Story Submitted by Jim:
Stacy worked in an art gallery and was a part-time carpenter, often making her own original statues and projects. I met her on a city-sponsored gallery walk and we had a long talk about her work and artistry in general. She gave me her card, and a few days later, I called her to ask if she wanted to continue the conversation over dinner or drinks.
At dinner, she brought a small black folio along. I noticed what looked like laminated pages inside, and I became excited at the prospect of seeing more examples of her art.
Not long before our meals arrived, I asked her about the folio, as she hadn't mentioned it by that point.
She smiled, said, "I wasn't going to show you unless you asked," and pulled it out onto the table. She flipped it open to the first page.
There was a rudimentary sketch of herself, standing in front of a house, hand in hand with a child. I asked her about it. She said, "This is me with my son. My future son."
She flipped to the next page and I saw a picture of her with two kids in front of a sketched background of pine trees. She said, "This is me with my two kids at the park."
On the next page, she had a sketch of herself with three children, this time In front of palm trees. "Family vacation," she said, "Bermuda."
She flipped to the next page. Herself and four kids in front of what looked like an amusement park. "Here we are," she said, smiling broadly, "At Six Flags."
She flipped to the next page, speeding up. Now she had five kids, and they were standing with their arms up on a "Roller coaster," she said.
She flipped to another page, and I said, "Where are all of these new kids coming from?"
She said, "My imagination, or I'll adopt some."
I said, "How many do you have on the last page?"
She turned to it, and there she stood with about twenty kids in front of a building labeled, "Orphanage."
She beamed at me and said, "Here I am, donating them all to other needy parents."
She said, "Yeah. I raise them, feed them, and then off they go." She leaned in and whispered, "So I don't have to pay for everyone's college," then winked at me.
I tried to wrap my mind around it and asked, "This is some kind of conceptual art project, right?"
She shook her head. "No. This is my plan. There's no man in any of the pictures because I can do it on my own, but if a man wants to join me, then he can. Should be an adventure, don't you think?"
To be sure. She said, "I've already applied for my first adoption. Should be fun."
I said, "I wish you lots of luck." She thanked me, and explained all about how she was going to raise the kids, through to the end of dinner. When we parted ways that night, it was cordial, but I didn't ask her out again.
Story Submitted by Jim: