What’s my most embarrassing moment? Well, as a dad of eight-year-old twins who publicly argue over just about anything, I’ve got plenty. Off the top of my head, I’d have to say the one that stands out the most would be the day I met Jenna.
It was my first four-day weekend alone with my children since my divorce was finalized. The kids were running amuck in my apartment. All I wanted to do was find something fun to keep them occupied, and keep them from destroying every piece of furniture I owned, at the same time. I found what I thought would be the perfect activity. My town was having a party at the community center to kick off the holiday season. What better way to let my kids expend some energy than building gingerbread houses and putting decorations on a Christmas tree?
For a while, everything was okay. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Maggie and Blake still ran around like two headless chickens. But so did every other kid, hyped up on sugar and the promise of holiday treats.
Then I saw it – a Christmas tree decorated with index cards instead of ornaments. Each card had the age and gender of a child in need, for whom you could buy a present. This was just what my kids needed. A little giving in their lives instead of receiving.
I called them over, all ready to be Dad of the Year with my great idea. Instead, my kids bickered over who would pick the card. In case it wasn’t bad enough that they were making a scene over what was supposed to be a charitable moment, my daughter shoved my son into a little girl.
For a second, everything moved in slow motion. I watched as the girl started to fall headfirst into the index-card-adorned tree. I watched as her mother caught her, seconds before she made contact. And I watched as her mother, with eyes as pale as ice, gave me the most chilling glare I’ve ever received.
Have you ever wanted to crawl under a rock so badly your skin itched? That’s how I felt at my lack of control over my kids. I mean, seriously, who has so much trouble managing their own children for a minute that they can’t do some charity without impaling someone else? Since there were no rocks around, I apologized to the woman.
But here came problem number two.
The woman had no interest in accepting my apology. She shot me some snarky remarks about my bad parenting. I should have left it there. I should have just muttered a last ‘I’m sorry’, and walked away. Instead, something held me. It might have been the black lashes that surrounded her pale blue eyes. Or it might have been the fact that she looked like she didn’t give a damn what anyone thought, dressed like she just came from a workout when everyone else was dressed to the nines. Or it might have been the long, sleek, black ponytail hanging down her back. Regardless, instead of becoming offended by her nasty comments, I flirted with her.
What embarrassed me more, you might ask? My children’s poor behavior or the fact that I was attracted to a woman who wanted nothing more than to tear me apart? It probably should have been the latter. However, there was something behind those ice cold eyes that told me I might not be alone in my reaction…
Maybe embarrassing moments aren’t always so bad.
- James Garrison, Better to Give
Blurb for BETTER TO GIVE:
For most people, the holidays are a time of warmth, happiness and celebration. But to Jenna Samuels, they mean only one thing. Mounting debt. A single mother, Jenna struggles to make ends meet and to her, it’s a season of excess and distress.
James Garrison is in over his head, too. His ex-wife said he wasn’t equipped to take care of his twins, and now that he’s got joint custody, he fears she was right. They’re wild, spoiled, and always fighting. When they knock Jenna’s daughter into the “Gifting Tree,”—a part of their town’s charity collection—the parents are immediately attracted to each other. But James has had his fill of cold women and Jenna won’t make the mistake of falling for another man who disappears when life gets too heavy.
As their paths cross, James and Jenna must decide whether first impressions are accurate, or if sometimes, people are not what you assume at all.
Amazon – http://Amzn.com/B01M16JTPS
I needed some air. I just attacked a man for no good reason. Sure, one of his kids almost send Nora tumbling into a tree, but I could tell he was overwhelmed and I pounced anyway.
While his kids fought, the guy covered his face with his hands - the international sign for losing parental control. As he removed his hands, though, an awful thing happened. I got a good look at him and heat ran through every crevice of my body. No one should be as handsome as that guy was. Plus, I always had a thing for guys who were in over their heads, and he was definitely drowning with those kids.
I hadn’t reacted that way to a guy in a long time and I didn’t want to. My life was on track. I didn’t need some annoyingly smoky-hot, anti-super-dad screwing up my plans.
It was a problem because he clearly enjoyed the view, too. I knew what guys were thinking when they looked at me, and spoke to me, that way. When I mixed the way he was engrossed in me with my reaction to him, plans got derailed and things like Nora happened. Those smouldery guys don’t stick around once the Noras of the world arrive. So even though they’re still scorching hot, they no longer act like you are.
At least that was my experience. One I didn’t intend to repeat.
K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is a former teacher. She now enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.