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60, Single, and Simple Part 3 (Louis Toliver Jr)


“Dear Sister Brewer. This is an invitation to come to the newly formed baking club at First Baptist Church, your home church. We know well of your cooking and invite you to use your talents for Jesus.”
Eunice was disappointed. Her third perfect match was supposed to be here today.
The doorbell rang. Eunice was frustrated, but still she checked herself in the mirror magnet before she opened door.  Lona was standing there with her hands behind her back.
“It smells wonderful in here!” Lona pushed Eunice to the side and came into the house. “I knew I did right when I nominated you for Bakers For Jesus.” Lona was a short woman, curly red hair, freckles, shaped a little like a bowling pin. She wore blue lipstick and a lavender jogging suit, a jogging suit she wore often. “Did you hear about Bakers For Jesus?”
“Oh, yes,” Eunice was not concerned, “I got the letter, I was just reading it.”
“That’s right I told everyone at the church, strike me down if Eunice Brewer ain’t the best cook in town.”As many times as Lona used the phrase, strike me down, Eunice often questioned if there was a god because, surely, if there were, Lona Howell should have been struck down by now. Eunice just believed God was very compassionate, so Eunice was too.
“It sure smells good in here,” Lona processed everything in Eunice’s home. Eunice knew she was trying to find anything out of place so she could get to the bottom of it and spread it around town. “Well, I’m gonna have to come over for dinner tonight.”
“You come every night I cook. Did you come over to tell me about that club?
“It’s Bakers For Jesus,” Lona smiled, correcting Eunice.
“Bakers For Jesus,” Eunice repeated, annoyed. She wanted her letter. “Do you want something, Lona?”
“Want? Ah, no! I have this letter that the mailman put in my box on accident,” one of Lona’s red curls jumped a little when she lied. “It’s from that dating service you signed up for.” It’s from that dating service you signed up for, Eunice mocked Lona in her head. Eunice knew that nosey hussy weaseled her letter out of her mail first. Lona surely knew it was coming today. Lona knew everything.
Eunice opened the letter. She looked at Lona expecting her to leave but she just nodded and smiled. Eunice sat at the dining table and took a deep breath.  She jumped. She saw the picture of her third perfect match. He looked rough. Really rough. Like a really banged up Mr. Potato Head with a melted ear.
“I think I’ve seen that man before. I think he came and begged at the church one time. It was a Sunday so you were there, I’m sure,” Lona hovered over Eunice’s shoulder. Eunice could feel her peering. The man’s profile read, “My name is TJ. The letters don’t stand for nothing. I am looking for a woman. I was arrested for stealing a car once. But I took it back. I like food. I like good food. My last name is Tucker.”
“Why this is it!” Eunice grabbed the corded phone next to the record player. She dialed the number to Perfect Match. “Im calling that zebra hair woman!”
“Now, I told you, Eunice, those are highlights. I’m thinking of getting some myself,” a curl in Lona’s hair jumped and she touched her hair gently if she were proud at the idea. Eunice ignored her and waited until the phone  finished ringing.
“Tammy Norris just got internet in her home and she loves it!” Lona rambled. She’s courting on there. I can ask her if you want to go over there and use her computer some time.”
“Perfect Match. This is Julie,” she was the wax face, zebra hair woman.
“Yes, my name is Eunice Brewer.”
“Oh. Hi, Mrs. Brewer. How can I help you this time?” Julie was chewing gum and sounded bored. Eunice briefly thought she could smell tanning oil through the phone.
“You didn’t get my match right, again. You’re trying to set me up with a criminal. You matched me with someone that stole a car. And he put it in his profile! This is the third time you’ve sent me a match that doesn’t match. No way near perfect.”
“We sent a profile update sheet for those reasons as well. Remember we’re not perfect. Did you get it, ma’am?”
“Yes, but I think it’s common sense to not pair someone up with a criminal.”
“Ma’am, you might want to consider putting this in your profile. Maybe you should even consider changing your profile a bit.”
“But isn’t that lowering my standards?’
“That’s expanding your standards,” Julie popped her gum a bit. “Let’s see, you checked the box white male. Have you ever thought about dating outside your race?”
“Well, uh,” Eunice looked behind her. Lona smiled. “I’m not sure…”
“I see, just put any changes you want on the profile update sheet.”
“Why can’t I just tell you?”
“It’s for out records, ma’am.”
“That means I have to wait another 2-4 weeks?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
            Eunice’s stomach grumbled, “ This ain’t right for 2000 dollars.”
            “Well, ma’am, we’re doing our job. Remember we’re not perfect,” Julie popped her gum. “I mean, Mrs. Brewer, you did tell me you can’t work a computer, right?
            “Well, yes, but…”
            “You did say you don’t go out much, except to church every Sunday, right?
            “Yes.”
            “Well, if you’re having trouble, Perfect Match is the perfect match for you. Fill out the update sheet please and mail it back, kay?”
            “Oh, okay,” Eunice said goodbye and hung up the phone. Eunice took a deep breath.
“So, what time are you cooking dinner,” Lona interrupted Eunice’s thinking.
 “Lona, I think it would be a good idea for you leave, before I strike you down,” Eunice had enough of Lona. She was so frustrated.
Lona’s mouth was gaped wide open, “Why, hmmph, I think I’m gonna leave.”
“I think you should,” Eunice nodded.
“Well, I’ll be back over for dinner later,” Lona left.

Eunice pulled out the profile update sheet. She took a deep breath. What else was she going to do? Maybe the fourth time would work. She began to write her a profile for a man again,“My  name is Eunice Brewer and my ideal man is 5’10, blue eyes, brown hair, a man with an okay singing voice, a man with a sense of accomplishment, a man who isn’t afraid of work, strong hands, a hearty eater, someone who enjoys my cooking, which is good country style home cooking, a man that is respectful, someone that would like to cuddle at night. Also, a man that lives near me. A man that doesn’t smell bad and likes to laugh. A man that has never stolen a car, someone that isn’t a criminal of any kind!” When she was finished, Eunice went into the kitchen and started dinner.

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