“She’s just like you!”

We met Tom and Sally at a small restaurant in Encinitas, California. Tom had picked us up at the airport, but I had yet to meet his wife, son, and sister, who joined us shortly after we had been seated at a large round table. Sally, who had been previously described to me as introverted and awkward, engaged me quite vividly, asking me all kinds of questions about where I was from, what I was doing and the like — the kind of polite scrutiny you would expect upon meeting people for the first time, especially when you’re about to marry their closest friend of thirty years.

After a while I excused myself to go to the restroom — in no small part, to give everyone the opportunity to gossip. My fiancé had been doing this every time we met his friends on this trip: as soon as I left, he would say “So? What do you think? Isn’t she awesome?” I liked that little ritual even though I was slightly embarrassed by the flood of compliments and awe I would receive by proxy when we got home. And this time was no different.

Back in the car, my fiancé told me how Sally — as soon as I was out of earshot — in a moment of clairvoyance had blurted out the one sentence that we keep quoting to each other to this day:

 “She’s just like you!”

To this day we are not sure whether she meant it as a compliment or an insult. But whichever it was, she couldn’t have been more right.

[267 words]

(c) Anett Enzmann 2019