Sookie’s phone pings letting her know she has a new message. She’d signed up for Plenty of Fish (POF) earlier that evening. Rather than wallow in the pity because of Bill’s betrayal, Sookie had chatted with people off and on all night in between selling her unwanted items in Facebook yard sale communities thanks to the advice of Arlene of all people. So far, she’d talked with two guys that seemed to be genuinely nice; one was also recently separated. Their conversation had centered on how hard it was to adjust to life as a single person, but how exciting it was too. Their conversation had ended when he’d left to take his son to t-ball practice. He’d asked if he could message her again later, and she’d responded with a smiley face.
It felt good to have someone interested in her again, even if it was only to chat through text messages. It’s far more interest than Bill had shown her in the last year. Her confidence had also been bolstered when the other guy she’d been chatting with called her cute.
When you haven’t had any affection from the person that’s supposed to love you, the smallest of compliments can make you smile like you’d won the lottery.
Sookie is in the middle of packing up her kitchen. The constant pinging of her phone letting her know she has notifications has kept a smile on her face while she packs her belongings in boxes. Looking at her latest notification, she sees it’s a new message from Tiger_in_the_Sack. She snorts to herself reading the username, but taps the notification to open the message. Tara and Hannah had warned her that she’d get her share of pigs.
They didn’t say anything about tigers though.
Tiger_in_the_Sack: Hey babe.
SS_Belle: Hello. How are you?
Tiger_in_the_Sack: Fine. My name is Quinn.
SS_Belle: Nice to meet you Quinn. My name is Sookie.
Tiger_in_the_Sack: So I see we’re looking for the same things; friends and lots of fun. Lol
SS_Belle: Well I just separated from my husband and am going through a divorce. I’m not looking for anything serious.
Tiger_in_the_Sack: Cool. I see you keep yourself busy. Maybe I can help you cum sometime.
SS_Belle: EXCUSE ME?!?!?!
Tiger_in_the_Sack: Babe, we can be the type of friends that kiss, go down on each other, and make sure we’re well-taken care of.
SS_Belle: Quinn, I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can be the type of “friend” you’re looking for. Have a nice evening.
Tiger_in_the_Sack: But babe, you don’t know what you’re missin’.
SS_Belle: Oh believe me, I think I do. GOOD-BYE!!!
Sookie shakes her head and sets her phone down in annoyance. “Does that shit really work on people? I know it’s been a long time since I’ve had sex, but I’m not that desperate!”
“So are you nervous?” Tara lies on Sookie’s bed with her chin propped up on her hands, flat on her stomach with her knees bent, and her ankles crossed in the air. “I mean it’s your first date in this millennium. And thank the gods the fucktard is not here to be in your way this weekend. Not that one,” she says shaking her head no at the dress Sookie holds up. “It looks like you’re goin’ to church, not to a bar for drinks!”
Sookie sighs in frustration as she throws the dress on top of the pile of clothes that Tara has rejected. For the last half hour, Tara has systematically vetoed one item after another in Sookie’s wardrobe. The only things Tara approved of are the black lace bra that pushes the twins up and together and the matching lace boy shorts.
“I can’t help it that all my clothes are either work or church appropriate, Tara,” Sookie exclaims in irritation. Her expression darkens as she continues speaking. “Besides, Bill didn’t like it if I dressed like a ‘slattern’. He always wanted me to look like a lady.”
Tara hops up out of the bed, her expression thunderous. She’s read enough books at one boring job after another to know what a slattern is. If there is one thing the Bon Temps public library always had in stock it was trashy romance novels, especially if they were set before or during the Civil War. Lord help you if you wanted to read a book about the Civil Rights movement, computers, or self-improvement, but if it involved sex and a hoop skirt, then the library had it!
“I’m sorry, but what the fuck, Sook! No one’s askin’ you to walk around with yo titties or ass hangin’ out, but you gotta give a guy somethin’ to look at! If ya don’t, he’ll just stare at some other bitch all night. Here, let me look through there.” Tara pushes Sookie out of the way and starts rummaging through the closet. “Let’s see what we got here.”
