"Don't forget, "Over Fifty Bowling Night" at Lois Lanes on Sunday."
Shirley Finklestein loved to go to "Over Fifty Ladies Bowling" every week. Free shoe rentals...and a chance to see all her girlfriends.
"Not comin' this week, Shirley," her friend Betty said."Gonna try the Singles Mixer at the Community Center. She laughed. "I could use me a new boyfriend. You oughta come too."
"Feh," Shirley answered. I buried one old man. What would I want with another?"
"Shirley, Saul has been dead a long time. Believe me, he wouldn't mind if you were dating again," Betty replied."You can see those old ladies at the bowling alley any week. Promise me you'll come with me on Sunday."
"Well, OK," Shirley accepted. "....but just so you know I'm just lookin'. I ain't buyin."
Sunday afternoon, Shirley entered the Fresh Meadows Community Center and scoped out the room. Betty was already talking to some old coot with a lone tuft of white hair on his head.
"I'll just walk around the room once and grab some punch. If there are cookies, I'll put some in my purse for later," she promised herself. "Then I'm outta here."
As she walked around the room, she couldn't help but notice the people. All ages. All sizes. Someone for everyone. "Well good luck to everyone," she thought to herself. "I'm grabbin' a handful of cookies and going home."
As she was approaching the exit, a thin man in a tee shirt and jeans ran up to her. "Hey Momma, where 'ya going?"
Shirley turned around to match the voice with the body. And it was a body. Shiny black hair, bright white teeth, and upper arms the size of bowling balls. Shirley had to admit to herself that he was quite a package.
"You talking to me?" she asked.
"Sure am, Momma. What's your name?"
"What's your name," she asked suspiciously. "And what do you want with me? I'm at least a hundred years older than you."
He smiled. My name is Nick, " he replied. And I like my ladies more.... mature. More experienced," he winked. "If you catch my drift."
"Get the fuck outta here, Shirley," she told herself. "This one is trouble."
But she couldn't leave. When would a man like this ever flirt with her again? And she knew it was just flirting. He couldn't have been more than thirty years old."
"Hmmmm....you're a pretty Momma," he cooed. "Why don't we get out of here we'll go for coffee? My treat."
"His treat," Shirley thought. "What a sport." She looked around the room. Betty was still talking to Mr. One Tuft. Shirley was on her way out the door anyway.What harm could one cup of coffee do?
"OK, Mr. Bright Eyes," she said as she took his arm. "One cup of coffee."
"And," she patted her purse. "I got the cookies to go with it."
They were at Stabuck's for over two hours. Nick was a good listener. Shirley told him about her late husband Saul, her bowling league, and her grandchildren whom she never saw.
"I bet you really miss them," Nick said, brown eyes flashing.
"Yeah, I do." Shirley sighed. Her thoughts of her grandchildren were interrupted by his voice.
"Gotta make a pit stop," he smiled as he got up. I'll be right back, Momma."
Shirley sat alone at the table assessing the situation. On one hand, what the hell was she doing? A man like that wasn't interested in a women her age.
But on the other hand, she had heard about men who were attracted to much older women. And she was beginning to really like him.
Was she a cougar?
Or a foolish old lady?"
"Ready for a walk, Momma?" He was back.
Shirley heard herself say, "Ready."
"So what do you do for a living?" Shirley asked her partner as they entered the park.
"I was in sales for many years," he replied. "But recently, I decided to go back to school. My major is Music."
"Very nice," Shirley replied. "My Saul, may he rest in peace, played the clarinet." What was going on? They had known each other less than three hours and she felt so comfortable with Nick. Was she going crazy?
"You know Shirley, I'm having such a wonderful time with you." His dark brown eyes looked into hers. I'd love to see you again. Maybe for dinner?"
"That would be nice," Shirley said sweetly. "That would be nice."
Another hour went by. They left the park and were strolling around the Fresh Meadows shopping district. Arm in arm, she could feel the warmth of his body against hers.
As they passed a store filled with suit jackets and ties, Nick abruptly changed the subject."You know, Shirley, I've lost a lot of weight recently."
Shirley laughed. "Yeah, well I wish you could tell me how to do it I could stand to lose a few pounds." She patted her ample stomach.
Nick ignored her question and pushed on. "In fact, I've lost so much weight, that my clothes don't fit me anymore."
There was a pause.
He looked Shirley directly in the eyes, "Do you know anyone who would like to buy me some new clothes?"
Shirley blinked, but didn't miss a beat. "I'd be happy to do that for you Nick."
"Hey! Great, Momma! There's a nice store two blocks up." He grinned. "No time like the present."
"Nope," Shirley replied, "No time like the present."
When they got to the store, Shirley poked her head inside. "Looks like they got some really nice stuff in there. Looks expensive too."
"Well, you get what you pay for," Nick replied.
"You certainly do," Shirley said as she ran her hand down Nick's shoulder. "You get what you pay for." She paused. "How much do you think you'll need to spend in there?" she asked.
"Oh, five hundred, a thousand dollars should cover it Momma." He kissed her on the cheek. "You're a good Momma for doing this for me."
"I'm the best Momma," she said as she pinched his cheek. "You go in and pick out some really cute things. I'll just slip down the street to my ATM and get some money. You wait for me. I'll be right back."
Shirley kissed him passionately. It was the first time she had kissed a man in years and she was going to make the most of it.
"You just wait here. I'll be back as soon as I can." She squeezed his hand and pointed towards the bank.
She blew him a kiss as she watched him enter the store.
"OK Momma," he replied. "I'll be right here waiting for you."
Shirley Finklestein walked up to the ATM at the First Bank of Fresh Meadows and withdrew exactly five dollars.
Just enough for popcorn and a soda.
This gal was going bowling.