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60, Single, & Simple-Part 1 (Louis Toliver Jr)


Her name was Eunice Brewer and her ideal man was 5’10, blue eyes, brown hair, a man with an okay singing voice, a man with a sense of accomplishment, a man who wasn’t afraid of work, strong hands, a hearty eater, someone who enjoyed her cooking, which was good country style home cooking, a man that was respectful, someone that would like to cuddle at night.
            Eunice read over the copy of her Perfect Match profile sheet one more time and put it down on the dining table. She was patiently waiting for Charlie, the mailman, to arrive with her new match. Perfect Match was a dating service in the city that had taken interest in rural areas. Eunice was leaving the grocery store when a woman with zebra hair, as Eunice like to call it, approached her before she got to her Buick.
            “Ma’am would you like one of our flyers?,” the woman was heavily tanned and looked like a short, skinny, wax candle with zebra hair, as Eunice liked to think it. “Start your new year off right! We can help you find the perfect match!”
            Eunice tucked her grocery bag of fresh black-eyed peas and cabbage under one arm. She grabbed the flyer and look at it closely. It was a yellow paper with bold writing that said “Perfect Match Dating Service” and then in small lettering it continued, “We are a dating service located in the city and looking to expand to surrounding areas. If we can’t find you a proper match the first time, we’ll keep on trying ‘til we do. ‘Cause no one’s perfect.” Eunice read over the flyer a few more times and then looking at the young woman who, because of the sunlight shining brightly,  now looked like a glowing, short, funny-dressed, wax candle. Eunice didn’t understand how a person could be so tan in the winter time.
            “So, you could find me a date?
            “Yes, ma’am.”
            “All the way out here in Hill?”
            “Yes, ma’am.”
            So, here was Eunice a sixty year-old woman living in the very small town of Hill, named for a mound of dirt near the grocery store in a rented duplex home along the highway. Waiting for her third letter from the service. The first match she received matched her with a man, named Jeffrey Lipton. He lived 49 miles away in Bolan. That was too far. He was half blind and Eunice never left Hill. Then the second match was closer. Henry Gumm. He lived only 4 miles away in Dillard, but he smelled bad when came over to meet. And at some point he took off one of his shoes to massage his feet because of a fungus he got. He also never cracked a smile. Eunice picked up the paper and read the line “If we can’t find you a proper match the first time, we’ll keep trying ‘til we do.” She groaned and put the letter down again. For $2000, this was a lousy service. But it was the easiest thing to do. She could never meet anyone on her own. What else could she do?
            Eunice was a simple woman. She had lived in Hill her whole life. The town was her place and she knew it well. In Eunice’s home, there was a gas stove. But she did have electricity of course. And there were times she would laugh because she thought the rabbit ears on her television made it look like an alien head. She didn’t have cable and she didn’t have internet. That was not her world. She didn’t need it. Eunice loved to cook and clean. She did it all day. She spent so much time in the kitchen that she even bought a small mirror refrigerator magnet. It was so she could see herself and touch herself up when necessary in the kitchen. Eunice did not leave the kitchen or dining room until she was tired, very tired. She could make it up until midnight most nights, but she was up as soon as dawn cracked. Eunice did not like being in the back of home, the bedroom. Not since her husband died.

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