Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Finding a Moment
You hit 'end' on your phone, smiling to yourself over your conversation with Rory. How exactly had you ended up here? Sitting in front of a supermarket, drinking vodka out of paper cups with Digger Stiles and actually enjoying yourself? Something about this picture doesn't compute.
He's everything you'd left behind, everything you loathe. Not the money - it turns out the money has its uses, since there's nothing romantic about being poor - but the familial obligations, having been groomed since birth to take over the firm that has been in your family for generations, the societal and philanthropic obligations. Having to be nice to people named Twee or Bipsy just because their last names were Paley, Guggenheim or Zuckerman, and treat them like they were the most brilliant people on the planet when in reality they were thick as bricks. That part of it is about as exciting to you as watching paint dry, and about as appealing as a root canal.
And, yet, here you sit, enjoying yourself, and maybe falling for that guy. The guy that never left, who stuck it out. Okay, so he told his father where to go recently. Maybe that justifies your relenting to him. Or maybe it's just the look you're imagining on your mother's face if she could see you right this minute, enjoying yourself with the one guy you can think of that meets every requirement on her miles-long list of proper mates for you, but whom she still loathes. You giggle just thinking about it.
"Okay, I have the massive egg rolls," Jason calls out, walking out the front doors of West Hills. "There was also this sesame noodle salad stuff that looks really good, so I got it too."
"You know, my girlish figure doesn't allow me to eat carbs," you reply in your best Scarlett O'Hara voice, fluttering your lashes.
"Need I remind you of the great Pringle quest?" he deadpans. "Plus, I'm getting a very fast primer in how you eat. Carbs seem to be the only thing you consume. Mac and cheese…it's been years. I think my nanny made it for me the last time I ate it."
"Oh, God, don't bring up nanny horror stories. I think my mother thought nannies existed as her 'Lorelai headache cure,'" you air quoted. "It was definitely out of sight, out of mind."
"Oh, I know; my mother was the same way. And my father only really realized I existed when he could take me to the office with him," he laughingly nods. "But let's not try to figure out which of us had the worse childhood, because I think we would be here all night and probably into next week, each topping the other with horror stories that should never be revisited on children, real or imagined."
"If you hate all of it so much, why go into the family business?" you ask, taking his cue, but going ahead with the thing you most want to know.
"Well," he thinks for a moment, staring off into the night.
"Oh, the big egg rolls are excellent," you interject, swallowing.
"Good, at least you got some Chinese tonight," he chuckles.
"True," you laugh. "China Garden has nothing on West Hills," taking another bite.
"I stayed because money isn't a bad thing to have, I didn't know what else to do if I didn't end up in the insurance business, and it turned out, much to my own chagrin, I'm good at it," he rattles off. "How else am I supposed to be able to impress my dates with the wrong reservations at China Garden?"
"What exactly is it you and my father do?" you ask, somewhat sidestepping, not sure you really want to get into all of the issues he brought up just yet.
"Pretty much tell people how much, or how little they're worth," he replies. "It's quite amusing to tell them they're worth half of what they think they are. Although usually we want to over estimate, so we can rob them blind."
"Of course," you chuckle.
"All perfectly legal, of course," he says, pulling a smile. "The best forms of larceny are."
"Oh, of course," you nod, looking past him, something catching the corner of your eye. "Oh, do you see the old guy with the young blonde floozy?"
"That is Ebenezer Weiselstein," he replies in a hushed whisper. "Maybe she's on her way to being wife number eight. Wife number six sued him for emotional abuse when he quit having this huge mole on his chest waxed."
"Shut up!" you giggle. "You're not being serious."
"I totally am," he deadpans, and you can't tell if he's telling the truth. "I've seen the pictures. He has this huge mole or birthmark - I'm not sure if it was ever definitively decided which is it - just below his left pec," he points. "When they were dating and first married he had it waxed. It's very hairy. But when he was trying to get her to leave him, so he wouldn't have to pay as much alimony, he quit. He let all the hair grow back in."
"That is grotesque!" you gasp.
"Really it is," he nods, grinning. "Pretty good, if I do say so myself, for a spur of the moment type thing."
"So it's not true?" you hiss, reaching over to give him a playful slap. "I was getting ready to run inside and spill something on her so I could warn her to make sure the hairy mole was in the prenup."
"Oh, now see, I wish Ebenezer Weiselstein really existed," he laughs. "I would pay to see that. Look, I think that's wife number ten right there," he points.
You follow his hand to an adorable girl about ten years old, shaking your head, trying not to laugh, "That is just so many kinds of wrong. That's just Jerry Lee Lewis wrong."
"What?" he replies, hands raised, trying to look innocent. "He keeps getting older, they keep getting younger. It could happen - you never know."
"If you had gotten the right seats at China Garden," you reply coyly, trying to entice, "I totally would have tripped into Ted Koppel to see if I could make his toupee come off."
"I will remember that, for future reference," he laughingly nods. "I'll be sure to make reservations for Nobu next week, or maybe Fish."
"Nobu," you eagerly nod. "More celebrities to stalk. Maybe I could drop something down Paris Hilton's dress, even if the food is slimier," you smile at him, reaching over to take another drink out of your paper cup. Maybe it's not perfect, but then what ever is? But for now, this will do just fine.