Flash: C is for Cheerwine Christmas Courtship Choices

Image from icecreaminspiration.com (https://icecreaminspiration.com/ten-party-ice-cream-punch-recipes/)

“So how about him?” I point at Randall from Sales where he ladled out the punch bowl concoction where someone had dumped Cheerwine, Reed’s ginger ale, a couple cans of adulterated pineapple juice, and some vanilla ice cream in a bowl. “Swipe left or right.”

“Oh, left all the way. I don’t date white boys.” Wanda responded.

“Well, that is racist,” I joke. Wanda and I worked the front desk at the company, covering twenty incoming lines plus all visitor badge check-ins. We judge everyone coming in that door. Not out loud, mind you, at least not when they are at the desk and we make very sure the mics on our headsets are on mute before comments start flowing. The politically correct boat sailed the first hour of me joining her at the desk, and had disappeared over the horizon by the end of that day never to be seen again. I recently got happily hooked up, the boyfriend promising me a ring at Christmas when we are visiting his family, so now I am working on matching her up for similar domestic bliss.

“Yeah, well, they always try and call the cops on me the first time I attempt to stab them.”

I choked on the punch, which actually is quite good, Cheerwine for the caffeine kick, Reed’s for the ginger kick, ice cream for the smooth, and the pineapple because fermentation. Someone in maintenance worked magic. “You stab your boyfriends often?”

“Only twice, but white guys just get so angsty when you threaten them with a knife or cast-iron frying pan.”

“So, you know how I said I was finally starting to understand black Southern culture after growing up as North White?” I rubbed shoulders with her. “Consider that statement retracted.”

“Bless your heart.” A sly smile crossed her face as she sipped the Pepsi-zero. Her diabetes limited her sugar intake.

“Hey now!”

We made eye contact and both fell into giggles.

“Well, if it isn’t the twins.”

Tyrone from accounting towered over us. CPA and thought he was god’s gift to numbers and the company ledger. Problem was, he was god’s gift to numbers, the company ledger, and sexy as hell.

“Left or right?” I ask out of the corner of my mouth. I may have been on my second cup of the punch. Maybe third. Who counts at the company mandatory holiday parties? Especially when you were the one who spent the day, being “only receptionists”, decorating the meeting room and entry way for the party, while still covering the desk and the phones. Yes, we are that good, but it was hot thirsty work and I was trying to rehydrate with the punch. Maybe not my wisest choice. My boyfriend will be picking me up after he gets off work, so not my worst choice either.

“Right.” Wanda said without hesitation. “In fact, right now. Hey Tyrone.” She stepped closer and pressed her arms against her sides, causing her cleavage to jump in her deep cut red blouse. Wanda both got it and flaunted it. Not normally, dress codes for a welcoming professional appearance being written by the HR sticklers, but today is for exceptions of all sorts of things.

I think Tyrone swallowed his tongue and I double-checked the floor as I took a step back, because his eyeballs had popped out of his head. Pity, they had been the perfect brown soulful set to drown in, when not hardened by the end-of-quarter recordkeeping. Oh wait, looks like he got them back because they managed to track up to Wanda’s face.

Good luck girl, I thought as I move away.

We, as the receptionists, had an unfair advantage for picking out dating material internally that Tyrone likely also had being in accounting. We know exactly what everyone makes.

Payroll drops off the paystubs with the envelopes at the front desk, claiming they didn’t have time to deal with stuffing them or handing them out and since everyone went through us anyway, and we were “only receptionists” it would be a perfect way to fill in all our free time. The results is we knew exactly who was being garnished for child support, who was putting money into their retirement accounts, who didn’t get regular raises, and who did.

Tyrone did not have any garnishments, put aside the max into his 401K, and got raises like clockwork. A good hard worker if obnoxious during the end-of-quarter accounting crunches. But at six foot, a regular at the company gym, especially for the inside running track, and no one regularly calling through the front desk asking to be put through to their “pudding” on his behalf, he had been always high on both our fishing lists.

If he didn’t mind being stabbed on the regular, Wanda just might be giggling beside me as we plan our weddings. I hoped he liked cast-iron frying pans.

(words 820; first published 4/3/2024 – text flash inspired by the FB meme of “I can’t date white guys. They’re going to try and call the cops on me the first time I try to stab them.”)

6 thoughts to “Flash: C is for Cheerwine Christmas Courtship Choices”

  1. How fun! I recently saw the meme that was your prompt. Wanda is quite a woman, and the two women sure made their work days fun together! Sure wish I could squeeze my arms and get a cleavage, but it’s not going to happen 😀

  2. Great writing. This story made me laugh. But guess what? Some white girls (or sort of white–with more ingredients than a mixed drink) have been known to pick up a cast-iron skillet or two as well. At least I have. 😀
    Thanks for the enjoyable read. I’ll be back!

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