Wine gave me Courage
Out of my comfort zone
It was a typical Friday, at least for me. I had made it through another week at work, and everyone was excited about the weekend. All week long everyone was anxious for the week to pass by so they could go out on Friday night. Not me, for me it was just another weekend with me sitting at home.
It was now 1 pm and my department decided to go out for lunch. They went out most days for lunch, truth be told. They spent most of the morning talking about this new cafe down by the river. I was given the offer to go with them, but I declined. I always brought my lunch from home and usually ate at my desk. Besides for me to just jump up and go out for lunch at the last minute, was not me. I'm not that spontaneous.
I'm the kind of person who goes to work, works hard, and comes home to relax. The only thing missing from my life is cats. I enjoy my home and taking care of a few plants keeps me busy, especially when I don't kill them. I'm just not that exciting kind of person who does things on impulse. That's just not me!
I stayed back, ate my lunch at my desk quickly, and went back to work. About 45 minutes later my department came walking in. They were busy telling me I missed a good lunch and how the place is so great. They just could not stop talking about this place. What was the big deal? They go out to lunch every Friday. Anyway, I just put it out of my head and went back to work. Sally, one of the recent hires came up and said to me, "Meryl why don't you stop by there and grab some dinner? It's a really great place to sit down and enjoy some good food." Sally was new, she didn't realize I never went anywhere or did anything. I'm just not that person. But I just smiled at her and shook my head, and she went back over to her cubicle. 'Grab some dinner, what was she thinking? That would bring me out of my comfort zone.' So I pushed that idea out of my head and went back to filing claims.
Finally, it was 5:00, it seems like it took forever for the end of the day to get there. My department was still talking about that little cafe by the river. I had to admit sitting close to the water and eating did sound very peaceful. And so did eating dinner in my own kitchen. So, I grabbed my purse and lunch bag and headed for the elevator. I had laundry to do.
Stepping off the elevator I slowly walked to my car. Which was parked in the very back of the garage. As I walked to my car my mind was still replaying their conversation about the food and the little cafe. I just could not get it out of my head.
As I was pulling out of the garage I was aiming my car in the opposite direction. Not towards my place, but toward the River's Edge. I decided to drive on down there and see what the place looked like.
While driving I was reminded about some of my co-workers asking me about my plans for the weekend. I had gotten in the habit of saying, "Oh, I'm just going to grab a bottle of Merlot and watch a movie." Now I don't drink or know anything about wine. The only reason I say that is because of the movies I watch, most of the women drink a glass of Merlot, so that's what I say. And after that people would smile and walk away. Before that people would either feel sorry for me or try to fix me up with blind dates, no thanks. I've been down that road a time or two, no thanks. So now I just tell people I'm having a glass of Merlot and watching a movie. I guess that sounds better than being alone. Why is it drinking is ok, but being by yourself is not? I continue driving towards the River's Edge.
I glanced around to see if I could spot this new place. I was told there was some kind of liquor store near it. "Ah, yes, there it is over to the left. Not close enough to see the river, but still kind of peaceful. I turned into the little plaza and parked my car in the back row. I wasn't really sure if I would go inside or not. I sat in my car trying to get the courage to go inside. I had already come this far so I was hopeful. Hoping this would start a new direction in my life.
I turned off the engine and just sat in my car. I check the clock on my dashboard and saw it was 5:20, the place didn't look like it was too busy. Now all I needed to do was get out of the car and walked up to the front door. My heart began beating faster and faster, I began to feel sweat forming on my brow and my cheeks felt flushed. Was this all in my head or was this for real? I know I was making more of this than it was.
While sitting in my car trying to get the courage to get out I looked up and saw this guy coming outside of the cafe. He was sitting outside at one of those white tables. I bet he decided to enjoy the seasonably good weather.
It was April here in the south so the temperature could be in the '30s, '40s, '50s, or even the '60s. But today it was 60 with the sun out and a gentle breeze, perfect weather to sit outside.
This guy looked to be in good shape, from my view. He had sandy blonde hair the flowed a little when the wind blew. Even from a distance, I saw he was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt and black jeans. I also could see the muscles on his forearms. He wore those loose-fitting jeans that men wore nowadays. I sat in my car shaking my head as to why men wore their pants so low. I thought to myself I would never talk to someone like that. And then I thought to myself, 'and that's why you're still single.'
I continue to stare at this young man, it kept me from thinking about getting out of the car. So, I focus all my attention on him, it didn't hurt that he wasn't bad to look at. He took his seat and his back was towards the street. He sat there with a plate of food, probably burgers, and fries with a coke. I could see his profile from where I was, not bad.
He looked like he had come from the gym and or tanning booth. He had a nice tan and his body looked like he worked out. Then a white piece of paper or napkin flew past my window and I watched as the wind make a kite out of the paper. Looking back to the young man I saw his head was looking down at the table, "cell phone I bet." His attention was fixed on something down close to his plate. I was thinking to myself 'people and their cell phones, they can't do anything without them.' I turned my attention to the passenger side of my car, I needed to get my purse and go on inside.
Looking back up I now saw a waitress coming outside to him, he was the only one sitting outside. The waitress stood near him and said something, but he never even looked up. Then she went back inside. I decided it's now or never, so I grabbed my purse and got out of my car, heading up to the cafe.
