Just Say Yes and Smile

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Autumn Falls

Veronica was 32 years old, broke, alone, unhappy, frustrated, and very pissed off! She had just finalized her divorce from her high school and college sweetheart and husband of 11 years, Gary. Actually getting rid of Gary could be considered the only good thing that had happened to her in a long time! She and Gary both came from Italian American families in New Jersey. Their friends used to kid them about being like the psychiatrist’s family in the Sopranos. All four of their parents were professionals with PhD degrees, and both families lived in an affluent area. They met in high school and were a perfect match, at least in their parent’s eyes, and soon in theirs too. They both wanted to become college professors, and they had great grades and SAT scores, too. Veronica went to Vassar for undergraduate school, while Gary went to Brown, and when they both got into Princeton for graduate school, life was perfect and they were married.

Their sex life consisted of some very quick foreplay followed by an even quicker bout of missionary position sex under the covers once a week. Gary would cheerfully say “night” and fall asleep instantly. Veronica had never been with anyone else, so she thought that was pretty normal. Both their families were overjoyed when they got PhD’s in the same graduation ceremony; Gary in anthropology, and Veronica in English.

They had the perfect career strategy too. They would get associate professorships at large but less prestigious land grant universities in the south, where their incredible pedigrees and CV’s would soon vault them ahead of the local yokels. They would each make full professor in record time, and then have multiple offers to move up to the ‘real universities’ in the east!

They were overjoyed when they were both offered positions at Land Grant University, a well funded enclave of academic liberalism in an otherwise conservative state, which they had previously considered ‘flyover country’. They could execute their perfect strategy and live together too! Gary immediately found a senior anthropology professor with a prestigious chair who looked like a good mentor, and was soon working on research that should get him co-authorship on several groundbreaking papers that would be widely cited. Veronica lucked into a promising offshoot of the English department: Women’s Studies.

Soon she was attending every feminist academic conference that mattered and soaking up the culture of using ‘womyn’ instead of women, and writing long articles for obscure journals about institutionalized paternalism, institutionalized rape, and dead white guys. Gary was supportive, because it was actually something new that related to cultural anthropology and it was very trendy in the academic political circles he wanted to travel in. They even attended some “intense reprogramming weekend” seminars intended to desensitize them to anti-feminist language by substituting the word ‘cunt” for every use of any other word referring to females or female characteristics.

Veronica looked a bit like the psychiatrist on ‘Necessary Roughness’ on TV but with an even fuller figure. She was a runner and her legs were in very good shape. She adopted the nickname ‘Ronnie” to try sound a little more butch, and was hit on regularly by the horde of lesbians drawn to her lipstick good looks, big boobs, and obvious brainpower. But she was not really tempted by those propositions, even though Gary paid her less and less attention. He had never been too aggressive or sexually inventive, and his new social climbing strategy to get tenure took lots of time away from home. But soon they were being seen as a couple at Burning Man and Renaissance Weekend in Hilton Head. They just knew they were on their way to bigger and better things.

One side effect of Ronnie’s feminist studies was that she became widely read on popular sexual practices, masturbation, toys, orgasms, and sex in general. Her bright mind rapidly formed the conclusion that she was not getting her propers from Gary and never had. She created an extensive mental inventory and bucket list of all the things she wanted to try in bed, with men, but likely not with Gary.

The tenure track proved far trickier than they thought. Lots of other smart folks from other states and countries were at LGU to execute the same strategy, and some of the local yokels were not only good researchers and writers, but they had a leg up on university politics through family ties. To make a long and sad story short, Gary’s promising mentor turned out to have fabricated some of his early research data and was quietly cashiered. Gary was odd man out and was soon told that he was not going to get tenure, and not even a contract renewal. In his typical fashion, he blamed Ronnie for not being in a ‘real science’ department like anthropology and thus failing to help lend him credibility, and took to the bottle.

Ronnie was offered a slightly better position if she would spend her nights with a chain smoking bull dyke that already had tenure, and apparently some good blackmail material on the dean or maybe even a regent, Tokat Escort but after declining that offer she soon got the same message as Gary. The University lost its enthusiasm for women’s studies when it didn’t bring in the research money like petroleum engineering did, and then Ronnie was downsized completely.

