The strange car in the driveway should've been Dante Killiano’s first clue that this was an ambush – not of the law enforcement variety, but one worse. One done by his mother who was so desperate to marry him off that she constantly introduced him to women. Not just any women, but Italian ones. He had told his mother more than once that he didn’t like Italian girls. Nor did he have a desire to settle down anytime soon. Still his mother tried. At every chance she could get.
Tonight, clearly. was another session. If he didn’t love his mother and know she would make his life Hell, he’d turn around and go home. Or out to a bar. Instead, like an obedient son, he parked his car next to the stranger’s then headed inside to face whatever brunette awaited him. He wasn’t disappointed.
“Dante,” his mother said.
She stood on tiptoes to kiss his cheek. He gave her a hug. She was a short, round woman, full of energy and love. He rarely could deny her anything, except grandchildren at the moment. Being the oldest of three sons, she expected him to marry first.
She might be waiting a long time.
“Who do we have tonight?” he said.
She walked him into the kitchen where a brunette sat primly with a wine glass in front of her. It was pink and he didn’t need to taste or smell it to know it was White Zinfandel. He wanted to shudder. He imported some of the finest wines from Europe. How could his mother think he would marry someone who didn’t at least have a rudimentary understanding of fine wine? He didn’t expect a sommelier, but a pedestrian knowledge would be great.
The girl hopped off the stool, her smile wide. She was cute. He’d have to give her a chance, for his mother’s sake.
He shook her hand. “Dante.”
“Nice to meet you, Dante. Your mother has been telling me all about you.”
Guess he got here in time to make sure his mother didn’t break out the baby pictures. There was one of him naked on a rug. He looked much better naked now.
“I sadly know nothing about you,” he said.
Her smile didn’t dim.
“After dinner, you can take Gina out for dessert,” his mother said.
Lucky him. During dinner, he found out that Gina was an esthetist, which meant she did nails and waxed all sorts of body parts that he didn’t want to think about getting waxed.
“Men do it, too. Manscaping. You should try it,” Gina said.
His mother didn’t cringe, but Dante would bet she wanted to. She didn’t like talk about such things at her dinner table. Good. He’d ask Gina more questions so when he didn’t pursue a relationship with her, his mother wouldn’t be disappointed.
“Tell me the funniest story about waxing someone,” Dante said.
His mother glared at him over her wine. He just smiled. She’d asked for this.
Gina launched into her story, oblivious to the undercurrent between mother and son. It made Dante smile.
“I was waxing this guy’s, um, privates, and he had a piercing down there.”
Dante was a little sorry he asked. His balls ached from the thought of it: both the piercing and the waxing.
“Well, I poured the wax on and it heated up his piercing a little, but he said it was okay. Well, when I put the paper on to pull off the hair, it got caught on the piercing. I realized it before I yanked. The poor man howled because I did pull it a little. Not really sure the point of piercing the sac. I get the penis, but not the sac,” Gina said. Then she took a drink of her sweet wine.
Dante didn’t know what to say. He was suddenly uncomfortable in his crotch. And he was not happy this woman had spoken about sacs and penises in front of his mother. His mother seemed unfazed by it all.
“More pasta?” she said.
She wasn’t even blushing.
“I couldn’t eat another bite. Besides, I’m saving room for that dessert your son has promised me,” Gina said.
“Let’s clear, then I can take you out,” Dante said, trying to lighten the mood.
“I’ll do the dishes, Dante. You two go ahead,” his mother said.
Now Dante sat in a café, watching Gina devour a piece of chocolate cake as if she were a piranha presented with a cow.