Adrienne S. Moody Fan Club Update

written by M Dawn Thacker

An Adrienne S. Moody Fan Club was born today and literally worlds away.

The nursing home Short Story Club meets weekly to read aloud and discuss one short story. Members bring short literary pieces from authors they like, or from magazines they’ve read. Sometimes members write their own tale, or talk the staff leader into sharing one of her most recent ones. The Club grew from an intimate starter circle of five ladies to its current ensemble of fifteen men and women.

The story is usually printed Thursday morning in size sixteen font, bold with numbered pages. Each member receives a copy, reads it over sometime during the day at leisure, and comes to the meeting at three o’clock prepared to read a paragraph or two and discuss the work.

Today we missed a chance to prepare. Earlier, we had an Easter Egg Hunt with twenty-five pre-schoolers dashing about in search of six hundred and twenty-four plastic, pastel colored treasures. Residents leaned forward in wheelchairs, absorbed in the wide-eyed excitement of those little people. The children remained the topic of conversation through lunch and into the afternoon, thus, the memory lapse regarding Short Story Club.

That’s when Adrienne came to my rescue. I had introduced my group to the Now page of Readthisplease.com weeks ago. We read the five part series on Chincoteague and viewed the picture book online. Residents enjoy living vicariously through the travels and adventures of others.

We had never discussed the exploits of online dating, though. I wasn’t even sure if they knew there was such a thing, but with ten minutes before the group assembled, I put stock in Adrienne and her ability to draw a crowd.

I began at the beginning and printed off the story of Frank, titled Keep Coming Back, with Adrienne’s by-line.

I prefaced the meeting by asking if anyone had heard of online dating. The group ranges in age from forty-seven to ninety-four. Only ladies were present today. Charlie was there for a few minutes, but he rolled his eyes at the prospect of computer dating and left the room at a fast pace.

“I’ve heard of that Match.com on television,” Dee said.

“Isn’t there something called e-Harmony?” Beth asked.

Most nodded their heads, and the few who looked perplexed, received a quick tutorial from those in the know. Elders surprise me sometimes.

We began the story, each person taking a turn reading a paragraph, some mimicking Frank’s Italian accent better than others. When Beth took a turn at Frank’s lines, she was elected to recite all of his parts. She put such feeling into the character and accent, we could have sworn she was he.

When we reached the racy parts, I cringed a little. I tend to shelter and shield, like a protective parent. After thirty years in this job, I should know better. No one stormed out. There wasn’t even an intake of breath. The only visible reaction came from Dee, who giggled, covering her mouth with a hand.

With the last line read, Helen piped up, scowling. “You know, I’ve been on this earth a long time, and I’ve dated my share of men. All I have to say is he deserved a good smack across the face. Adrienne was too nice to him if you ask me.”

“If not a smack, at least a good tongue lashing,” Polly stated, smacking her hand on the armrest of her wheelchair. “Who did he think he was? After two dates he shouldn’t have even thought of holding her hand.”

“Sometimes you get caught up in an accent,” Dee said closing her eyes. “They are so sexy, just dreamy, you know? I dated a man from France one time and I didn’t care much what he said, as long as I could listen to that accent.”

I asked the group about their own dating experiences, how they met the men in their lives. The list included: a bowling alley, church, dances with friends, double dates, school, and blind dates set up by friends or family members.

“I guess online dating would sort of be like a blind date,” Jean said. “It seems rather dangerous to me though. I remember that Ted Bundy killer. Does someone know where Adrienne is and who she’s with?”

I had waited for this question. These ladies worry. Adrienne was suddenly like a daughter or granddaughter, off on her own, putting herself in danger. “I’m certain she takes every precaution and has some defensive skills,” I reassured.

“I hope so,” Helen said. “This world isn’t as safe as it used to be, you know. A woman has to be careful.” She looked at me with a serious stare. “Do you know this Adrienne well enough to talk to her?” She asked.

“I do,” I said.

“Well you tell her I said to always let someone know where she is, just in case. When I was dating, my mother and father knew where I was going and when I’d be back home. If I didn’t show up when I was supposed to, my Daddy came looking for me.”

“I think she’s older than a teenager, Helen.”

Helen sighed and patted my hand. “Of course she is Dear. What I was trying to say is, it’s important for her to tell someone, a friend, or co-worker, maybe even a close neighbor. You can never be too careful.”

“I’ll be sure to tell her Helen,” I said.

“I think I’d be afraid,” Beth said. She had been quiet during the discussion. She’s usually boisterous, sharing her opinion before anyone else has the opportunity, but today she was introspective, eyes downcast. Beth was the one who had made Frank’s persona fit her like a perfectly tailored piece of clothing. “You don’t know what kind of men are out there. Sometimes you don’t realize how bad they are until it’s too late.”

Others nodded in agreement.

“You say she has other online dating stories?” Karen asked. “Could we read another one sometime?”

“Sure,” I said. “When would you like to read the next one?”

“Do we have to wait a week?”

“No, I have an open spot in the calendar on Monday afternoon.”

“How about it ladies?” Karen asked the group.

“No plans,” Helen said.

“Me either,” Dee stated.

“I’m free,” Jean said opening her weekly planner.

“I’ll be there,” Beth said.

Everyone else agreed to meet, and the Adrienne S. Moody Fan Club planned its first meeting.

“OK girls,” I announced, scrolling back to Adrienne’s second story. “Tuesday we meet ‘Liverpool Man’.”

“Liverpool Man, huh?” Beth asked. “Looks like I’ll have to practice my Cockney accent.”

 

© 2011 M Dawn Thacker for Now.ReadThisPlease.com Click M Dawn’s tag for more stories and articles.

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3 Responses to “Adrienne S. Moody Fan Club Update”
  1. Gaboo says:

    Charlie better sit in and do his research. Some felines in that story group might go on their own prowl. Nice little infomercial, M.

  2. Jess Guelespe says:

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I undoubtedly enjoying every small bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  3. momochi says:

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

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