I was walking slowly and holding my head down. I was trying to convince myself to just do it. Like the Nike slogan used to say, 'Just Do It." By the time I lifted up my head I quickly looked to the sidewalk tables, and he was gone. Somehow I felt kind of sad, I had spent so much time staring at this guy, and now he was gone.
I put my hand on the handle of the door but before I could open it, he stepped out. The guy I had been staring at, stepped right out in front of me, he almost knocked me down. He glanced back and said, "Oh, sorry, I didn't see you," and he walked towards the liquor store. Then as I turned my attention back to the door outcomes the waitress, almost knocked me down. I stood back, not knowing who else would rush out the door. Maybe this is a sign to get in my car and go home. I stood outside the door trying to decide what to do next. When I heard the waitress call after the guy. "Hey, hey, wait a minute." She sounded kind of desperate. What happens did he forget to pay? Was he running out on a tab?
He turned around briefly and pointed back to the table he was at. I looked back and saw some bills half under his plate. Then I look back the waitress is still after him. "Hey give me a second, will ya." He stopped with his back to her. He was heading toward the liquor store because that was the only thing in that direction. The little Plaza had been newly built and the others stores were empty. The only places open were the Cafe and the liquor store.
The waitress runs and gets in front of him, face to face. I now pretend to look in my purse just to hear what's going on. "I can wrap up your lunch for you, and that way you can take it with you." He just shook his head but she had another thought. "Then why not let me write it up so you can get lunch tomorrow without paying. You really didn't eat any of your lunch." He still just shook his head no. Then he started to step around her when she spoke up again. "Hey look I'm trying to do my bit for customer service. Why don't you give me your number and I can have your order waiting for you next time around." The waitress had a flirty smile on her face when she said that. By this time even I knew she was trying to get his number. I'm not experienced with men but I knew the signs of a pickup.
The waitress was very pretty and she knew it. She looked like she was in college, probably working part-time. She was about 5'6" in her early 20's. She had on leggings that fit like a glove, and a small apron around her tiny waist. Her hair was long auburn but put up in a ponytail. She had on large hoop earrings and ruby red lipstick. She wore a company polo shirt that fit her well. She was very pretty but he didn't seem to care or notice or was interested.
"Look, I'm late, I have to be getting back to work. Just forgot about lunch." He said in that deep masculine voice and stepped around her. I could understand why little cuties girl was doing all this, but he wasn't feeling it. Wasn't there a movie called, 'He's Just Not That Into You
But she wasn't going to let him go, she walked back up to him, stood in front of him. "Ok, so just give me the number and we both can go back to work. I'm not going to let you miss out on a great deal." She spoke up very determine. He stood still as if pondering which way to go now. He turned and started back in my direction. I stood still wondering which way I needed to go. The waitress kept walking beside him, not letting him out of her sight. Then they both came close to where I was standing. He had stopped and the waitress stopped. Then he pointed to the table and said, "look I left you a good tip, I don't want no pick-up or delivery, no nothing." As I stood there I felt bad for the guy because the waitress was determined, she looked like the kind of person who gets what she wants. And he was it for today.
I looked at him and he looked at me, his eyes were deep brown. I then did something that I don't normally do. I did something that even surprised me. "There you are, I've been waiting here for you. You promised to help me pick out a bottle of wine," said I very passionately. I politely walked around the waitress and grabbed his arm and started pulling him toward the liquor store. He came along quite peaceable. The waitress just stood still on the sidewalk while we walked onto the liquor store. I don't know how long cutie girl stayed there but I didn't look back either. I had done my part.
I was grateful that the liquor store was just a few feet away. I'm not sure I would have had to courage to go any further. When we got inside I let go of his arm. He walked towards the middle aisle, there were some large crates and boxes. He began to pick up boxes and crates and put them in different places. I just stood back looking all around, I don't go into liquor stores, not ever. I took in the sights, there were all kinds of bottles everywhere.
As I stood there taking in the scenery of this place. I heard something he was asking me, "What did you want? The bottle of wine I was going to help you pick out. What do you like to drink?" He was asking me while he kept stacking crates and boxes. I spoke up just like at work, "Oh I like a glass of Merlot every now and then." I had got so used to saying that. Only now it actually made sense. He then hands me a bottle of Merlot.
I took the bottle then headed up to the cashier. What was I thinking? I don't drink, I was just trying to help him out. But what do I do now? It was a very long walk to the cashier especially carrying a bottle I would not drink. I just couldn't do it, but I had to. What else can I do, explain it to him?
Then he came up behind me and spoke in that deep sexy voice of his. "I tell you what don't worry about paying for it, let me. After all, you helped me out of a situation, I owe you." I turned around to see him face to face, and what a nice face he had. He was very good-looking, no wonder the waitress was after him. I just smiled still not knowing what to say. He smiled back then said, "by the way, I'm Bradly Davis, my family owns this store. If you don't like this kind you can always come back."
I wasn't sure what to say or how to say it. So I just took a deep breath and said, "I'm sure this will be fine, thank you." I was now heading to the door, I didn't know what else to do, I didn't want to leave. I now admired the waitress, she had the determination to go after what she wanted. I never could, so I was going to away and put this day out of my mind. When I got to the door I turned around and did a little wave. He came running out behind me and said something that made us both start laughing. He said, "why don't you give me your number and I can have a bottle delivered to you." We both had a good laugh because that was what the waitress said to him. He knew exactly what that waitress was up to, she wanted his number for herself. Just like Bradly ask for my number. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and the day wine gave me courage.