"Well if you change your mind, come on by you are always welcome." was Frank's response.
The weekend came and the girl I had a date with was missing in action, I couldn’t get in touch with her, so rather than pout I took my easel outside and began to do a painting.
While I was painting two beautiful girls, a blonde and a brunette, were walking down the sidewalk. They seemed to be lost. I had a hunch they were probably looking for Frank’s party.
“Are you looking for the party?” I yelled out.
“Yes!” They responded.
So I pointed them toward Frank's place. As they walked off I returned to painting.
"Screw this!" I thought.
I packed up my easel, threw everything into my apartment and headed to Frank’s party. His place was loud with wall to wall bikers and their mols. All wearing black, mostly leather, complete with tattoos, piercings and a beer. I noticed the lost blonde at the food table. She was talking with a bald-headed biker who had what looked to be a tattoo of a bullet going in one side of his head and when he turned around I noticed he had another tattoo of his brains blasting-out of the other side of his head. So, it was clear that the blonde was off limits.
I picked up empty bottles and empty plates which gave me the opportunity and excuse to meet the bikers and their dames. It also made it obvious that I must be a friend of Frank's and therefore OK. I was beginning to have a good time. Well, except when I would catch a glimpse of myself in the big mirror Frank had hanging in the living room.
I made a bad judgment call a few days before the party and got one of those, long on top - one length Michael Hutchence, (the lead singer of INXS), haircuts. But mine came out more like, Moe from the Three Stooges. Most of the time, I was able to avoid looking at myself in the mirror and remain in denial, until one of Frank’s friends, “Joker,” who met me sometime before the haircut yelled out from across the room, “What the hell happened to you? Why did you cut your hair like that, man? It used to look good!” Thanks, Joker.
Anyway, I was by the bar to see if the old guy mixing drinks needed anything when the that "lost" brunette made her way over and sparked up a conversation with me about art. Later on I came to find out that Frank’s girlfriend was the brunette’s beautician and told her that I was a “famous” artist and would be at the party. I wasn’t famous but I wasn't about to call Frank's girl a liar. Besides I've been accused of much worse.
It was when the brunette asked me if I frequented “the Met” that was about to determine the entire course of my life from that moment on. I knew she meant the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Of course I’ve been to the Met.
“Yes.” I replied confidently.
She immediately began rambling on about how her favorite gallery at the Met was the, “Egyptian,” something or other. Right then and there I knew I was out of my element. She continued by rattling off historical dates, periods, dynasties, and an entire history on Egyptian art. I had no idea what the hell she was talking about - but I looked interested.
When she was all done she looked right at me and asked, “So, what’s your favorite gallery at the Met?”
Then I blurted it out, “My favorite room at the Met is the bookstore!”
She was silent and looked at me like she didn’t hear me correctly.
I knew it didn't sound impressive but, and this was surprising even to me, I didn’t care. It felt good; because it was true. I loved the bookstore! I loved looking at all the books, souvenirs, interesting toys and gadgets. It felt so great to just tell the truth that I continued to describe everything I enjoyed at the Met bookstore. During my enthusiastic descriptions, the blonde had made her way over to join us and was listening too.
Once I finished, the blonde asked me, “Are you talking about the bookstore at the Met?”
Still feeling enthusastic, and with a dumb smile on my face I said, “Yeah!”
Then she smiled and said, “My uncle manages that bookstore.”
That was nineteen years ago and the blonde and I have been together everyday since. Nineteen years, even we’re amazed it’s been nineteen years. I’ve been in relationships that were nineteen days that felt like nineteen years. I still can’t believe how lucky I am, and extremely grateful, that I just told the truth. If I lied to impress the brunette I would have been in the wrong relationship, and probably alone today.
It amazes me how a little lie to get what I thought would be good for me would have ruined my chance of getting what turned out to be perfect for me.
Everyday I wake up and see my beautiful little wife, Lori, I am reminded that honesty is the best and quickest way to get what is truly meant for me and motivates me to just be me - honestly.