We were on our way to see the three sisters, when Marty cleared his throat.
– “Umm – there’s probably one more thing I should tell you. It’s the oldest one. Sam. Ah … she’s … not that bright.”
It didn’t sound like the end of the world to me. There wasn’t much time to think about it, anyway, as Marty pulled up in front of their house. It was a big split-level, definitely a cut above my place.
All three girls came out to greet us. Caroline was a short, slender brunette. I pegged her right away as a wallflower. She had that ‘future librarian’ look. She shook my hand.
Samantha was a slim blonde – almost skinny – with bright blue eyes.
– “Call me Sam!” she said, with a giggle.
The youngest, Tanya, had reddish-blonde hair, and a facial expression that I can only describe as halfway between a smirk and a sneer.
– “Hey.” was all she said.
Since it looked like it might rain, Caroline invited us into the basement. We had to meet their mother, first; I stayed on my best behavior, for Marty’s sake.
– “Let’s play some records!” giggled Sam.
The group dynamic became immediately apparent. Caroline was the serious, smart one – the responsible one, too. If you had asked me, I would’ve guessed that she was the oldest. Tanya was the precocious jailbait, quite confident that she was by far the coolest of the three, and would one day be smartest and hottest – if she wasn’t already.
As advertised, Samantha – Sam – was a complete ditz. Dumber than a bag of rocks. At first, I thought her airhead routine was just an act. There are girls out there who pretend to be dumber than they are, who hide their brains, so as not to intimidate the guys.
Sam wasn’t one of those.
Caroline suggested a Michael Jackson record. Sam wanted the soundtrack from Grease. Tanya laughed out loud when she saw the expression on my face – and Marty’s.
– “They don’t want to listen to that.” said the youngest sister. “Here, put this on.” She passed over a Foreigner record.
– “Much better.” I said, with a nod of approval.
– “Oh, I know what guys like.” said Tanya, with a little grin. “I like the same stuff. Wanna see my records?”
– “Sure.” If I could get the two blondes looking at albums, that would give Marty a chance to talk to Caroline. Personally, I couldn’t quite see what he saw in her – but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all that.
I have to admit, Tanya surprised me. She had Queen records, AC/DC, The Police, and even Van Halen’s 1st album.
– “Wow. I’m impressed.” I admitted.
– “What sort of name is Van Halen?” asked Sam. “Who would call their kid Van, anyway?” She was examining the album cover. “Which one is he? The singer?”
I didn’t quite know how to react. Tanya just rolled her eyes.
– “That’s a last name, dumbass.” she told her older sister. “The guitarist and the drummer are brothers: Eddie and Alex Van Halen.”
Sam wasn’t offended. She just giggled.
– “Oh! Hee hee.” I took a wild guess: that wasn’t the first time she’d been called a dumbass.
– “She thought Fleetwood Mac was a guy’s name, too.” Tanya told me.
– “Did not!”
– “You did too.”
Caroline stepped in as peacemaker. That spoiled my attempt to give Marty some ‘alone time’. She suggested that we play a game. The sisters had a collection of board games.
Dice were rolled, pieces were moved, and Caroline and Tanya fought it out – tooth and nail. Very competitive, they were. Sam tried, too, but in a game of strategy, she’d obviously brought a knife to a gun fight.
She sat right next to me, and frequently giggled before she touched my arm, or looked at my face. Sam was cute, I suppose, but – damn! I’d never met anyone quite so … stupid. I don’t mean it as an insult. This girl was just colossally, monumentally ignorant.
But she was also foolish. Given two simple choices, Sam often had difficulty reaching the obvious conclusion. She knew it, too. She would just giggle, make the wrong decision – and then giggle again. Absolutely amazing. How had she ever graduated from high school? She worked in a department store – I couldn’t picture it.
– “Sorry, Marty.” I said, when we were on our way home. “You didn’t get much time alone with Caroline.”
– “No problem.” he said. “Slow and steady wins the race.”
That sounded ominous. I took it to mean that Marty would be calling on me to spend time with the three sisters again.
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