What’s a Girl Gotta Do to Get a Guy in this Town?
(With apologies to country singer Joe Nichols)
The administrator of Cottonwood Assisted Living in Mesa Verde, Arizona, Glenda Walker was determined. Determined to meet a man with a lot of money who would take her out of this one main street rural town, just outside Tucson.
She adored Jack Rubin, the local developer, but after the food fight fiasco, She only saw him on and off. She wanted someone to take her away.
“Calgon, take me away!” she cried to herself in her office, imitating the commercial. “Goodness, I grew up poor in the East Texas pine woods. I worked hard to get where I am, but still deserve better. I haven’t found my prince yet, I will have to do this myself.”
Her administration classes at the University of Phoenix taught her how to plan things. She sat at her office computer on Google and started typing keywords, dating millionaires…”Here we go, datingmillionairemen.com. Sign up is free, good, they are the millionaires, and they should be paying not me. I am their prize. Good, almost finished. What? My bank routing number? My investments? Scratch this!”
Glenda was not one to give up easily though. She scanned AZ Starnet. “Singles event for selective singles, Friday night at the Westin La Paloma. This looks like my lucky event! Oh, here is an RSVP link. Done! Oh, make Friday night my destiny.”
This was done on Tuesday. The following morning, the residents of Cottonwood Assisted Living noticed Glenda was in the best mood they’d ever seen her. Of course, some of the men in the facility couldn’t resist being snide and vulgar. “Did you and Jack Rubin get it on?” Philadelphia Harry asked, making obscene gestures with his hands. “Ohh,” Glenda gasped and threw back her hair. “Babe, I’m available,” Black Jack Mullins said with a sneer.
“Gentlemen, I go for quality, not quantity.”
“Oh that hurts, Glenda, we’re quality,” Black Jack said plaintively.
“A quality of what?” Glenda said in a snotty tone, trying to sound like a newscaster and not the East Texas girl. She tended to use the Southern accent only in certain situations. Glenda went around singing for the rest of the week. By Friday, she was waltzing around Cottonwood singing Sugarland songs. Glenda loved Jennifer Nettles, “I’ll be staying at the Ritz tonight,” her drawl becoming thicker with the words.
“Whatever she’s smokin’ why ain’t she sharin’?” Black Jack muttered. “Capitalist lackey,” Professor Zemansky mumbled. Black Jack and the Professor never agreed on anything before.”
Glenda got in her red Sebring convertible and tore out of Cottonwood as if being chased. She was soon being chased for real.
“The flashing red lights appeared in Glenda’s rearview mirror as she tore down Mesa Verde Road toward Tucson. Glenda sang a JoDee Messina tune about tearing out on highway four. The reverie stopped when she saw the lights and pulled over. “I will not let this bother me, it will be a great night,” Glenda muttered to herself.
Patrol Officer Sonia Martinez approached the drivers’ door. “Ms. Walker, beautiful night, isn’t it? Do you know why I stopped you?”
Glenda figured she better play it cool and be honest. “Officer Martinez, I was probably, driving too fast.”
“That’s an understatement, Ma’am. You were going thirty miles over the speed limit. I can but won’t charge you with a felony. I am going to write the ticket saying you were doing fifteen miles over the limit. What’s the hurry anyway? By the way you are dressed, I would say a hot date.”
“I am going to a single’s event in town.”
“Well, you want to get there safe, please slow down and have a good night.”
Glenda took the ticket. “Thank you, Officer Martinez.”
Glenda pulled out slowly. “I got off lucky. She could have pepper sprayed me, as she did that Gila Monster. Goodness gracious, the creatures in this state!”
Glenda’s upbeat nature came back as she drove on this beautiful evening overlooking Tucson along Sunrise Drive. At the Westin, she flirted with the valet parking attendant and handed him ten dollars. “I am feeling lucky.”
Glenda first ran for the bathroom. Now she was nervous. She checked her makeup one more time and ran to the registration table. She didn’t realize how nervous she was. Her drawl to the professionally dressed woman came out very high pitched. “Miss, Mah name is Glenda Walker,” The woman handed Glenda her nametag without a word, but heads turned, and not in a complementary fashion.
Glenda was not drunk yet on alcohol, but drunk and disorderly on adrenalin. She approached the bar, where the young blonde bartender was serving drinks. She pushed past people, put a hand with long nails on the counter and said, “Cutie, I want a Margarita.” Heads at the bar looked at revealed cleavage and a heavily made-up face. He served her mostly to get her away from the bar. Consider it triage.
Glenda pushed her way from the bar and wasted no time spilling the drink on the chest of a big broad man. “Darlin’ I can see your name tag, you didn’t need to throw your drink on me.”
“I’m so sorry, Ed.” She scanned his nametag and stood there in shock. The glass was not in her hand long, because the shock made her drop the glass. Glenda brought herself back to attention again. A couple of hundred people looked at her in shock.
“Ed, aren’t you gonna buy me another drink?”
“Darlin’ I think the last thing you need is another drink.”
“Ohhh! How rude!” Glenda stormed off in stiletto heels, the glass from her dropped glass crunching into the floor before the waitstaff could sweep it up.
She ran back to the bar. “Another Margarita, cutie!”
“Ma’am, are you sure, are you all right?”
Glenda was no longer flirting with the bartender. “Just give me the damn drink!”
“No, Ma’am I am cutting you off. I will call you a taxi.”
“You little brat! You will do no such thing! Glenda approached a well-dressed guest. He turned out to be the founder of a new optics company in town. “A heavy hitter,” The founder of Arizona Optics, Anton Matveev, came to the United States from St. Petersburg to attend the University of Arizona and formed his company while still a student. He was the stereotype of tall, dark and handsome.