They had a messy breakup wherein Gary said he no longer found her attractive and was sure she was actually a lesbian. Gary also had maxed out their credit cards drinking and when all the documents were filed and final, Ronnie got their small house with very little equity and payments every month for 24 more years, and Gary got the car and left for a teaching job at a junior college.

Her former friends at LGU shunned her as no longer a tenure tracker, except for one faithful couple. Jay was a gregarious hippy part time lecturer in English who did not want tenure, and made as much money from freelance photography and selling cameras on commission at the biggest local camera store than most full professors. His wife Jennie was a senior staff member to a state senator who had been in office for 20 years and would probably be reelected for at least 20 more. They were Ronnie’s only emotional support in a time of great need.

Jennie found Ronnie a job as an entry level legislative assistant in another senator’s office at the state capitol that paid just enough to make her house payments and have macaroni and cheese for supper. Jennie also encouraged Ronnie to begin dating again. At least one night a week she would ride home with Jennie for supper, where a parade of eligible bachelors joined them to meet Ronnie. All of the academic types reminded her too much of Gary, and most of the others lacked the IQ to even begin an interesting conversation, much less carry on with one. They were just too boring!

Then Jennie called her to invite her to come with them to a noon to midnight party on Saturday thrown by the owner of the camera store where Jay worked. She said there might be some interesting men there, and insisted that she join them. The party house was in an affluent suburb, on a hill with great views overlooking the university. It was a restored art deco home built in the 1930’s, surrounded by huge oak trees, a swimming pool, and a tennis court. The Spanish tile kitchen was filled with pot luck brunch dishes plus bagels, and a two huge professional margarita machines swirled at the ready to dispense traditional and bright red strawberry margaritas that were tasty and very potent. Since it was fall and the LGU football team was playing, one room had a projection TV devoted to showing football games. The huge master bedroom had a bed that looked twice king sized, three big couches, and wall mounted screen and projector showing ‘classic’ porn films. There was even a schedule posted, starting with ‘Debbie Does Dallas’ presumably in keeping with the football theme, followed by ‘Insatiable’, ‘Sex World’, and finally ‘Behind the Green Door’ just before midnight.

Ronnie smiled thoughtfully. She had once written a Women’s Studies Journal review of other scholarly articles about pornography and its effects on women. “Behind the Green Door’ was a topic of much academic discussion, and she had of course commented authoritatively on the subject. But she had never actually seen the film.

Jennie then found her and took her out to the tennis court and pointed out a tall, brown haired young man playing tennis aggressively against Flash, the owner of the house and the camera store. Ronnie had played tennis all her life. The younger guy was playing well, actively moving with smart court positioning, good balance, and was hitting the ball well and looking damn good doing it. He was dressed in completely white traditional tennis togs, with shorts that revealed very muscular legs and a tight white knit shirt that clung to his muscular chest. Ronnie was impressed. “I didn’t know he was in town!” Jennie said breathlessly, “or I would have had him to dinner.”

“Who Is that?” Ronnie asked. Jennie was encouraged that Ronnie seemed actually interested, so she dished “His name is Walker, but his nickname is, believe it or not, Ranger.” Bonnie did not get the reference, she had never watched TV in her life, and her parents were proud of that. Jennie continued “He worked in the camera store with Jay for four years when he was getting his undergraduate engineering degree at LGU, then went to Harvard for an MBA. I am not sure why he is back now. But he sure looks good, doesn’t he?” Ronnie made a humming noise.

On the court, Ranger was down 2 games at their water break, Flash was trying to make a bet. “If you win I have to watch ‘Behind the Green Door’ later tonight in my underwear with everyone watching me, and if you lose, you have to.” Jennie and Jay walked onto the court, with Ronnie following along. Jay wanted to razz Flash and Jennie wanted to introduce Ronnie to Ranger.

Ranger laughed. “Shoot, that is the way you always watch porn, and watching you is no prize, buddy. I might be tempted to throw the game so I can avoid any Tokat Escort Bayan chance of having to see that!”

“That’s what he is hoping for!” interjected Marie, Flash’s very attractive wife. She stood near the court in tight fitting white tennis outfit, too.

Jennie spoke in Ronnie’s ear as they approached “You may want to consider trying something different than your normal approach with this guy! I guarantee you will have more fun than all those unsuccessful blind date dinners at our house!”

