By Tanya Eby
Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit / Women's Fiction / Romantic Comedy
Date Published: 1/15/2014
Chloe Knaggs is a bit of a nerd, a bit of a klutz, and all Blunder Woman, especially when it comes to love. Take the love of her life, Matt M. - or as she calls him - Mmm. He's her consummate unboyfriend, meaning, they have all the intimacy of a dating couple without any of the intimacy. Confused? So is Chloe. When Matt decides to elope with the very beautiful, svelte Amber, Chloe goes a little bit crazy and takes her hippy mom and best friend Megan right along with her.
Blunder Woman is a hilarious romp with bright characters through a series of misadventures including a derby party gone horribly wrong, a night of drinking Flaming Turtles, and a fundraising event where the biggest blunder of all occurs. Blunder Woman is funny, fresh, and above all real...in a truly awkward way.
WARNING: "Blunder Woman" will make you snort out loud so drinking while reading is not recommended.
A Brief (but not brief enough) History About Matt
I met Matt at a group training camp, you know those places to which companies take their awkward employees--employees who don’t get along and work better on their own. So the Company makes everyone go to a weekend long ‘retreat’ which is really a weekend long house-arrest without the little ankle bracelets.
I’ve done these things before.
You have the group leader and you’re locked in a room with your ‘teammates’ (or office workers who usually you have nothing to say to), and then the group leader leads you in an exercise of trust…usually something like falling backwards from a high perch and hoping to God your coworkers catch you. It’s supposed to teach you about trust and the importance of working as a team, but I don’t think it translates at all. During one of these exercises, I actually spend most of the time obsessing about how much I don’t trust my coworkers and how very little I want to fall into their arms. But I digress.
I didn’t want to go to the stupid Employee Esteem Training but I had to. I’d just been hired part-time at the musical society to write grants and organize fundraisers and I had to show that I was part of the team, a real go-getter, a team player. (More on this musical society later. Work is important, but right now I’m talking about the love of my life.) So the team- building thing was mandatory. No go, no job, end of story. So I was very pleased to walk into the Wedgwood Center (a.k.a. The Happy Place) and see a very handsome and very male individual standing in the center of the room, arms open and smiling. Sex appeal came off of him in waves, the way the scent of Axe deodorant pours off high school boys.
I can tell you what he looks like, but it doesn’t do him justice. Descriptions never do, you just end up envisioning a freakish monster with whatever hair and eye color I’ve described and try to think it’s sexy. So instead of saying he was tall and had dirty blonde hair and a wide smile (words that don’t really describe him at all), I’ll say instead that he was a mixture of Jason Bateman of Arrested Development quirkiness, with a Harrison Ford grin, and a body (I imagine) just like an oiled-up man posing in Glamour’s Hot Guy of the Month. This was Matt: sensitive, sexy, warm, sexy, open, funny, sexy, tall, ripped, sexy, and a smile that made me feel like he was looking just at me, even if he was looking at everyone the same way. And he was sexy. Did I say that? Like the kind of guy that should reproduce because, duh, that’s what we’re designed for, right?
I should have known I was in trouble right there. A man you’re attracted to somehow makes your brain stop working. It’s some kind of alien power, I’m sure of it. Attraction equals instant stupidity.
And when he opened his arms and welcomed us, I was ready to do any stupid trust exercise he asked, including the high wire walk between trees, which I did, all the while screaming, “I hate this! I can’t do this! Get me out of this tree!!!” Then I looked down at Matt and felt, somehow, I could do anything. Blammo. He suddenly became my rock, my force, and the new obsession of my life.
Two days later, I called him at his work. I called at 6:30 on a Sunday, certain he wouldn’t be there, and he wasn’t, thank the Gods, so I left a truly awkward message.
“Hi! Matt! This is Chloe!” My voice was so tight and peppy it sounded like I was on helium. “Oh. Chloe from that group you just had, you know, Mozart fundraiser go-go-go! I was the one with the curly shortish reddish hair, the one who talked a lot, the one who screamed ‘FOR GODDSAKES GET ME OUT OF THIS TREE!!!’ Yeah. So I was wondering if you’d like to go out for coffee with me? Scratch that. I don’t drink coffee, but maybe you do. You could get coffee and I could get something else. Tea maybe. Probably hot chocolate. Or maybe just water. And a scone. I like scones. Do you like scones? Yeah. So. I’d like to meet you. For an un- coffee. Okey-dokey? Okay.”
Not only had I actually said “Okey-dokey”, I also hung up without leaving my number. I had to call back and leave another message that I knew he’d get before the previous message so I basically had to repeat the entire thing. It was terrible.
He called me Monday morning.
We had uncoffee on Tuesday. Followed by unlunch (I was too nervous to eat) and an unwalk (we sat on a park bench and talked). I thought, I’ve found him. He’s the One, and leaned in to kiss him. He answered a call on his phone. It was his mom. At the end of our ‘date’ he hugged me to him, told me he loved spending time with me, that I was unlike anyone he’d ever met.
I’ve loved him for two years. Two years of incredible conversations and ‘undates’. Of having dinner together, and movies, and celebrating each other’s birthday parties. Two years of meeting him for uncoffees and having unsex (meaning elaborate sex fantasies only in my mind), of being at his beck and call. Two years of celebrating holidays not on the holiday, but near it. Of talking about our daily lives on the phone or while curled up watching a movie. And when I stop to think about it, two years of never meeting his friends, never meeting his family, and never, not ever, meeting his penis.
I’ve loved him for two years. Two! I probably love him still. And I hate his guts for that. Really. I do.
Tanya Eby is an audiobook narrator and novelist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her tiki-obsessed husband and two quirky kids.
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