The Baby Shower

By age thirty-three, you’re categorized in one of two groups: married or spinster. Of course, it wasn’t politically correct to flat out call someone a spinster in this day and age and to their face. No, there were subtle hints cast here and there. Hints that Gypsy Clark, months shy of her thirtieth birthday, picked up as she nursed her glass of pinot noir at her eldest sister’s third baby shower. Gypsy just loves the single life, her Aunt Maureen whispered to her cluster of church friends. Still no ring, Cousin Tracy harked as she inspected Gypsy’s left hand after she hung her mink on the rack.

As the clock ticked well past seven, Gypsy was on her fourth glass and contemplated drinking straight from the bottle. Instead of risking a hangover she snuck out the living room. As she put distance between herself and the pinked-out living room overcrowded with cooing women she felt the pressure fall from her shoulders. The kitchen was where she sought refuge.

Harrison Clark, in all his six-foot mocha glory, stood by the island whipping pink food coloring into the creamy batter.

“I thought you would’ve left by now.” He judged the faintness of the pink and decided to empty the entire bottle into the bowl.

“Uh.” Gypsy groaned climbing atop the barstool. “I thought you weren’t coming.”

“I wasn’t.” Harrison declared. Being the only boy had its perks but being the only baker in the family had its drawbacks. “But your sister ambushed me at the bakery and had a meltdown.” He stopped stirring to give Gypsy a faux smile. “So, I’m here.” The smile fell from his face. “I had to cancel my date because of your sister.”

“Our sister.” She corrected. She took a swallow of her almost empty glass. “Wait! You had a date?” She asked and her little brother rewarded her with a nod. “With the Tinder chick?”

Harrison glared at her, “Her name is Tulip.”

Gypsy’s nose turned up, “Like the flower?”

“And your name is what?” He retorted.

“I have the name of a people…with a rich history.”

“A rich history of being wanderers.”

Gypsy shrugged raising the glass to her mouth. “A rich history nonetheless.”

“Maybe that’s why you’re not married.” Harrison declared as he smeared frosting on the vanilla cupcake. “You’re a gypsy.”

She shot him her middle finger, “You’re thirty-two and I don’t see anyone giving you grief about getting married.”

“Because I’m putting in an effort,” Harrison informed as he drizzled pink sprinkles onto the cupcakes. “Going on dates.”

Gypsy twirled her empty glass on the island, “And I’m what?”

Harrison stopped. “Checked out entirely.”

“I’m just busy.” She slapped the countertop. “I don’t think you people understand how much work goes into being—”

“A boss.” Harrison cut her off and she rolled her copper eyes. “We all know and that’s an excuse. Mom was a corporate lawyer and she still had time to hook Dad.”

“Well, Baker Bob…Dad was a partner at the firm mom worked at.” She straightened herself on the stool getting serious. “I own a shoe store and I don’t see too many straight guys buying Louboutins and Jimmy Choo’s.”

Harrison wiped the sugar off his hands, “For starters, you can stop saying no when you’re asked out.”

Gypsy sighed, “So you’re telling me…that I should say yes to the idea of hanging out with a stranger.” She shook her glossy curls.

“Yeah!” Harrison threw up his arms. “Cause that’s how strangers became unstrangers.”

Unstrangers?” She burst out a laugh. “That’s not a word.”

He looked at her blankly, “That’s not an antonym for stranger.”

“No. Not at all.” She stared at him taking a mental note to buy him a thesaurus for Christmas.

He shrugged. “Well, fuck I’m not an English teacher. Saxon is.”

“How are you the only one with a normal name?” Gypsy asked reaching over the island for a cupcake.

Harrison pushed her hand away, “Dad named me.” He licked icing off the spoon then handed it to her. “All I’m saying is, say yes to a date once in a while.”

Gypsy twisted her mouth savoring the sugar on her tongue.

“And don’t overthink it.” Harrison insisted lifting the tray of identically frosted cupcakes. “Just go with the flow.”

“That’s easy for you to say, hippie.” She insisted hopping off the barstool following him back into the madness.

 

What do you think Gypsy should do to reenergize her dating life?

 

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