Three Pickles with Joyce

So back to Joyce and the iPhone.

To recap, there we were, in the expensive steakhouse, about to eat our desserts, and I unwrapped the package she’d given me. (Joyce actually wrapped it and didn’t stick it in a stupidass gift bag. It’s way more fun opening a present when you have paper and ribbons to tear.)  It contained an iPhone X.  The kind with 256 gigs of memory.

Okay, it’s not like she was giving me a Tesla, but I do know what the iPhone X with 256 gigs of memory costs, and $1200 is a lot of money for a present for someone you only met a couple months ago. It’s a lot of money period…and more than I make in a week. I had all kinds of things going through my head, from “I really do need a new phone” and “the iPhone X is dang cool” to “what would Mom say about a $1200 gift from an older woman?” to “what saying would Meemaw come up with?” to “is it rude not to accept a gift?” and “does this have something to do with Joyce playing with my hair the last time we got together?”.

At least it got my mind off the Dodgers lol.

All those thoughts were whirling by so fast that I wasn’t able to hang onto any one of them for any length of time. And I was very aware of Joyce looking at me from across the table. I’ve already told y’all that Joyce is seriously lame when it comes to hiding her feelings, and I could see that she was a nervous about how I would react. I could also see that she really really hoped the phone would make me happy.

That put me in my first pickle.

And it did make me happy…would have…did…would have…

My current phone isn’t a shitbox (like my car lol), but it’s old enough for Monica to give me shit about it every time she sees it. (Keaton, on the other hand, thinks anything but an old beat-up phone is gay.) So I could use a new phone. I guess Joyce thought so too. I’m totally not an Apple geek, but you gotta admit that the iPhone X looks so cool. All you gotta do is smile at it and it turns on? Tell me that’s not cool.

So I let my thoughts simmer down and let myself have my natural reaction. Which was to get a very big smile on my face.

“So you like it? I’ve never seen you smile like that…and you have such a great smile.”

So there I was, holding the phone box in one hand and the torn wrapping paper in the other, smiling and I could feel blushing too. (Yeah, I still blush. And since I’m pretty fair, it shows when I do.)

“Um…yeah.” I was thinking maybe I should say “you shouldn’t have” – but Meemaw says that’s insulting and stupid. “Don’t tell someone they shouldn’t have done something when they already done it.”

Then I looked at the box and smiled some more.

“I can help you get your SIM card into the new phone. I’ve done it a couple times for myself. You pick up a few things working for a tech company surrounded by men.”

I have no idea how to move a SIM card from phone to phone. I’m not even sure what a SIM card even is. You don’t pick up a whole lot of tech pointers on a minor league baseball team or at the Gap. Of course, nobody was moving no SIM card until I was sure I was going to keep the phone. (No, Meemaw has no helpful sayings about SIM cards. She does have a few about cell phones though.)

And I wasn’t sure about keeping it. So I wasn’t going to open the plastic and take it out…although it was pretty clear she wanted me to. I think she wanted to see how cool I thought it was. So I was in another pickle. And I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not smooth in social situations like that. I think I already told y’all: Mom and Dad raised me to be a really bad liar.

The only thing I could think of was to safely put it on one of the two chairs we weren’t using and mumble something about not wanting to get cake on it. She didn’t look too disappointed, so I figured I was in the clear.

So it was time for gayass flourless chocolate cake and coffee (Joyce always gets a decaf expresso…I seriously don’t get that) and telling her more about the Pasadena Parrots. I’ve dated plenty of girls who were interested in baseball (and plenty of girls who pretended they were interested in baseball so they could go out with me)…but getting a chick interested in softball is pretty much impossible. I don’t blame them: softball is fun to play, not to watch. Although I guess our team has a bunch of interesting characters on it.

Oh shit. Did I just admit that I’m dating Joyce?

She paid the check, we got up to leave, she said “don’t forget your new phone” (like I could!), and we got in the Tesla. Since I drive, I get the parking ticket, so I pay for parking and tip the valet five bucks. I think I explained that my first job was parking cars. I know what it’s like to be a valet. Believe me: tips matter a lot in that job. Don’t think that paying the parking fee means that you don’t have to tip the dude who brings you your car.

So…yeah…Tesla back to Joyce’s place (she lives in a house up in Altadena) and…

That put me in my third pickle of the evening.


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