Until a few days ago I definitely never thought I would even discuss romance again.
But I found myself smiling across a restaurant table at a friend’s gorgeous 27-year-old son.
“I need to ask a question,” I said timidly.
“As long as you don’t ask why I won’t fall in love with the neighbor girl across the hall, you can ask anything of me,” he said with a laugh.
“OK. Well can you please explain the difference between hanging out and dating?” I asked.
“Who wants to know?” he snapped.
“I do,” I said as red fire took control of my face.
“Are you asking this question for my mom?” he growled.
“Nope,” I lied.
“Did my mom ask you to approach me?” he grumbled.
“Nope,” I lied again. “Why isn’t it OK if I want to know the difference between hanging out and dating? Why does everything have to be about your mom?”
At that moment I realized that I actually did want to know the answer to that question.
Yes, my friend put me up to this meeting with her kid. But he doesn’t need to know every single bit of her business, right?
Yes she needed to know the answer.
But I’m not dead yet. I might have questions about dating too.
Not only in this day and age. But also, in these wrinkles and gray.
“Tell me,” the young man said sternly.
“Tell you … what?” I asked nervously.
“Tell me what’s going on with this person of interest.”
“Well I think he’s cute,” I said with a smile. “He is kind and gentle. He is liberal and …”
“I am not asking about all of that,” he impatiently rolled his eyes.
I made a mental note to yell at his mom later about her cocky, know-it-all kid.
“Do you see this guy a few times a week?” he growled.
“Not really,” I answered. “Does it count that I sometimes see him at the stoplight?”
He shook his head. “Does this guy have your phone number?”
“Does he call you?”
“Does he invite you out? Say … for a meal or a movie?”
“Has he kissed you?”
“Has he tried to kiss you?”
“No!” I said a little too frantically.
“Has he touched you in any way? For example, has he held your hand?”
“One time he touched my shoulder,” I said softly.
“Does this man even know your name?” Mr. Ego head laughed and laughed.
“My lack of love entertains your hard heart doesn’t it, Lucifer,” I growled.
“Like it or not, the answer is obvious,” the young man grinned.
“I gag the guy. Don’t I?” I asked.
“Maybe you do,” the smart aleck shrugged. “But you absolutely are not dating him. You probably aren’t hanging out with him, either.”
“Wow.” My heart sank. Not even hanging out, huh? Dang it!
“Not unless you have tied him up in your basement or something like that,” Mr. Good Looks sneered. “By the way, are you possibly stalking him?”
“Stop it,” I said firmly.
“Is my mom still seeing that Republican-looking guy with the weird tuft of hair on top of his head?”
“Yes,” I said too quickly to catch myself and cover for her.
“Let her know that yes, she has graduated from hanging out to dating.”
“Um, is it possible to just forget about the last few sentences of this conversation?” I asked nervously.
“Will you get her off my back about the neighbor girl in my apartment building?” he asked.
“Deal,” I said.
We shook on it. And that was that.
Sherri Coner is an award-winning journalist and humor writer who speaks to women’s groups. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com.