Tara rifles through the clothes, snapping the hangers against each other as she plows her way through the clothes. One item in particular catches her eye and she yanks the hanger out of the closet in horror. “Damn, Sook! When the hell did you start dressin’ like an old bitty? All you’s missin’ is the damn crazy hats Momma wears to church on Sundays.” Tara holds the dress in front of her with disgust. “Hell, I don’t even think Maxine Fortenberry would be caught dead in this shit!”
“Shut up!” Sookie laughs as she grabs the dress out of her friend’s hands. She looks down at the dress, grimacing as she stares at the floral dress with polka dots. “It is ugly, isn’t it? Miss Caroline gave it to me for Christmas last year. I think I only wore it once when we had her and Senior over for dinner. I was prayin’ someone would spill wine on or tea on it, but everyone drank water with dinner. There’s no way I’d wear this thing in public. I think I’ll add it to the pile of clothes I’m givin’ to the church. Maybe someone in need can use it,” Sookie says as she slips the offensive garment off the hanger and folds it up to add to the pile of clothes in the corner that she’s giving away because they no longer fit her or are things she no longer wears.
Tara snorts in contempt. “Ain’t nobody ever so in need that they’d wear that. Shit, I’d rather go bare ass naked than have that on me!” Tara resumes her perusal of the closet, reaching back into the far recesses of the space. “Jackpot! Here, wear this with a pair of jeans and wedge sandals.”
Sookie frowns as she takes in the shirt Tara thrust into her hands. “Tara, I can’t wear this. It’s meant to be worn under a jacket or sweater. It’s see through!” Sookie hangs the shirt back in the closet.
Tara pulls the top back out and pushes the shirt against Sookie’s chest. “It ain’t that see through, especially since you’re wearin’ the black bra. You used to show more skin wearin’ that bikini lyin’ in your Gran’s front yard. You’re wearin’ the damn shirt! Now go put it on,” Tara states stubbornly as she rummages through Sookie’s closet looking for her jeans. “These too,” Tara says triumphantly as she pushes a pair of dark blue jeans in her friend’s hands.
“These jeans are too tight,” Sookie whines. “I’m gonna have a muffin top and look like I got camel toe!”
“Just put the damn outfit on for me to see,” Tara says while rolling her eyes. “I swear you are worse than Lafayette!” Tara looks at Sookie with a critical eye as her friend slips the black sleeveless lacy top over her head, smoothing it down over her breasts and stomach. She refrains from saying anything until Sookie zips and buttons her jeans. “Thought you said those jeans were tight? They look fine to me. Not a muffin top or camel toe in sight.”
Sookie stares at her reflection in shock. “I used to only wear these if I knew I’d be standing all night or if I was wearin’ a baggy shirt to hide everything! Oh my God, Tara; they’re loose!” Sookie tugs at the belt loops on the jeans, causing them to wiggle. “Look! I have room! I could wear a belt.”
“No belt,” Tara declares authoritatively. “It’ll make everything look bulky. The top and pants look great on you.” Tara embraces her friend, knowing how unhappy Sookie’s been with her body image. “No tears, Sook; it’ll ruin your makeup,” she scolds as she hears her blonde friend sniffling.
“I can’t help it,” Sookie mumbles as she pulls back. She fans her hand in front of her face trying to dry up the moisture gathering in her eyes. She knew she’d lost some weight because of how her clothes were fitting her, but she didn’t think it had been that much. It helps that she’s eating better and channeling all of her hurt and anger into exercising, and not filling the void inside her with food.
“What are you doin’ with your hair? I think loose with your natural waves would be best,” Tara says trying to change the topic. “Then if y’all play pool, dance, or anythin’ else that requires getting’ sweaty,” she says wiggling her eyebrows, which makes Sookie slap her shoulder, “then you can pull it back with a clip. You take care of your hair; I’ll get the shoes.”
“Better make it heels,” Sookie calls over her shoulder. “My date is over six feet tall.”
“And built like a linebacker,” Tara shouts back. “How come none of the guys I’ve met on Plenty of Fish look like they could be one of the dancers from Magic Mike? I’d never mind the shitty pick-up lines if the guys looked like that!” Tara straightens up with a pair of peep toe shiny black wedges with a cork bottom. She crosses over to the bathroom where Sookie is fluffing her hair. “What about these?”
“I forgot I had those,” Sookie replies excitedly as she sprays hair spray over her head.
