Of mice and (no) men.

Of mice and (no) men.

672

“You know this room would look a lot better if you got new couches. Pass the frosting.”

“Yeah, well, that would require having money,” I said while ignoring his request. “Do you know that I have sent out no less than 47 resumes so far? Oh, and the worst part is that I sent them out before HWSNBN helped me to write a new one. Really. You should see the difference. He did an amazing job of making me look good.”

“Helllooooooo. Frosting! And I beg to differ with you cupcake. He made you look like hell. You have bags under your eyes, you clearly haven’t conditioned your hair and don’t get me started on your outfit. I’m trying to be nice to you today.” Jade reached over and ripped the container of chocolate frosting from my hands but I managed to hang onto the spoon.

“Is that so?” I asked while licking the spoon. “You wouldn’t know how to turn off the bitchiness if your life depended on it!” I sneered and shook my spoon at him. “Hand over the Pringles. Stat.”

He set the frosting on the coffee table and I snagged it at the same time that he handed me the bowl of Pringles. “God I can not believe how good chocolate frosting and Pringles go together. Why has no one marketed this?” I asked in amazement.

“Seriously, sugar? You’ve never heard of chocolate covered potato chips before? What kind of house were you raised in? You don’t honestly think that you’re the one that invented this combo, do you?” Jade inquired while shaking his head. “And what’s with the medical stuff. You’ve said stat like 4 times today.”

“Noooooo for your information I do not take the credit for this. I was talking to a friend online and it was her suggestion. Damned good one too. Except the chips keep breaking off in the frosting.” I dug my spoon into the container and rescued a Pringle. “They say stat a lot on Grey’s Anatomy. It was either Jen or Lisa that recommended that series. Maybe they both talk about it. I don’t remember. They’re both multiblog per day girls and I can’t keep track sometimes. Anyways, I just started watching it last night and I already had to head to Blockbuster this morning for season 2. That’s when I got the chips and such.”

“Have you ever thought you might spend too much time on your computer sweetstuff? And you didn’t answer me about growing up.” Jade stole the spoon from my hand and went into the kitchen to dig through the cupboards. “Where’s the Pringles can?” he called.

“Garbage. We ate em all. Or rather, I did. That bowl held the last of them. As for growing up, it was all very nutritional. Although, Mom did let us have sugared cereal on vacations. You should see how irritated she gets with me when we talk about trips. She’ll mention some place that Dad took us and my memory of it always has to do with food. Like ‘oh! That was the trip where we got to eat Twizzlers at the hotel.’ Or ‘Hey, wasn’t that the place that they had Frosted Flakes?’ Seriously. She turns red. It’s kinda funny. And why are you looking at me like that?” I’d looked up to find Jade with his jaw dropped.

“Ok what am I missing here? You ate a whole can of Pringles? In one day? YOU? Don’t get me wrong dumpling, I noticed that the frosting was fat free but…Oh God…” he trailed off and I heard him rustling through the garbage. “HOLY SHIT! Literally! Oh my God you’ve poisoned yourself. You are a sick, sick woman,” He accused while holding up the empty can of Pringles. “Wendy these fat free chips are loaded with Olestra! Do you have any idea what this does to your stomach? Who am I kidding. Of course you do. And what are you laughing at?”

“Nothing, it’s just that well, the holy shit comment made me think of Lisa’s blog,” I giggled. “Not the Lisa I mentioned before, but the other one. Seriously. She did a whole blog on her son’s diaper and butterscotch pudding and..” I was laughing too hard to finish my sentence and Jade had a complete look of disgust on his face. “Ok, ok I know,” I admitted and held up my hands in mock concession. “I need to knit more and stay off the computer. I get that. As for Olestra the stuff rocks. I mean I can eat as many calories as I want today and that can of Pringles was not only yummy but it’s like a get out of jail free card.”

“You’re going to be in the bathroom all night. You know that, don’t you? You are a warped little kitten. I should have known better when I saw you eating. Speaking of kittens, what the hell does Klepto have?”

Jade was staring off into the dining room but I couldn’t see from my vantage point on the couch and I felt too full to move.

“Oh my God oh my God oh my God get in here!” he screamed.“it’s a mouse and I’m not talking about a toy one!”

“Seriously? Is it alive? Oh ewwwwwwwww! Get it! Get it away from her Jade! Do something!” I squealed as I jumped off the couch and peeked around the corner. Klepto did in fact have a MOUSE in her possession. And she was clearly pleased with herself. As we both peeked around different corners…Jade from the kitchen and me from the living room…she dropped it from her mouth and then snarled and pounced as it tried to get away. “JADE! For God’s sake! Man up!” I yelled.

