Discovering New Forms of Comfort

When I was in my 20s, I discovered many new forms of comfort. Angora sweaters. Velvet dresses. Never mind that I bought them at discount and thrift shops, they were COMFORTABLE. I got a full-size bed–which was a big step up from a twin size.

And I met Leonard. He introduced me to all different sorts of comfortable. Here’s a scene from our dating life….

Leonard wore a suit. I wore my best dress — a vintage black velvet dancing number I had found at the Columbia University thrift shop, with a sweetheart neckline and a flared skirt. When you meet the boyfriend’s parents, you don’t go to Happy Burger.

I kept replaying in my head what the analysts in the group interview I had typed for my job had said about Jack: This guy takes up all the air in the room. We met the parents in the lobby of the Helmsley Palace hotel where they were staying, and walked over to La Grenouille, an upscale French restaurant. Len’s mother was wearing a chic black dress and elegant shoes. His father was in full business attire, a silk handkerchief in his pocket and a cigar in his mouth, the very picture of a CEO. His parents walked so fast I had to struggle to keep up. I was so nervous I jabbered all evening, showing off my cookbook French.

After dinner, Mr. Tramiel opened the door of a chauffeured stretch limousine idling by the curb outside. “Leonard? Preeva? Can we give you a ride home?”

Oooh, this was nice. The seats were soft and felt like suede. The carpet was deep.

“Would you guys like to hear a great Polish joke?” I asked.

“You know, Preeva, we’re Polish,” Jack said.

“That’s okay. I’ll tell it verrrrry … slowly.”

There was silence, aside from the traffic noise outside the smoked-glass windows. I think I heard the ticking of Len’s watch.

Then, Tramiel mère and père both began to roar. I snuggled into Leonard’s shoulder as we rode uptown.

About Onecakebaker

Author of a memoir called The Girl On the Wall, and working on a novel. Former Synagogue president, gardener, empty nester. Raising bees.
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