Our waiter arrived with the National Velvet cupcake I had ordered.
“Cream cheese frosting,” Beck lamented. “To be in my 20s again.”
I dug into my crimson dessert. “In your quest for this extensive knowledge about relationships, have you ever dated a married man?”
Beck held up her index finger. “Once. In my defense, I did not know he was married at the time, because his wife lived in Switzerland. When I did find out, though, I ended it with the quickness. I was too old to be up in that mess.”
I kept eating and listening.
“Granted, I was 22 at the time, but there is no fool like an old fool. I didn’t want to wake up 10 years later, looking back on the energy I had wasted in a man who wasn’t even all that, because I had spent a decade being a fool. So that was done and done.”
All of a sudden, my plate was empty. Time flies when you’re having cake.
“I liked your story about you and Jean-Luc. It’s inspirational.”
“It’s a fairy tale,” Beck declared with a somber tone. “I got divorced from my first husband, met Jean-Luc, and got remarried. My life tied in a neat bow. I call it my resume gap story. Whenever I tell it, the listeners become beguiled by the meet-cute and the happily-ever-after ending. Their minds skip over the four-year period between nuptials.”
“Why don’t you tell them about those four years?”
Beck lowered her eyes. “I don’t want to sound weak and bitter and depressed.”
“If you ever want to talk about it, I’m a good listener.”