Tracking down my UPS man, Part II

by singlemomseeking on August 27, 2008

When Otis, my former UPS man, called at 8 p.m. to say that his work day was almost over, I smiled into the phone.

“Want to meet for dinner?” he said.


I imagined some quiet, romantic corner — white wine, tapas, candles lit. Wait, does that kind of corner even exist in Manhattan?

“The ___ Grill,” he said, and I paused.

I’d been there many times with baby M when we lived in New York: it’s a fast, loud, family-family restaurant. Definitely not romantic. Either he was making a subtle point — we’re just friends, got it? — or he wanted a hearty beef dish, served fast, because he was hungry. (As men know, we women can read into everything.)

I was inside the restaurant when he called to say that he was parking. So, I went outside to meet him. As he crossed the street, he was pulling on a shirt over his white undershirt. How cute was that? He was getting dressed in the crosswalk!

Otis’ first words? “When I saw you earlier, I don’t think I told you how pretty you look.”

We shared a long, sweet hug on the sidewalk. But I was nervous. It was so intense to be touching a man on whom I’d had a crush for so many years.

I did what I do whenever I’m nervous. I spilled everything: about my book, and the fact that he got a whole chapter in it. I wanted him to hear it from me first. I told him that just seeing him on his route made me feel like a woman again.

He took it well.

“You’re making me blush,” he said.

He also added, “You sure did get a lot of deliveries!”

Then I blushed.

“Did you bring me a copy of your book?” he said.

I shook my head, freezing up. What would he think after reading my detailed fantasies about him? I sure got detailed.

“Will you send it to me?” he asked.

“By UPS?” I said.

He was just how I remembered: a relaxed, sweet, friendly guy (he is a pro at customer service, right?)

But I was still in my reporter-mode, which I do whenever I’m restless. I asked him a string of questions: about his daughter, his long work days, his last relationship. I wanted to know what he thought about all those times I’d asked him into my apartment for lemonade. He laughed again.

I also asked him if he was in a relationship. I know: you, my readers, pointed out that I had to see him without any expectations. Still, I did have one: I wanted to kiss him. But if he was in a relationship, I didn’t want to jeopardize that.

“No,” he laughed. “You think too much.”

Then he added, “I think it’s so cool that we’ve stayed in touch all these years. It’s really special.”

After dinner, we sat in his car and took photos, using my automatic timer. (They’re PG, but they’re private.)

“I like the way you smile,” he said. “It’s sensual.”

I thought we might kiss right then, in the car. But we didn’t.

It was a warm summer night, and he suggested we find a spot to sit outside. We drove east a few blocks to Central Park. There was an empty green bench outside the park entrance.

He gave me a bottle of water. He said that we should watch out for rats. After all, this was Central Park.

Then he pulled out his bottle of bug repellent. “Mosquitoes love me,” he said.

“I see why,” I said.

As we sat on the bench, our knees touched. It was almost midnight.

“I really like the way that you say ‘Bye’ on the phone,” he told me. “You carry it. I love to hear it.”

No one had ever told me that before.

We were holding hands. Then his phone buzzed. He let go of my hand to look at his phone. He didn’t say who was calling, and I didn’t ask. But who would be calling him at midnight?

Image of UPS truck from Tree Hugger

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

singlemomseeking August 28, 2008 at 11:44 am

Hey Lance,
Well, certainly I was my misreading your comment… sorry about that. Glad we can clarify here.

You made me realize that I never DID come out and say that he is African American (I did describe his race in my book, but not in the blog). So, I was assuming…

Thanks for being so open about discussing this… and handling my reaction.


Lance August 28, 2008 at 11:08 am

@singlemomseeking: Sorry for the miscommunication! I wasn’t suggesting he was a drug dealer. I believe UPS employees are drug tested anyway, so that would be highly unlikely. The focus of my comment was on the hunky part…most hunky men have female prospects, so it’s not unusual for their phones to go off at odd hours, which is exactly what your post suggested…


singlemomseeking August 28, 2008 at 9:32 am

Hey Lance:

You know that I respect you greatly… and I’m going to email you on the side right now to have a real conversation.

Your comment is offensive:
“Hunky black men in NYC usually have something going on, even if it’s not a gf.”

Maybe this is a joke?

But not all hunky black men are drug dealers, dude.

