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You d thinkI d somehow magically reunited the Beatles and asked them over for tea. Ever since I
informed my parents that someone would be picking me up later and that the someone was a
guy they ve been all super-charged and extra weird.
Rosie is especially squealy. She keeps burning various incenses and draping the furniture with
different-colored silk scarves.
 Do you think he d like green tea? Or Red Zinger? she asks, holding up a tin in each hand.
 Uhhh, neither? Because he s only picking me up, I reply, kind of irritably.
 What did you say this young man s name was? Les asks me for the third time.
 Jack! Great Gandhi. How can the name Jack be so hard to remember?
In keeping with my Strangest Day Ever on Record, my parents are doing more to get ready for my date
than I am. Of course, that s not too difficult, since I m doing nothing.
After letting my hair dry in the wind to obtain an electroshocked disco queen type look, I went
downstairs and grabbed the ugliest, most antidate outfit I could find: a hairy-looking wool skirt and
matching jacket, both the color of lemon-lime Gatorade. I then added rhinestone-studded cat s-eye
granny glasses and a pair of white nurse s shoes.
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 I hope he likes Dylan, Les says, starting upBlonde on Blonde on the old-fashioned record player.
I hope he doesn t.
Rosie has apparently decided on green tea and has already started the kettle going. Now she s skipping
about the apartment, spraying her rose oil scented water.
 You guys! Why are you doing all this? I whine.
 He s only going to be here for a few seconds.
 Oh, honeybee! We re just so happy you ve made a friend! Rosie dances over and gives me a
chest-compressing hug. When she lets go, she spritzes me a little with her water.
Just then, the downstairs buzzer sounds.
 I ll get it! I shout, sprinting down the stairs in my thick-soled shoes. Rosie and Les come tromping
after me.
It s Jack. I can see the stick-straight part in his hair through the transom window as I go down.
Okay. Let s just get this over with. I try on an expression I hope isn t too glum or too eager and yank
open the door.
 Hi, there, I say.
 Hi, says Rosie.
 Hey, says Les.
Jack leans back a little, taking it all in. I can t tell if he s overwhelmed by the sheer ugliness of my outfit
or the fact that my parents are grinning at him over my shoulders. I must look like a three-headed,
windblown senior citizen.
 Hi, he says, reverting to his young bureaucrat self.  I m Jack. Jack Krebs. He gives my parents a little
 Rosie, my mother says, thrusting her arm out through the space beneath my right sleeve. Jack grabs
her hand and shakes it.
 And I m Les. His arm comes out the other side.
 Nice to meet you, Jack says, shaking his hand as well.
 Won t you come upstairs for some tea? Rosie asks.
Say no!I command mentally.No. No!
 Sure. We have time, Jack replies with a quick glance at his watch.
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He steps inside and gives me a smile.  You smell great, he says.
 Thanks. I can practically hear Rosie beaming behind me. At least he didn t say Ilooked great.
Unlike me, Jack has obviously taken extra care with his appearance this evening. His yellow shirt and
khaki slacks seem freshly ironed and his cheeks have the faint gleam of a recent shave. He s even
wearing a tie dark blue with black slanted stripes. And as he heads up the stairs in front of me, I notice
the glow given off by his loafers. Did he shine his shoes?
 Come on in! Rosie sings, sweeping her arm toward the inside of the apartment.
 How do you like your tea? Les asks Jack.  With sugar? Honey? Lemon?
 Uh, just plain is fine. Thanks.
As Les disappears into the kitchen nook, Rosie practically pushes Jack into the fabric-draped armchair.
 Please make yourself at home, she commands.
Rosie settles onto the overstuffed pillow at his feet and proceeds to grin at him. I perch on the ottoman
directly across from Jack, enjoying his bewildered expression. It occurs to me that my parents insisting
on his having tea might not be a bad thing after all. What better way to show him how weird my home life
is how completely the opposite of his own?
 Look at that, Rosie mutters as she gazes at Jack.  You have the greenest aura I ve seen in a while.
 I& I do? Jack shifts his eyes toward me as if to ask  Is she for real? I just smile back.
Rosie reaches toward him but doesn t touch him.  Do healing powers run in your family?
 Well& I have an older brother who s studying to be an immunologist& .
 See that? I just knew it. Rosie presses her hands together in front of her and nods at him her ultimate
sign of acceptance.  What about you? Are you going to heal people too?
 Ah& no. He chuckles nervously.  I m actually going into law.
Figures,I think.
Rosie keeps nodding.  I see. And why is that?
 I don t know. I just find it interesting.
 Heeeeeeere s your tea! Les steps into the living area as if he were bounding onto a stage and hands
Jack a cup and saucer.
 Thanks. A confused look flits across Jack s face and I realize he d been expectingiced tea.
 Isn t our baby beautiful, Jack? Isn t she a moonbeam? Les walks over and grabs my nose, wriggling it
until my granny glasses go all crooked.
 Yeah, she is, Jack replies, smiling at me.
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