I was sitting in the park, listening to my iPod, when suddenly I was plunged into shadow. I looked up and two of the moms were standing over me, and they didn't look too happy.
"You're Julie's friend, right?" one of them, a very large, sturdy woman with dark hair and eyes named Monica, said.
"Uh, yeah, I guess," I said. "I'm friends with several of the moms here, I suppose--"
"Yeah, but special friends with Julie," the other one, a tall, broad-hipped blonde named Pam said, or sneered.
"What's up, ladies?"
"Your little game," Monica said. "We checked up on you. First off, you don't have a kid, named Terrell or anything else."
"True, and your point is?"
"What are you doing hanging out in the park so much?"
Now I stood up, looking eye to eye with both of them. "Enjoying what my tax dollars have paid for. And if you've checked up on me you no doubt know that I sold my company for a shitload of money, which means I've probably paid more taxes for this park than everyone else here put together. I like hanging out here part of my day. One of the reasons I like it is because I think some of the moms are pretty hot to look at, and in at least one case, pretty hot to fuck." Monica looked like she was about to have apoplexy at this last one, but damned if I was going to be pushed around by a couple of yuppie busybodies. "Nice to meet you ladies, now, please, I have some very important iTunes purchases to listen to. Good day."
They looked at each other, trying to think of something else to say, but failing. With a final harrumph, they stormed off.
All the moms kind of avoided me for a week or so there, which didn't bother me that much; I noticed Julie didn't even seem to come to the park any more, and when I tried to call her about our Thursday play date, she didn't answer the phone. Oh well, that's the end of that, I thought.
Then of all people Pam came up to me and spoke to me.
"Have you talked to Julie lately?" she asked.
"No," I said, which would have been my answer either way, but happened to be true.
"Want to know why you haven't seen her around lately?"
I played along. "Sure. Why haven't I seen her around lately?"
"She and her husband went away on a cruise together. To try and patch things up between them."
"That's great," I said, sincerely. "I'm really glad."
She looked at me kind of funny. "That's not exactly what I expected you to say."
"Why? What did you expect me to say?"
"I don't know, I thought you'd be jealous, or sarcastic, or something," she said.
"Why? I had a good time with Julie, and she certainly had a good time from me when she really needed someone to give her one, but she belongs with her husband. And if I gave him the hit from the cluestick that helped him realize how totally sexy and wonderful she is, even with a few extra pounds after a baby, then I'm happy for them both and I wish them nothing but a happy life as a couple from now on."
"Hmm," she said.
"Nothing, just hmm," she said. "Anyway, just thought you'd like to know. See you around," she said, and was off.
After that Pam was surprisingly friendly to me, and I noticed that most of the other moms, who had been distinctly chilly for a few days, went back to being at least passably friendly, too.
More than that, I noticed Pam started working in little references to sex, or fooling around, or not getting enough at home into the conversation. Here we go again, I thought.
We were standing by a jungle gym when a couple of young women in tight, skimpy athletic clothes power-walked by. I turned my head and she caught me. "See, you say you like us moms, but one of those walks by and you're drooling, like any other guy," she said teasingly.
"Well, dress like that and I'll drool over you, too," I said.
"If I dressed like that I'd scare half the playground away," she said.
"Yeah, but I'd be in the half that stayed," I said.
"You say that, but I don't know whether to believe you or not," she said, moving closer to me and, I noticed, to a place where we were mostly blocked by the jungle gym from being seen by the rest of the park.
I grabbed her around her soft waist and pulled her to me, then kissed her. She pulled away. "Does that answer your question?" I asked.
"I believe it does," she said.
"So... do you want a play date?"
"Not so fast," she said. "Let me talk to Monica."
I frowned. "What, you have to ask her permission?"
"No, silly," she said. "I have to find out what day is good for her."
The doorbell opened and Pam invited me in. "Where are the kids?" I asked.
"Grandma took them," Pam said as she led me into the family room. "She thinks I'm getting some warts removed."
Well, at least Grandma wasn't going to be part of the fun, though actually there were no signs of Monica, either. Pam handed me a glass of champagne. "Make yourself comfy, and we'll be right there," Pam said.
I sat in the family room and glanced around-- well, until I spotted the picture of Pam and her husband framed next to the fireplace. Then I decided just to focus on my drink.
"We're ready," Pam said, a moment later.
.... There is more of this story ...