Ronnie was offended. “What do you mean different approach? The first step is always to see if this guy is a sexist pig or not before I decide whether to spend any time with him.” Jennie was recalling the gist of their many recent conversations, and she was getting increasingly frustrated with Ronnie. She decided to let her have it! “Listen to me, Ronnie! You are no longer playing ‘smartest feminist in the room’ for tenure, hon. All men are pigs, but some of them rut very nicely, and that’s what you need right now. Besides Jay has known this guy for years, and says he is a real prince with very high standards. Lots of women throw themselves at him, but he has only had a couple of long term relationships. And he is at least as smart and well read as you are little missy! Maybe you are afraid HE will find YOU boring?”

Ronnie was now spitting mad, and Jennie sensed she could close the deal she wanted. “Ronnie, I DARE YOU to just say yes to this guy and see what happens!”

Ronnie was now livid, even though she was still whispering, almost hissing! “What do you mean just say yes?”

“It’s a dating method we used to use in my dorm when I was an undergrad. The girls would rate potential dates as a group, and if an ‘A’ or ‘B’ rated guy asked one of the girls out, she had to just say yes with a smile to everything he asked. It was fun and very, very exciting! I am your only girlfriend right now and I rate him A+”

Ronnie looked askance but she was thinking about it. Her chosen methods had proven to work pretty poorly over the last 11 years or so, that was for sure. He was by far the hottest guy she had seen in a while and quite an improvement over her last offer from the bull dyke! “What exactly does it mean to always say yes?” She said suspiciously.

Jennie moved in for the close “If he asks you out, you say yes and smile. If he tries to kiss you, you let him. If he asks you to come home with him, you say yes and smile. If he asks you to take off your blouse, you do it. Get the picture?”

Ronnie was scandalized. “What if he asks me to fellate him?” Ronnie realized after she said it that she had never done that to Gary or anyone else, but it was on her bucket list.

Jennie laughed. “Oh how I love those academic terms! But the answer is yes honey! Pucker up and suck him off! That’s the exciting part! You know all night that if he asks you are going to have to do it! You just don’t know what he is going to ask for and when! It makes you hot as can be! And tell me the truth – if you just wanted to get your ashes hauled, you could to a lot worse than this guy, couldn’t you?”

Ronnie shook her head no. “I can’t argue with that!” “OK” Jennie said. “Give me your pinkie promise. Ranger gets the all yes treatment?”

Ronnie shook her head yes.”I may regret it, but I’ll try it!” After all she thought, things really could not get much worse, and maybe a little diversion would help, and it was going to make the party more interesting. The water break was almost over. Ray caught Ranger’s eye and said “What are you doing in town?”

Ranger gave Jay one of those guy hug/punch things. “After I finished my MBA in May I found out I had enough extra engineering class credits here to finish an MS degree in summer school plus the fall semester thesis class with Professor Poteet. I have been in California on a field project gathering the data, and I got back here yesterday to begin to process it all and write it up.” He saw Jennie and gave her a hug. Jennie introduced him to Ronnie.

He looked Ronnie up and down unabashedly and smiled at her widely. She caught him looking; he saw it, smiled again and looked again. Ronnie was aghast at his sexist chutzpah! But she decided to keep her promise to Jennie. “Very pleased to meet you!” he finally said.

“I noticed you moving your feet during the match and setting up shots in your mind. I’m guessing you are a pretty good player?” “Yes” Ronnie said.

“Ranger smiled. “Would you play doubles with me so we can beat our host and his wife soundly?”

“Yes” Ronnie said, and Jennie smiled.

“Can we spend the rest of the evening together, win or lose the tennis match?” He asked. “Yes” was all Ronnie said with a smile, and Jennie smiled broadly again. She loved it when a one of her evil plans came together!

Ranger took Ronnie aside and spoke softly. “Can we talk strategy a second?”

“Yes” Ronnie smiled. Ranger leaned closer. “I’m sure you don’t have any tennis clothes with you so you will end up in one of Marie’s outfits. Without being too blatantly Escort Tokat sexist, you are as we say down here, ‘a fine figure of a woman’ and you will really fill out that outfit. I would like you to play the net as much as possible. Flash will be so distracted it will cost them at least 2 points per game. OK?” Ronnie just could not simply smile and reply in the affirmative to this one. “If that’s not blatantly sexist, what would be?” she said challengingly, with her eyes sparkling.