Saying Glenda, approached Anton is diplomatic. She threw herself at him and he caught her as she balanced on her heels trying not to fall. Bad enough, she did that during the nursing home food fight.
“Dear lady, I know you are no dancer for the Bolshoi Ballet,” he said laughing through a smile.
Subtle was not Glenda’s strong suit especially where the rich and soon to be famous were concerned, “Oh Anton, I’ve read all about you, where have you been all my life?”
Now there were stickers all over the room. Anton burst out laughing. “Dear lady, English is my second language, but I still understand it as a terrible pickup line.” He said this so loudly, the entire room laughed. “Lady, I saw your type of girl in Russia, I know what you are.”
Glenda’s eyes narrowed as she lost it. “How dare you I ought to…” She raised a hand to claw Anton, when another voice, a cold professional female voice behind her said, “Ma’am, put your hand down.”
Glenda whirled greeted by a petite blonde Tucson Police officer. She was accompanied by a larger male colleague. Several people called the police on their cell phones.
“Ma’am please walk outside with us.”
“Why, I haven’t done anything.”
The male officer whispered in Glenda’s ear. Please come quietly, we want to spare you some embarrassment. The management wants you to leave. If you don’t come peacefully, we will have to arrest you.”
Now Glenda was scared. Image was everything for her, and she could not afford Cottonwood’s administrators firing her not yet. “OK officers, I will go with you,” she said in a now quiet scared voice.
They escorted her out. “Ma’am, we are going to take you to headquarters at 270 South Stone, will you submit to a breathalyzer and blood test?
“Yes, I didn’t even git to have the one drink I bought!” The East Texas accent was varying between a scared girl and an angry imitation of country singer Miranda Lambert.
“Ma’am, your car will be safe here, is there anyone you would like to call?” The female officer asked with a more gentle tone than before.
“Yes, Chief Morris of the Mesa Verde department!”
A smile crossed the male officer’s face. “I know Chief Morris. Let’s get her downtown and then she can call. Ma’am for our protection and yours, we are going to handcuff you. They placed her hands on the roof of the car and pulled one hand at a time behind her.
The ride felt like forever and humiliating Glenda sat in the back seat. “All I wanted was to meet a rich guy, how did it go so wrong?” She thought to herself.
At Police Headquarters, the officers took Glenda to a desk with a phone. With trembling fingers, she dialed the number for the Mesa Verde Police Station. Dispatcher Diana Sanchez happened to be on duty that Friday night. It had been a very quiet Friday night, not even the usual calls for drag racers. It was only 8:30 in the evening since Glenda’s night out was ended early. “Mesa Verde Police Department, how may I help you?”
“Diana it’s Glenda Walker.”
“Well, you didn’t dial 911, so it can’t be bad.”
“I need the Chief; I am in Police Headquarters in Tucson.”
“Why, we have a police station here. It’s a very nice police station with comfortable seating and nice people like me.”
Glenda had enough trouble dealing with Diana when she called her about the food fight, now to have Diana’s silliness on the phone. Glenda did not want to lose her temper in front of the Tucson police. “Diana, please just contact the chief for me.” The tone was polite but definitely strained. “Yes’ Ma’am,” Diana said. Glenda read the phone number to Diana.
Five minutes later, the phone rang. “Glenda, what have you done?” Chief Morris was as professional as he could be without laughing himself silly.
“Oh Chief all I wanted to do was meet a nice guy at a singles event with quality people and I was brought to the police station.” Glenda fought back the tears.
“Glenda hand the phone to one of the officers.” Officer Cantrell took the phone, “Chief? It’s Billy Cantrell.”
“Billy! OK, buddy, Glenda has her foibles, but she is not a member of the criminal classes. What could she have done at a singles event that had you bringing her to 270 South Stone?”
“She isn’t drunk but was loud and annoying the other attendees. Several people including Westin management called us. She was out of place in dress and demeanor. Several people thought she was a call girl looking for business.”
Now the chief burst out laughing. “Billy, Glenda is a gold digger, but she wants a husband not to charge for business. Have you charged her with anything?”
“No, a vice detective wanted to question her, but we held off when she asked to have her phone call be to you.”
“I’ll be there in an hour. She will have enough humiliation when she gets back to Mesa Verde. See you later.”
Officer Cantrell kept the laughter inside and his professional face on. Chief Morris is coming to pick you up. I am so sorry for your ruined evening and arrangements will be made for the return of your car.”
Glenda never thought Chief Morris would be her knight in tarnished armor. The wait felt like forever. Chief Morris arrived in a jogging suit. “Your chariot awaits Ms. Walker. Don’t worry, it won’t turn into a pumpkin.”
Glenda was furious at being mocked but did not have a choice. She cried all the way back to her Mesa Verde home where she was greeted back photographer and blogger, Sandra Wilson, who proceeded to take many photographs. Glenda despised Sandra especially after the nursing home food fight but was trying not to draw more attention to her. At least not yet.
Not that it would help her. Sandra called the Westin and got the inside scoop and the article and pictures told a lot. Glenda may or may not have learned a major lesson on how one can be perceived.
Most of the residents and the town enjoyed Glenda’s misfortune because they felt she brought it on herself. She was spared being fired because she does her job well and the board hoped she might learn a lesson from this.
Sandra plastered the incident all over her blog with pictures from that night and interviews. The headline on the story read, “Cottonwood Administrators’ Bad Date.”
Glenda could only dream and plan for the knight in tarnished armor. Would she try again for a big prize, would she accept Jack Rubin, or what would she do?