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Maria has me at her mercy. I’m at her home surrounded by her family with no where to go for several hours. Knowing that her time is running out, Maria chooses a risky but potentially successful plan. But to keep me sitting in one spot, she has to deploy a classic maneuver that keeps my stationary for some time. That’s right. She uses the Sleeping Baby Misdirection that has me couch bound until someone comes and gets her, or she wakes up. I am stuck.
Stage 3: The “I’m going to introduce you whether you like it or not” maneuver After much consideration, I’ve decided to make a brief appearance at the birthday party. I’ve come prepared with my early-departure excuse and I’ve already eaten so I can comfortably snack without feeling rude for refusing to eat dinner.
When I arrive, Maria seats me in the living room and hands me a baby. “You like babies, yes? You watch her for us, maestra, while she sleeps” commands Maria. “We have cooking to do and she will be in the way.” Relieved to avoid another interrogation, I sit back with the baby and watch the other children playing.
Several minutes later, Maria walks back into the room with the man from the picture in tow. “Maestra, this is Alfonso,” she says innocently. “Remember we were talking about him the other day?” Maria smiles sweetly and turns to Alfonso, “This is Maestra Sara, Alfonso. She wants to get married one day and have babies just like you do.” I begin to panic and look anxiously towards the exits, ready to run.
Maria smiles at both of us, shoos Alfonso to the seat near mine and nonchalantly says, “I’ll just leave you two to talk. Why don’t you give me the baby, Maestra?” I narrow my eyes and ask, “I thought you wanted me to watch her for you? You said you were too busy to watch her.” Fortunately she has the good grace to blush before saying on a tiny laugh, “Oh, ah, I’ll just put her in the crib. She’ll sleep better there.” Maria grabs the baby and leaves the room for the two of us to ‘talk.’
An awkward silence descends. Neither of us wishes to talk having both been thrown together by the force of nature named Maria. Sighing, I apologize to him for the misunderstanding and assure him that I am not looking for a spouse or babies anytime soon. He visibly relaxes. Standing, I gather my coat and purse and walk to the kitchen, debating what I should say.
To come right out and say I don’t want to marry her brother would be the right thing to do; however, knowing Maria, she would just find someone else and the cycle would continue. No, I needed to discourage her without encouraging future set-ups. “Maria, I appreciate the thought but I really don’t want to marry any man,” I say significantly. Her eyes cloud over in confusion for a moment before she nods in understanding. “Oh, I’m so sorry maestra,” she stammers. “I didn’t know…”
Though my conscience twinges a bit at having lied, at least I walked out of that party without a fiancé. Plus I squelched any future attempts at matchmaking by my persistent but well-meaning families.
That’s what could have happened, but it didn’t. How would you have gotten out of a situation like this? Send me your endings and I’ll repost the favorite!