As you know, my child is biracial. So, I’m really sensitive to your comment. Care to clarify? Take it back?


Kat Wilder August 27, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Leave it to you to end on a cliffhanger.

My old cynical self would say — call at midnight? Can’t be good.

But, since he’s a dad, a call at midnight still might not be good, but it won’t be BAD (get the difference?)

Don’t make us wait too long …


judy August 27, 2008 at 9:46 pm

C’mon Rachel!!! I just got home from a 3-day internet-free conference and pulled you up first!!

Keep it coming


Lance August 27, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Uh oh! Danger! Hunky black men in NYC usually have something going on, even if it’s not a gf. I wonder how this one will end?


GLSD August 27, 2008 at 4:04 pm

I’m so excited for you! 🙂 Wow! can’t wait to hear about part 3 and maybe part 4?! lol. I read your book, and it was awesome! 🙂


Mom2Maddie99 August 27, 2008 at 3:00 pm

I will just say…that you are killing me…come on with it.


singlemomseeking August 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm

To the rest of you, you really crack me: Yes, there will be a Part 3! In fact, I think there will be a Part 4!

I honestly thought this would be one, short, sweet PG-13 (okay, maybe a little R) post. I started to write this on my last night in NYC… I kept going. I’m still going.(He just called me during his lunch break.)

I hadn’t meant to be suspenseful. It’s just turning out that way — but you get a taste of how excited I was, yes? (Oh, I’m still excited.)


singlemomseeking August 27, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Cathouse Teri: I hope you could sleep after that movie. I can’t watch scary ones like that.

For the record, his real name isn’t Otis. I’ve have to ask his permission to use his name on record… everyone in the hood knows him well.


Cathouse Teri August 27, 2008 at 2:06 pm

UPS guys are always sexy, for some damn reason.

So anyway, last night I watched a movie called “Otis,” about a pizza guy named Otis who was going about kidnapping young women and when he couldn’t convince them to play the game he wanted to (going to the Prom) he would kill them.

So I’m not cool with any delivery guys names Otis now. 🙂


GLSD August 27, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Is there a Part 3? I hope so! 🙂 It’s nice that you can be friends after all these years and keep in touch! I hope it was the sitter calling!


The Exception August 27, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Do we have to wait until Thursday to find out what happened???


Single Mom in New England August 27, 2008 at 1:15 pm

ARGH!! I hate that when you don’t know the person well enough (and you’re too polite) to just ASK, “Who WAS that??”


T August 27, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Yeah, I’m guessing the sitter too. Hopefully the night went on????


Amy Nathan August 27, 2008 at 11:47 am

Yea, a midnight call. I’m hoping it’s his mother who’s watching his daughter who just woke up from a little bit of a bad dream.

See? Even I can be a romantic optimist! 😉


Shannon August 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

This is so suspenseful. I’m eagerly watching my reader.


Andie August 27, 2008 at 10:49 am

Oh my god YOU’RE KILLING ME OVER HERE RS! Geez, if my girlfriends took this long telling me about their first dates I’d STRANGLE THEM!


Legal Editor Mom August 27, 2008 at 10:37 am

That sounds so nice, although you left us hanging again!

Regarding the caller, SMS you know if he looks as good as you say and he’s as sweet as he seems, he must have some sort of “friend” there, even if he isn’t married or in a committed relationship. Heck, if you still lived there, you’d probably be calling him, too! But obviously the caller didn’t deter him from seeing you, and I agree with him, it is special that you’ve kept in touch over the years.

Perhaps there’s more to come regarding Mr. UPS?


dadshouse August 27, 2008 at 10:19 am

Maybe a booty call? (Sorry, didn’t mean to upset the romance)

That’s so great that you two connected. I’m guessing he meant all the nice things he said. But he might also suspect that with him there and you here, nothing could possibly come of it. Holding hands on a summer night is a nice feeling, and why not have that feeling with someone you like, even if it’s just for that moment.

(I didn’t see a “too be continued…” so I’m guessing it all ended PG)

Awesome flames on that UPS truck, btw!


laurakim123 August 27, 2008 at 10:01 am

WOW that sounds so super cool ;o)

Maybe the sitter? Or his daughter? Or a friend in trouble?

Gosh this is all very suspense fulled!!!!!


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