The cab pulls up in front of the house just as I grab my coat and medical bag and I'm out the door before I hear the horn. My husband Kevin is in the driver's seat anxiously motioning me to get into the passenger side. Time is of the essence.
Although he's an Architect, right now he drives a cab to keep our heads above water and my new job showed up just in time. Of course the hours vary and I'm often called at the spur of the moment, pretty much around the clock.
It's Valentine's Day lunch hour as we speed toward the downtown restaurant I've been called to and I'm nervous. I just started this job and there isn't much margin for error. But I know what to do - I've practiced this. I'm fairly confident I can pull it off.
We pull up to the door and Kevin tells me he'll park right up front and wait for me. So I grab my bag and run in. No time to spare.
What I don’t learn until later, is that just as I walk in the door, he spots my mother, aunt and uncle walking through the parking lot toward him. They don’t see him and since he’s in a cab, they have no idea he’s there. And he wants to keep it that way. They don’t know about this job yet and he knows I’d rather tell my mother about it myself. So rather than blowing my cover, he slides down in the front seat, head down, until they pass by.
I have already been ushered into the private back room to where the victim awaits. Taking a deep breath, I put my bag down and I begin.
“Happy Valentine’s Day! I see you have your heart - on! Nurse Nancy is here to make it all better!” And then I bust into an insipidly Betty Boopy rendition of “I Wanna be Loved By You” while parking a party hat atop the guest of honor’s balding head. I go through my innuendo riddled schtick, pass out a few business cards and I’m out of there. Phew! Glad that’s over.
Then, just as I’m heading for the door, past the line of people waiting for tables, I hear my name being called in a familiar voice. It’s my uncle.
“Linda? Is that you?”
I’m standing in front of them in a nurse get up that consists of a little white “uniform” mini dress, white fish nets, red stiletto heels and one of those old fashioned nurse’s hats. The looks on their faces are priceless and my uncle seems sort of confused as I explain that I work for a singing telegram service called Eastern Onion and am here to deliver a telegram as ‘Nurse Nancy’. But they’re getting up there in years and some disorientation is to be expected, right?
Their reactions are better than expected. They seem to get that hey, I’m a singer and right now the road to rock stardom is paved with dirty limericks and good impressions.
Hopefully this scene won’t be forever burned into their retinas.
And then as I turn to walk away I hear my uncle say “When did she become a nurse?