Across The Counter
By Martha Williams, El Paso, Texas
Reprinted from June 1990
June 16: Flo dropped by today. Gee, she really looked bad! Haven’t seen her for a couple of months now and she told me she’d been having all sorts of marital problems with Ted. I think they are going to split up. She drank a lot of booze and stayed until 11pm and wore me out completely. But, what are friends for if not to help others in times of crisis?
August 14: Flo was over again last night. She’s going to file for divorce from Ted soon. She wants to stay for about six days while Ted gets his things out of the house and she adjusts to being alone. Well, it will be a bit of a burden, but I guess we can work it out. After all, it is just for six days.
August 31: Whew! Flo finally moved out after being here 17 days. Her stay was most exhausting for RB and me. She drank a lot and smoked heavily besides talking almost constantly about her marital problems. I must remember to tell her about the long distance phone calls she made while she was here. She was probably so upset she just forgot about them. Must also remember to call the carpet repair service to have the hole in the rug repaired where she dropped her cigarette.
September 14: Just about a month now since Flo filed for her divorce. I’ve had lunch with her a couple of times. She really is depressed and down in the dumps. I mentioned the long distance calls and she assured me she’d pay me just as soon as she was able. I know she is short on money as it isn’t like her to let me pick up the tab two weeks in a row. She did look stunning in her outfit so maybe she’ll be out circulating again soon.
October 22: Flo’s divorce was granted last week. She got a good settlement and the house. She is still very depressed. Came over today and borrowed $25 because her check is slow getting here. Forgot to mention the long distance calls, but know she’s having a hard time.
October 29: Flo was in the store today to ask RB to do some repair work for her. He didn’t charge her. She is still very depressed. RB suggested we introduce her to one of our good customers who lost his wife last year. He is steady, dependable and well fixed and has always done a lot of business with us so we know he is okay.
November 14: Had Flo and Joe over for dinner tonight. They hit it off just fine. Somehow RB offered to invite them back for Thanksgiving on the 22nd. Well, it will be fun even if a lot of work. Maybe Flo will help with the cooking and all.
November 22: We really had a lovely Thanksgiving with a beautiful turkey and fixings. I worked for three days beforehand, but it was worth it. Flo and Joe really found a lot to talk about and left together. I wish they’d help with the cleanup, but I guess they had a lot to talk about and wanted to be alone.
December 1: Saw Flo and Joe driving down the street together today. I guess they are getting along just fine! Christmas is coming and we always got a nice gift from Ted and Flo so I know that they’ll be dropping by the store soon.
December 24: It just dawned on me that I haven’t seen Flo and Joe and there was no gift from them. They didn’t buy anything in the store either. Well, I hope they like the fruitcake we had sent to them. They are probably just busy and in love.
January 2: Well! In today’s paper was the engagement announcement for Flo and Joe. I know they’ll be dropping by to pick out a ring soon! It is so exciting to know we’ve brought together two people who were so lonely. I hope they’ll be happy.
January 6: Saw Emmy, mutual acquaintance of Flo’s and ours. Mentioned the beautiful diamond engagement ring Flo was wearing. Hmm, I wonder where it came from? Maybe it is an old ring of his mother’s. Wonder why we haven’t seen Flo and Joe lately.
February 2: Saw Flo and Joe had a big wedding yesterday. I guess everyone in town was there. Can’t imagine why we didn’t get an invitation. Maybe it was lost in the mail. I’m sure a good friend would send us an invitation to her wedding. I just can’t imagine. Oh well, Flo will come in soon and ask where we were!
May 16: It dawned on me today that we haven’t seen Flo and Joe since before Christmas. I wonder what on earth has gotten into them. I met a mutual friend at the store who told me she didn’t think it was such a hot match anyway. Well, people are really strange.
June 16: Flo dropped by today. She’d been crying a lot and told me she and Joe were having a lot of problems. She stayed until 11:30 and drank a lot and really wore me out. She is depressed. But then what are friends for anyway?