We’ve Been Better Than Today

The day was today, and I get dressed up to go out to lunch with my girlfriend who was visiting for a week. She was excited to “wear a pretty dress”, as she put it. I too was pleased with the opportunity to wear the dress pants and shirt I found few occasions appropriate for. We got dressed without making much of a production out of it. The process probably only took 15 minutes, and we were basically ready to go. That was when I started getting specific.

“Sometimes, when I get dressed up I like to wear a hat, just to say, ‘yeah, I’m classy, but I really don’t give a F***!'” I brought it up like it was a new concept, but we both knew this was not the first time.

“You dressed like this before, and I took a picture.” Cindy said to me, shortly thereafter showing me the evidence on her phone. “See?”

“Yeah, I am a good-looking man,” I said as I turned toward the mirror and started adjusting my hair and switching back and forth between three hats to see which one looked best. “I see why you date me.” I said it in part as a joke, another part arrogance, and a third part to try to get myself to believe what I was saying.

She stood, leaning against the frame of the bedroom door, looking at her phone while waiting for me. “Maybe I’ll wear a tie too. I never get to wear ties anymore.” I grabbed the only tie I brought with me on my travels and went to work with it around my neck. “Remember when I did the trinity knot? I liked that. But, I need a better tie to do it with. It doesn’t look like anything with this tie.”

I pulled the end through and stepped closer to the mirror to see how it looked. “Oh nice! I did a good job on this knot. I think I have to wear it now.”

“You’re cute.”

“I know, it’s good isn’t it?”

“You’re stupid.”

“That too.”

I looked back into the mirror and started speaking after coming to a realization. “I notice something about our relationship, I wonder if you notice it too…” She just looked at me. “I’m totally the girl, aren’t I?” She laughed.

I walked into the kitchen to get some water. It was a humid day and I wanted to be sure to stay hydrated. I began thinking out-loud so she could hear. “We should probably wait a little while before we go out. This is kind of an awkward time and a lot of places are probably still closed for their break before dinner.”

“Okay,” she’s always so cooperative. It makes things easy. “I want some tea.”

Luckily, I’d already heated up some water and the tea was quickly ready to go. We sat down. I heard her phone chime.

“Is that Keiko? Ask her if she wants to come. I’m glad you’re making some Japanese friends. It’ll be good language practice for you.” Cindy leaned forward out of her seat and wrapped her arms around my neck. She held the embrace for a while to show her appreciation.

“I am pretty awesome, aren’t I?”

She hit me, “SORRY!” She apologized, not me, then sat back down.

I reached for the container of pistachios I’d left on the table and started cracking them open. “You want some pistachios? They’re super good, plus they’re heart healthy and Matthew approved.” Cindy tried a couple, then kept eating so I assumed she approved as well.

I began working diligently through the container of pistachios giving myself the personal mission of finishing the container as fast as I could. I don’t know why I wanted to do it, and I didn’t make mention of the goal, so Cindy just looked down at her phone ignoring me.

After giving up on my mission I looked down to see what she was doing. I felt relieved to see she was just playing a game so I didn’t need to avert my eyes from something private. I don’t play many games anymore, but I miss them, so I was immediately intrigued.

“What’s this?”

“You have to put the same numbers together so they get bigger until you get to the goal number.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Despite my confusion I reached my finger over and started swiping the screen. “Oh my God, I’m totally kicking ass.”

“No, it’s just easy right now.”

“You stop, you’re just jealous you don’t get as much ass kicked as I do.”

“Fine.” She handed me the phone giving me the opportunity to prove my talents.

I restarted the game twice after failing. She watched me, giving me some hints about better ways to approach the numbers. I was doing pretty good on my third try. I’d gotten pretty far and we were both quiet and focused. I brought up a question without stopping my finger-swipes. “What’s worse, me getting dressed up in a shirt and tie to eat pistachios, drink tea, and play on your phone, or you getting dress up to sit there and watch me?” She didn’t respond, and we carried on in silence.

We’ve both been better than today, and at the end of the day the fish tank will still be filthy, my room will still be dirty, and the grass in my yard will still be too long. But, we’ve both been worse than we are today too. At least I’m wearing a tie.


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