"So, let's get the tour over with," she said, when we entered her home.
"The tour?" I hadn't realized this budding island friendship came with a tour.
"Yes," she replied. "I know you want to see the house, so let's get it done, and then we'll have drinks on the veranda."
"I think I'll take my drink now." A beverage in my hand might prevent me from putting a foot in my mouth.
Our hostess explained, to her presumed neophytes, "They call this area Captain's Row, because ship captains lived here." Unfortunately, I didn't lift my glass fast enough to stop "No duh" from slipping across my lips.
Undaunted, she traipsed us up and down her stairs, meanwhile enlightening us on the fringe benefits of her job in a plastic surgeon's office. Flicking first her buttocks and then her breasts, she assured us, "Next year you'll see a little less of this and a little more of that."
I desperately wanted to inquire if it would be a transplant, even though I couldn't tell much about her figure hidden under a green ki-mumu whatchacallit (according to our docent, a style all the rage in Vogue). But I refrained, because no amount of rearranging body parts could make a woman appealing in a mu-nono.
Finally, she led us onto the front porch to enjoy our cocktails and the ocean breeze. "What do you do," she thoughtfully asked.
When I explained I write a newspaper column, she ran inside and exited again, shoving a book at me. "You must read it. This lady does just what you do, except she's a little more successful. I tell you, she's sitting on the cheddar."
Gee, thanks. But really, I prefer to bumble along in euphoria, thinking I work in an uncharted niche. And sitting on the cheddar, is that the same as cutting the cheese?
Alas the breeze ceased and the no-see-ums appeared (rather large and hungry), and someone suggested we go to dinner. My new acquaintance, in the most agreeable manner, said, about herself and her spouse, "We're flexible as long as we stay on the North end of the island." How congenial of them. I guess, quarantining themselves, they never noticed that on a four mile island, the north end and the south end are practically the same.
Finally, we agreed upon a restaurant within the required radius of their home. I looked forward to another drink, a leisurely meal in the arms of the old fort, and light banter among friends.
Shortly after receiving my appetizer, however, I realized that geisha girl's eyes were boring into me. I looked up.
"Are you enjoying your crab cakes?" she pleasantly inquired.
"Yes. They're delicious. Would you care to try a bite?"
"No," she said, urgently. "Are you almost finished? I need to use the restroom."
"The bathroom is just inside that door and to the left," I cheerfully informed her.
"Oh, I don't use public facilities," she said, and visibly recoiled.
I had used the restaurant's public loo twice while in her company. But in her defense, maybe she needed to drop some of that cheddar she was sitting on.
At any rate, since I know our new friends won't travel beyond the reach of their shower head, I look forward to our next island sabbatical, putting on my best flip-flops, inviting them over to Hoping for a Hurricane Hideaway, giving a tour of our single wide by the sea, and entertaining on the redwood deck.
. . . All within pottying distance of their house.