Ten Minutes With Stacey
Beth L. Block

I was innocently enjoying my whole wheat sesame bagel with salmon spread and medium vanilla hazelnut coffee when the door flew open. I don't know which was more annoying: the fact that her perfume arrived before she did or that she was talking into her cell phone loudly enough for the women working out next door in Curves to hear. Even the woman at the table in front of me was peeved.

This woman, who looked like a Stacey, was "on the go." On the go to where, I'm not sure. Probably, the cosmetics counter at Bloomingdales. Anyway, Stacey was about 45, but obviously worked hard to appear younger. She wore designer jeans - tight, faded, and ripped in all the right places. To protect herself against the elements of the northeastern winter, she chose a stylish open down vest, which let in more cold air than a drafty old barn. And she was thin. Very thin. In fact, between her stick figure and her nervous motions while she waited in line, I couldn't help but think that Stacey was either one of those affluent, suburban housewives with a nasty cocaine habit or a tragic victim of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Thankfully, she finally ended her phone call abruptly when her turn to order came. I thought, "Watch. This woman can probably eat whatever she wants because she has a personal trainer and, besides, she's a speed freak." Sure enough, she ordered a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich with salt and pepper--oh, and a large cup of coffee--since she wasn't hopped up enough.

I watched Stacey walk to her black Lexus SUV, which was taking up two spaces in the front row of the parking lot. As she gunned it out of there, the cell phone was, once again, against her ear.

First published: February, 2006
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