“No wonder, it looks like you’ve got all DSW in your closet,” Tara teases.
Sookie chuckles in response while she slips one foot at a time into the shoes Tara handed over. “Blame Pam. Whenever we have a bad day, she demands retail therapy at lunch. If you don’t buy something when you’re with her, she gets very angry.”
“And you don’t want that bitch angry,” Tara retorts with a chuckle. “I still love that time she made the guy that was tryin’ to hit on her piss himself.”
“It wasn’t funny,” Sookie admonishes though her lips curve in a smile. “It takes a lot of guts to approach a stranger in a bar and try to initiate a conversation.”
“Sook, he asked Pam if she’d dress up as a dominatrix and spank him while he wore a diaper and called her ‘mummy’. That ain’t guts; that’s some sick perverted shit!”
The two friends look at each other for a beat before bursting into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. “It’s . . . a shame . . . he wasn’t wearin’ the diaper that night,” Sookie gasps out.
“I’m just happy he didn’t shit himself,” Tara says amid chuckling and her comment sets the blonde off again.
When Sookie calms down, she straightens up to look at herself in the mirror again, checking that her make-up is still OK. She turns to her friend with worry. “I haven’t been on a date since I was a teenager, Tara. What the hell do I do? What do I say? What if it’s a disaster?”
Tara rolls her eyes but puts her hands on her best friend’s shoulders and squeezes affectionately. “Girl, first dates usually are a disaster! Think about it; they are like a job interview. The two of you are tryin’ to see if you are compatible. It’s gonna be awkward and uncomfortable at times, but that’s just the way it is. No one expects this guy to be your soulmate, but if he can fulfill a certain ‘need’ you’ve got,” she says with a thrust of her hips making Sookie laugh, “then ride him like a cowgirl on a bucking bronco! Actually, those are two of my favorite positions: cowgirl and reverse cowgirl.”
A whole new expression of panic crosses Sookie’s face at the mention of sex. “Tara, I’m not that experienced. What if I’m bad at sex? Bill obviously didn’t like sex with me if he went to someone else to get sexual gratification? What if . . .”
“Sookie Stackhouse, you stop that right now!” Tara speaks in a harsh commanding tone. “Asshat’s issues are not your fault! There is nothing you coulda done to prevent him from cheatin’! If he loved you, he never woulda looked that way at another woman. As for sex, do what comes naturally. I know you’ve read plenty of smutty books, just like I have. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Read the signs your man gives ya; it’s easy to tell when they like sumthin’. And make sure you tell him what you do and don’t like,” Tara says vehemently. “I keep tellin’ Eggs don’t expect me to swallow the hot dog if he ain’t willin’ to eat the peach!”
Sookie looks at her friend totally confused as to what she is talking about. “Eat the peach?”
“Pussy,” Tara retorts wickedly, which makes Sookie blush. “Women like oral jus as much as men. It’s a damn shame they think we’ll give them blow jobs and expect nuttin’ in return.”
Sookie’s blush spreads to the roots of her hair. “I don’t think I need to be worried ‘bout any of that tonight. I’m just worried I won’t have anything to talk about.”
“You’ve been talkin’ for days through text messages. I think y’all will be fine tonight. ‘Sides, that’s why God invented alcohol!”
Both girls giggle. Sookie turns back to the mirror and puts the finishing touches on her appearance. “Well, how do I look?”
“Sook, you look hot!” Tara smiles approvingly and Sookie smiles in relief. She grabs her clutch off the dresser, putting her lip gloss and compact inside along with her cell phone.
“Text me if the date’s a dud,” Tara says as the girls walk down the stairs to the front door. Sookie nods before opening the door for her friend and then locking it once they are both outside.
Before Sookie can get in her car, Tara stops her. “Here, take these. Ya never know what the night will bring,” she says with a wink as she slips a couple of condoms in Sookie’s hand.
Sookie opens her mouth to protest but stops herself. She shrugs as a sly grin spreads on her face. “Better to be safe than sorry,” she replies with a wink as she tucks the foil wrappers inside her bag.
“That’s my girl!” Tara embraces Sookie, wishing her luck on her date. The two women separate, getting into their respective vehicles and driving off into the humid Louisiana night.