Love in the Slow Lane
An intense conversation between two young women that I overheard recently in a Little Old Tea Shop:
"Millie, I have never been so humiliated!"
"Have more tea, Jane, and tell me all."
"You know I have been seeing Joe this past month?"
"Yes, yes ... Slow Joe, we call him. Do go on, my dear."
"Slow Joe! You don't know the half of it, Millie! The word fast does not appear in his dictionary. Or if it does, he has never managed to read that far. He reads slow, he eats slow, he drives slow."
"You mean he drives the speed limit and chews food properly for good digestion?"
"All right, Jane. Sorry. Get to the humiliation part. That's what I want to hear about."
"Well, on our first date, we went to a restaurant. Joe read the menu at least three times before he could decide what to order. I had a shrimp salad. After the meal, which took a long, long time —"
"I know, Joe eats slow."
"After the meal, to pay the server, Joe counted out dollar bills for her. Now get this, Millie: he counted out the ones one by one by one by one. Then, for the tip, believe it or not, he sorted out pennies, nickels and dimes until he had seventy-four cents. Then he asked me for a penny."
"The word fast does not appear in his dictionary. Or if it does, he has never managed to read that far."
"Oh, my! How humiliating!"
"That bothered me less than last Saturday's drive in the country. He brought some tuna fish sandwiches. Tuna fish sandwiches! We drove and drove. Finally, Joe pulled off the highway onto a dirt road. A quarter mile along, his car quit. 'Oh, oh,' Joe said. 'Looks like I'm out of gas.' I hardly had time to imagine what would happen next. Joe said, 'Wait here.' He got out of the car, pulled out a gas can and started back — walking slow. So there I sat, practically starving."
"What about those sandwiches?"
"I forgot about them. But it was so humiliating. He said he was out of gas. And he was out of gas!"
"Oh, my goodness, Jane! What next?"
"I took Joe to meet my Mom and Dad. Everyone loved the food, though my folks fidgeted while we waited for Joe to chew and chew his way through his meal. Afterward, we moved to the living room for coffee and a get-acquainted conversation. Finally, Dad offered Joe a job in his Auto Sales business. Real slow like, Joe said, 'No, thanks. I like the work I do.' Dad's face went beet red. Mine did, too, I was so humiliated."
"So, I gather you're not seeing Joe anymore?"
"Oh, but I am, Millie! I can't help it! I do love my Slow Joe! I love him so!"