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Saturday, May 18, 2019

17: Too Cool Super Great Birthday

            “How much should I tip Tony?” Jasmine asks with a smile, knowing Mindy’s reply, whatever it is, will be way over her budget.  “One hundred percent would look like fawning,” Mindy replies.  “Could you give 50% if I throw in ten bucks?”
            “Sure.”  Jasmine casts a teasing smile to Mindy, pulls out the pen, and lifts the bill out of the billfold.  Beneath it, she finds something else: a small envelop reading, “Happy Birthday!”  Jasmine passes it to Mindy, who pulls out a pair of tickets.  “Tickets for Opening Night of South Pacific!  Wanna join me?”
            “Of course!”
            On their way out, Tony calls out, “Thank you!  Have a too cool super great birthday, Mindy!”
            “Thank you, I sure am!”  Holding up the tickets, she says, “We’ll be there!”
            “Great! I’ll be looking out for you!”
            Jasmine catches Mindy’s blush. 
            On their way out, Jasmine notices the restaurant’s sign:
“Thank you!
Have a Too Cool Super Great Day!”
            “Tony must have been quoting their own sign!”
Mindy chuckles, “He must have.”
“I wonder if that sign is your ‘sign’?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’ve been looking for a ‘sign’ for how to answer Justin’s ‘Happy Birthday’ text.  There’s your sign!  How about copying it in your text reply?”
“Ah,” Mindy smiles, “something like, ‘Thank you!  I’ve had a Too Cool Super Great Birthday’?”
“Yeah!  Something like that.  Then the ball’s really in his court.  You’ll get to see if he pre-programmed his birthday text, and even if he did, you’ve let him know you can have a ‘too cool super great’ birthday without him.”
Mindy takes a deep breath.  “I hope he doesn’t misinterpret this.”
“Remember, the text thread will show up for him when he receives your reply.  He’ll be reminded that he sent the text, whether it was accidental or not.”
“All right, here goes . . .”

Strolling through the Mall, wondering whether her text will be answered, Mindy still can’t thinking “around” her ex-boyfriend.  “Now that I’ve lost Justin, I feel that I’ve lost a part of myself.”  She mumbles, “I think I gave him too much of myself too.”  She doesn’t expand, but Jasmine gets it.  Boys give love for sex.  Girls give sex for love.  Jasmine knows Mindy’s mumble doesn’t necessarily mean sex, and she knows not all relationships fit that cliché, but it still ties into her latest fixation.
“A piece of me, whisk!  It’s gone away.  My inner Maria has lost her place.”
            “How about ditching Justin and keeping your inner Maria?”
            “Justin ditched me.  Without him, I feel like I’ve lost my inner Maria.”
            “Who is your inner Maria?”
            Mindy pauses, smiles, and lists those West Side Story Maria qualities she most admires: “She’s independent.  Passionate.  Courageous.  Filled with integrity.  And she’s willing to lose everything for the sake of love.”
            “Sounds like a good friend of mine.”
            Blushing, Mindy shifts her eyes back and forth, as if to say, “You can’t be talking about me?”
            “Anything else?”
            “I love her Puerto Rican heritage, with its exotic, Latin, romantic spirit.  Maybe I don’t have the Latin in my genes, but I’ve got it in my soul.  There you have it: my inner Maria.”
            “Why can’t he go and she stay?”
            “Because Maria goes with Tony, and I go with Justin.”
            “You mean he completes you?”
            “Yeah, he completes me.” Mindy sighs, with a slight, teasing roll of her eyes. “All right, Jazzie.  You’ve made your point.”
            Before Mindy has a chance to really chide Jasmine over her obsession, she sees a digital billboard ad ahead of them, featuring the  Stalker Groom, his adoring bride, and the upcoming Bridal Show.  “But that guy,” Mindy says, pointing to the groom in the ad who’s eyeing not his bride, but, seemingly, Mindy, “does not complete me.”  Shaking her head, she says, “He seems to want to, though.”
            “I know.  Creepy, right?”
            “You have to wonder, ‘What’s the bride thinking?’
            “She looks so stupidly in love, she has no idea he’s looking off to other girls.”
“I wonder how many people passing this Bridal Show ad analyze it like us?”
“None of them!”
“Think how much the romance industry could lose if we women actually started to analyze their ads the way we are!”
“That’s it.” Mindy agrees.  “We need to put them out of business!”
“I have a confession,” Jasmine says, with a tone of teasing gravity.
“What’s that?” Mindy looks a little worried.
“I tried to keep you from seeing that sign.  I saw it when I first arrived, and I pulled you away into that toy store.  I was worried it was going to ruin your day!”
Mindy laughs.  “No.  No way could that sign ruin my ‘too cool super great’ birthday!”
Jasmine smiles, then tosses her head in the direction of the restaurant.  “I noticed his name is Tony.”
“Yeah, that was not lost on me.”
“What day is Opening Night?”
“April 2nd.  Three weeks.  Can I wait that long?”
Mindy’s  struck with a revelation.  Of course Justin pre-programmed my birthday into his phone.  I pre-programmed his too, and I don’t think I’ve taken it off yet!  He turns 30 on July 8, so I planned a special text to send at midnight on his birthday.  Mindy scrolls through her texts.  “Uh oh, here it is.”
Oh no,
I see-oh
You’re a Big 3-0
No worries, No
30s for teaching, for flying
To soar like a birdie
You will Love 30!

“Love 30.”  There it is.  The memory Jasmine is trying hardest to put out of her mind.  Did Mindy get the idea to close her text that way from Davie’s “Love 30” birthday party?  That party that changed everything?

© 2019 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use with permission or a citation that links to this blog.

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