He had kept the jig saw a little too long. Two kinds of embarassment were at the root of that. One, he wasn’t exactly the most skilled with hand tools and wasn’t sure he had gotten the blood off from his clumsy attempt at a weekend project. And two, he didn’t want to have to face Blake.
Blake had some bizarre title, like “Knowledge Master,” or “Information Broker.” For all he knew, it could have been “Master of the Universe.”
He was a nice guy, but one of those guys who always ended up on top, never had any problems, looked 10 years younger than he actually was. could do anything, and always had the most interesting story to tell.
“So he’s like a frienemy?” his daughter asked him as they approached the cup-de-sac.
He probably shouldn’t have been so transparent with his feelings in talking to his kid, but he couldn’t help himself. Too much time in his head these days. Besides–maybe she was the one with the most insight. His sister-in-law had theory that late 30s-early 40s guys transformed into adolescent girls.
“It’s the same exact thing,” she said one night when she was over, having dumped her latest rebound, who was himself a 39 year old underemployed “entrepreneur” and “consultant.”
“Insecure about their bodies, trying to be sophisticated but coming off as awkward, and needy, needy, needy.”
He had really wanted to say something about women in their late 30s/early 40s and excessive amounts of Pinot Grigio, but thought better of it.
“I guess that would be the word,” he said. “Can’t say I’ve heard that before.”
“Yeah,” she said, “it’s not something you actually say to someone’s face.”
“So,” he thought, “You call someone a Frienemy behind their back?”
“Does that make you a frienemy to call someone a frienemy?” he teased, “Hell of a way to get back at someone.” Then in a melodramatic villainous voice, “To defeat the evil you detest, you must become that evil yourself!”
She laughed, and shot back her own melodramatic, bad choice from the Netflix cue voice, ” Yessssss. Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
Preferably with Pinot, he thought, and still laughing, hopped out of the car to get this over with.
This tidbit actually started with my thinking about a nice neighborhood I drove into on an errand in 09 or so, where there were 5 houses in a cul-de-sac, two of which had foreclosure notices on the doors. I wanted to include that detail, but ended up returning to the relationship between the daughter and father. Thanks, too, Amanda, for the always funny teenage girl analogy. Trust me–I find it much more entertaining than this character does.