“What Do They Talk About When We’re Not Around?”

There exists, on the very edges of society, a world that women are fascinated by, but are never granted access to.

A world so mysterious and secretive that many doubt its very existence.

A world where the honesty lives, but there is no name or address on the door.

If you’ll follow me now, I’ll take you there. It will be a journey with perils, friend, of that you can be sure. We’ll traverse ice and snow covered roads, with twists and turns. We’ll climb a seemingly never-ending hill. But we’ll get there.

Are you ready?

No. Are YOU ready?

Come inside then, as two men struggle with over-sized stainless steel appliances. There is sweat and swearing and pulled muscles and determination and…

The truth.



“Tell me things.”

“Where should I start?”

“Well I don’t think anyone is listening to us, but let’s be dudes for a minute.”

“Her looks?”





“Oh that sounds promising.”

“As we were leaving the place, I felt a lot of eyes on us. After I walked her to her car, I wanted to go back into the restaurant and do an ‘I KNOW,’ like on Friends after Ross was making out with the messy gorgeous scientist lady.”

“Exceellllllent. Okay. Dude quota filled. Tell me more. What’s she like?”

“Man… Okay. The nearest I can come up with for an explanation is that she’s a lot like me. Just more fiery. And she is actually at least as pretty as I claim to be.”

“Wow. And you like you a lot.”

“I fucking love me.”

“We all know.”

“She’s blazingly smart, kind, funny as hell, fun, interesting, explosively charming and adorable and… I just. Man. I mean, I’m not entirely sure that she’s not a fembot. Possibly built in a lab by disgruntled exes to win my heart and then rip it out.”

“I can imagine you having disgruntled exes.”

“Well, sure. I told her about that theory.”

“Oh God. Why?”

“I… It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“What did she say?”

“She made ‘bee boop’ robot sounds.”

“That’s fantastic.

“She’s just… great.”

“You’re smiling a lot right now.”

“She’s like a shot of B12.”

“Or smack!”

“Let’s go with mine.”

“Fiiiiiine. So what’s the problem?”

“I don’t know how I did.”

“You couldn’t tell?”

“I don’t have a lot of experience with such things. My history involves mostly falling ass-backwards into relationships. Just being generally adorable and then making out with someone.”

“It was a solid plan.”

“Until now.”

“That sucks for you.”

“Hmmm. Yes and no. I am going to have to work harder. Definitely. But I like that. For one, it’ll always help me appreciate her even more if it works out. And for two, I think she’ll know that I was, and always will be, willing to put in the effort that she deserves.”

“You have the soul of a poet. But pay more attention, you’re lifting like a poet too. Be a sherpa.”

“I’m a little worried.”

“About what?”

“I’m not sure I made my best possible first impression.”

“Do tell.”

“I feel like… it was like 80% me.”

“That’s not terrible.”

“I guess. But she’s not a ‘not terrible’ kind of girl.”

“Were you nervous?”


“Did you think she was out of your league?”

“You know… I’ve legit never thought that about anybody in my entire life.”

“Damn. That must be nice.”

“It’s okay.”

“So 80% of you?”


“80% of the entirety of you? Or 80% of certain aspects?”

“That’s a really good question, that might keep me up tonight.”

“You’re welcome.”

“If the missing 20% is all from my sarcastic side, that might actually help me.”


“If it’s from my charm… could be trouble.”

“You didn’t wear… this, did you?”

“Of course not. This is my official ‘I got conned into back-breaking manual labour by a friend again’ uniform.”

“Okay. Good.”

“I had plans to dress up to meet her. But then I ran into a snag.”


“I realized that in order to dress up for an amazing woman, you have to actually OWN clothes that could be considered dressy uppy.”

“It’s always something.”

“Right? I considered buying clothes, but by the time I thought of it, the only place local to get stuff was the hunting store.”

“She wouldn’t have been charmed by camo and hunters orange?”

“I suspect not.”


“So I pulled stuff out of my closet and started trying on various combos and checking them out in the mirror.”

“How many combos?”

“Is that important?”

“When I mockingly tell the boys later, I’d like to be accurate.”

“Like… four?”

“That’s not too bad.

“Right? There’s nothing wrong with trying on five outfits.”


“Six outfits was perfectly reasonable.”


“I did something else… out of character.”

“Pass me that wrench.”

“I practiced my ‘hello’ smile in the mirror.”

“You did what now?

“Not a lot. Just a few times. I wanted to pick my favourite one.”

“Tell me that you didn’t mention that to her.”


“Good. So towards the end, did she give you any hints that might help decode how it went?”

“Let’s see… she did say we were going to do it again. Then we texted fun texts as she made stops on her way home. And we’ve already talked on the phone since she left, and that was just crazy awesome too.”


“You did okay.”


“Yup. Now. Can you keep the fridge tilted like that for a while longer?”



“What’s a hernia feel like?”

“Oh. Did you end up using your favourite of the smiles?”

“I am not entirely sure. She got out of her car and looked like Wonder Woman, and I got a little flustered.”



[Originally posted March 2015.]

photo credit: Peter, Joey, and Frank via photopin (license)

One thought on ““What Do They Talk About When We’re Not Around?”

  1. Just in case you don’t hear it enough, “Love this. Loved the beginning, the set-up. Don’t ever stop writing.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *