Bernice was a big girl. (As Alex always says, “Ain’t nothing wrong with a big Papago woman”.) Okay, Bernice was not a Papago woman, but she was not petite.
She worked with Alex for a number of years and developed a crush on him. I think Alex was somewhat flattered and slightly unsure about how he should behave with her. Alex asked me if I would mind if he helped Bernice move into her new house and I told him “of course not Honey.” Help your friend. I tend to not be the jealous type.
When Alex brought Bernice home several weeks after helping her move into her new home, he asked me if I would help her find a dress for the Christmas Party. I said sure. I thought, well, hell’s bells! Why not fix her up a little bit? I’m sorry, but for my husband to have a “girlfriend” not nearly as stylish as me is just ridiculous!
I fed Bernice and Alex dinner and then we hit the stores. There are several stores near us that cater to the “fuller-figured woman” and at about a size eighteen, Bernice qualified as fuller figured. As we approached one of the stores, Bernice stopped in her tracks and said, “Let’s go to Forever 21.” (Now this gal was thirty-five, if she was a day! But okay, why not?)
By this time, Alex had the good grace to begin to look uncomfortable. His girlfriend was giving him “meaningful glances” and trying to share some inside jokes with him. His eyes kept darting between Bernice and me. Bernice found a couple of skimpy “cocktail” dresses in size “Large” and repaired to the dressing rooms. She came out, poured, stuffed, and oozing out of a dress and said to Alex (not me!) “What do you think?”
Alex looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him up. He replied to Bernice, “That’s fine. Honey (me honey) what do you think?” I said diplomatically, “Bernice, that color is lovely on you, but I think it’s pulling a little bit at the seams.”
Bernice shot me a furious look and said, “Well, Alex if you like it, this is the one I’m getting.” I smiled and nodded at them both.
Bernice went to change back into her regular clothes and Alex looked at the floor. He simply would not look up at me. Bernice paid for her purchases and we drove her home.