smother with it.”
Grace considered her friend’s words and knew they were the truth. She’d never lived alone, leaving her parent’s home for a college apartment with roommates. She’d married Drew shortly after graduating from the university and since his death, she’d had Maddie to come home to. Cheryl’s words struck a chord as she realized some of her sadness over Maddie’s leaving was the idea that she would be alone and she dreaded it.
“Okay. You’ve made your point and it’s a good one. I’ll think about what you’ve said.”
Cheryl shook her head and placed a friendly hand on hers, gripping it tightly for just a second. “I wasn’t telling you to think about it, Grace. I was telling you to do something about it. Those are two different things.”
The guys returned to the table, ending their conversation, and Grace considered her friend’s words.
Cheryl was right. Since Drew’s death, she’d lived her life for her daughter. Tonight she was going to start living for herself again. She only hoped she could remember how.
Why not hear what these authors have to “talk” about too?