Ranger smiled. “What Flash will say when you come to the net for the first time. Will you hold judgment on my sexism for a while yet, at least until we talk about it?”

“Yes” Ronnie smiled. Ranger gave her a little hug around the shoulders and she suddenly realized she needed more hugs.

Ranger walked to the net and issued a challenge to Flash. Flash wanted the same bet as before but with Marie and Ronnie included in the payoff. Ranger asked Ronnie if she was willing to bet. She said yes and smiled. Ranger said to Ronnie sotto voce “I don’t want to be tempted to lose just because I want to see you in your underwear. If we win the match, will you still let me see you anyway?”

After her initial anger, Ronnie realized this was getting her a little hot, for the first time in a long time, but she reverted to her high school pre-Gary flirting tactics. “Maybe” she said.

She did end up changing into one of Marie’s outfits, and like Ranger had predicted, it was very tight across her chest. When she came to the net for the first serve, Flash whistled loudly and said “Man check out those bodacious tatas!” She blushed, but turned to Ranger and smiled. Flash served and the match began. Flash was clearly distracted by her breasts, and she surprised herself by bending forward and turning to drive him nuts, especially when she was right across the net from him. She laughed as he almost bit his tongue a few times!

They won the first three games easily, and Marie was giving Flash hell for his poor play. At the break, Ranger gave her another little shoulder hug. She loved it. “Nice playing partner!” he said, “and I owe you an apology.”

She smiled at Ranger and said “None required. Flash was blatantly sexist, and you were only mildly so by comparison.” He smiled and side. “Oh, he actually was more polite that I was afraid he would be. And I am not sexist; I was just letting you know I fancy you! But I was wrong about our strategy”

Ronnie was taken aback; she had not been pursued in a long time. But and she found she liked it, and liked him being honest about it. She thought of writing an article entitled. ‘He’s not really a sexist if he tells you politely he wants to fuck you.’ But she focused on Ranger again “Well he is certainly staring at my chest and missing shots!” she exclaimed.

“Yes, and you are doing a fine job of driving him crazy. But I miscalculated. I didn’t account for the fact that when you go to net and bend forward to distract him, that cute little tennis dress rides up in the back and drives me crazy!. I am missing as many shots as he is!” he laughed.

She realized she would have been livid at that remark a few months ago, but now it made her feel good! High school flirting came back to her mind. “Maybe I should cool it with the bending forward….” she let it hang.

“No!” he exclaimed quickly, and she giggled. She hadn’t giggled in at least 5 years! “Just keep it up and I will do my best!” He smiled at her and looked directly in her eyes, then realized the potential inappropriateness of the phrase ‘keep it up’. She picked up on it too, looked at his shorts and said, “Looks like you are” and smiled. What a fun party she thought to herself.

The match did not take long, and Flash and Marie lost in straight sets. Ronnie decided it would give her an excuse to watch “Behind the Green Door’ for the first time. Heck, she would even have a cute date for the movie!

Ranger suggested they should make themselves plates of food and sit at a table and then he would fetch them margaritas. They were joined at a nice table under the oak trees in the patio by Jay and Jennie, and another couple that looked familiar, but Ronnie couldn’t quite place. When Ranger returned with the drinks, he introduced them to the other couple, who turned out to be Professor Poteet and his wife, who was a partner in one of the big local law firms. The professor was a photography nut and a big customer at the camera store. Ronnie was struck by how easily the conversation flowed and how much it held her interest. She was really enjoying herself. Ranger was certainly keeping up his end of things and she found herself looking forward to talking with him alone.

LGU was winning the football game and there was much celebration. Flash cranked up a huge stereo and couples began dancing in the music room and out in the hallway. Ranger asked Ronnie to dance and she said yes and smiled. When a slow dance came on, Ranger zeroed in on her and took her in his arms strongly. Her mother had sent her to ballroom dancing classes her whole life, and she discovered that Ranger knew just as many steps as she did, plus a lot of country and western stuff she did not, and soon they were floating around the floor together. Whenever a slow song stopped Ranger kissed her and she let him. Jennie, dancing nearby with Ray, smiled broadly.

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