Advice for the Lovelorn ... Teacher

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Chapter 16

As luck would have it, Frank called me again, agitated. He really hated his wife’s boss, Benji. Really, really hated him. He denied it, but he couldn’t bitch enough about him. But Frank doesn’t “bitch”, because that’s a naughty word. And he doesn’t “hate” Benji.

“Let’s just say I’m not his biggest fan,” he told me.

Po-tay-toe, Po-tah-toe, I thought.

His wife’s employer was having an event to celebrate the success of the China trip. It was a huge project and Shirley played a huge part in the completion of the project.

“Who’s Shirley?” I asked.

“My wife,” Frank said, slightly perturbed.

Well, excuse me. You’ve never ever mentioned her name before.

But Frank was not one to boast and neither was Shirley. Frank told me so himself. (I really need to meet this woman sometime). But Frank didn’t feel she was getting enough recognition.

What? Let me get this straight—Neither of you boast about anything. You basically have no ego, but the ego isn’t being stroked enough? What am I missing here? Isn’t this why there was a celebration—to celebrate the completion and success of the trip?

Well, technically, yes, Frank explained. But it coincided with an office-wide party and Shirley was really the star of the night, but she is too modest to say anything and Benji wouldn’t bother to notice because he was too busy clawing his way up to corporate ladder. I could hear Frank gasp for air. He was really worked up.

So … why am I involved?

“What do I do?” Frank finally asked.

WTF. Someone I’ve never met is not being recognized for a project I know nothing about for a boss whom I don’t know, other than Frank doesn’t like him. She’s the star, but not one to brag. And you’re expecting me to give you advice to rectify this. Sure—just let me pull something out of my ass for you right now. Don’t you have any simple questions I can answer—like what’s the square root of Pi??

“Well,” my mind was reeling. “Why don’t you give her flowers?”

“Flowers?” He’d never heard of such a thing. How long had he been married?

“Yes, flowers. If you don’t think she’ll be properly recognized, you can show her that you know how hard she worked. You appreciate what she did even if Benji doesn’t.”

“Flowers? You mean present them during the event?”

“Not necessarily. You could do it after the event.”

“How could I do that? She’ll see them.”

Jesus, do I have to friggin’ think of everything here???

“What about your car trunk? Would she have a reason to go in there? Just put a bouquet in the trunk,” I said.

“Put them in the trunk,” he repeated, trying to fully grasp what I was saying. “Wouldn’t they freeze?”

I rolled my eyes. “They’re not going to be in there that long. It’s 10 o’clock now. Even if you got them before noon, they probably wouldn’t be in there more than 12 hours, max. You can wrap them in a blanket or something if you’re worried.”

He was mulling it over, and a thought hit me. “And make sure you get her roses,” I insisted.

There was a pause.

“That was my next question,” he sheepishly admitted.

Oh, my God. How did he get her to agree to marry him? She must have pursued him. If it were up to him, he’d still be planning their first date.

“Does she have a favorite flower?” I asked.

There was another pause, just long enough for me to inject, “You can’t go wrong with roses. Just go get some, put them in the trunk, and you’ll figure out the best time to give them to her.”

What am I saying? Well, he’s a college graduate, isn’t he? He can’t really be THAT stupid, can he? But then again, he is a man. And look at who he’s asking for advice.

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