“Man up!? Bite my ever lovin hot ass cupcake. This is YOUR house and YOUR mouse and YOUR cat and I am so out of here!” he said while backing up and turning white. “I do not deal with vermin. Call your Dad. Call HWSNBN. No scratch that, do not call him. Talk about needing to man up.”

By now I’d maneuvered myself under the dining room table and was trying to get ahold of Klepto. She was emitting a muffled growl as her mouth was rather full and her whole body was bunched up, hair standing on end. Just as I reached my arm forward she let out a hiss that caused her to drop her prey. I smacked my head on the table trying to get up when it ran my direction. “OUCH! Damnit Jade help me! Fuck!”

Klepto snatched the mouse and took off down the stairs to the basement. Jade was standing there slack jawed again.

“Fuck? Did you just say fuck? Oh my God the Olestra is coming out the wrong end. I have never heard you say that before. Say it again!” he exclaimed. “Sweet Jesus the girl has learned to cuss. Is this some arbitrary symptom of the breakup? Cause I like it! Seriously. It’s so cute and somehow…wrong coming from you. Say it again!”

“Don’t be an idiot Jade. I know how to swear. I even said that in my car the other day,” I said while rolling my eyes. “C’monnnnnnnnn. What are we going to do about the mouse? I haven’t had one of those in the house since the duck dude was here. I don’t want mouse guts on my carpet! And stop with the HWSNBN slams. ”

“Duck dude? What’s a duck dude? And I am not stopping with the slams until you finally get good and mad. I hate seeing you hurt like this. No man breaks my baby’s heart and avoids the wrath. I know you. And I know you’re going to ward off all men for another billion years like you did the last time. How long did you go without sex after the lawyer? Four years?”

We both looked toward the stairs as a loud raucous meow followed by an obvious cat fight echoed it’s way up. Apparently Remy was now in on the action. I sank to the floor and hugged my knees to my chest. It was doubtful the mouse would get a chance to enjoy any Pringles crumbs at this point. Dr. Grey would probably know what to do but I sure didn’t.

“It was SO not four years. It was only…I dunno. Three and a half.” I mumbled into my knees.

“Yeah. Well that’s just sad.” He said and dropped down onto the floor next to me. “Honey do you see the pattern in the men you choose? Unavailable. Out for the chase. They don’t care about you. They probably couldn’t even answer a 5 question survey about you because they’re only out for themselves. Do they care about anything that matters to you? Do they care about your writing? Your child? Your career? Oh no. No, no, sugar no…don’t start crying again. You’re going to cause more wrinkles and you don’t have the money for that botox you’re due for.” He said while pushing my hair out of my face. “Look I know you’re pretty beat up right now. 2007 has been a total bitch to you so far. But it’s going to get better. I promise. You’ll bounce back! You are the strongest woman I’ve ever known. And look at you. You’ve even learned how to cuss! I’m so proud of you!”

I smiled and leaned my head against his shoulder. “I really wanted him to love me, Jade. I really thought he could. And maybe it was a mistake, but I had to try. You see that don’t you?” I pleaded.

“I know cupcake. But you’re getting more affection from a gay man at this moment than you ever got during that whole mistake.”

We sat in silence for awhile and then turned to watch as both Klepto and Remy padded into the room on guilty paws and commenced with washing themselves. Kali bounded up the stairs a moment later with something that looked rather gross smeared on her nose. Jade got up to let the dog out the door and then we looked at eachother and started laughing hysterically. We were still laughing as I walked him to the front door.

“Well I’d say my work here is done,” he said. “And sugar? Don’t ever tell me to man up again. I’m more man than both of your heartbreakers combined. You need proof? Look around this room. There’s only one man here. And it’s me.”

I rose up on my toes to kiss him on the cheek. “I know. And I love you for it. By the way, the girls on 360 are really getting serious in their demands for photos of you. Are you ever gonna change your mind and let me post some?”

“Not likely cupcake,” he said while wrapping the scarf I knit him around his neck and tossing it back with pure Jade flair. “I am Jade, the all manned up man of mystery! Protector of the shoe princess! Keeper of the cussing cutie! Mousing marvel of the mansion! Castigating captain of the quest to rid you of floral couches!” he continued as I pushed him out the door.

“They were my mother’s! I hate them too! And if you want to know about the duck dude then log on and read my old blog about it. Same scenario, different cats!” I called out to him.

“Right! Well no more crying tonight over mistakes sugar. Ciao!” he yelled back as he slammed his car door.

I smiled, shook my head and sat back down on the floral couch to watch the end of the Grey’s Anatomy episode I’d been watching when he arrived. The credits were rolling as Dr. Grey summed up my life in her final comment, “And even the biggest failure. Even the worst, most intractable mistake…beats the hell out of never trying.”

Amen. And then I groaned as the Pringles kicked in and I dashed towards the bathroom.

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