The Long-Awaited Boobala Darling Proposal – Part 2 of 3 – A Short Story
Boobala is finally on the cruise he’s wanted to take his whole life, but so far it hasn’t gone so well. She has been humiliated by the Captain and aggravated by other guests. However, in part 2, her cruise takes a surprising turn.
As Boobala gorges himself on food, a tall, thin gentleman named Irving Levy walks into the dining room. He is assisted by his quad staff. A wealthy sixty-year-old retired stockbroker, Irving is known to the Captain for his many trips aboard the Empress Carinthia, but since his total hip replacement surgery and extensive physical therapy, he had not been able to travel as much. Recently. , until now. Grateful that the worst is over, he still uses his quad staff for support for now. Dressed in a flashy multi-striped shirt with a bow tie, plaid pants, and ridiculous suspenders, he sees Boobala sitting alone. He crawls over to her table.
“Excuse me, is this seat taken?” She asks in a polite voice.
Boobala gets mad because she didn’t really want him or anyone else at her table. She sarcastically replies, “Do you see a reservation sign?”
“Why not?” Irving stutters, taken aback by his response.
Boobala looks at Irving, amused by his outfit, though she has to admit it’s cute. He is meticulously groomed. His gray hair looks refreshingly healthy. He has a clean-shaven face and a thin mustache. He likes the sound of his voice and the smell of his cologne.
Not bad, not bad for an old man, he thinks.
“So what are you waiting for, go ahead and park your Tuchis.”
Irving pulls out the chair and sits at the table with Boobala. “Thank you, thank you,” Irving says.
Boobala yells at him, “Okay, stop saying thanks. You’re giving me a headache.”
Irving turns to Boobala and introduces himself: “My name is Irving Levy. May I ask what yours is?”
“Boobala Finkenberg, honey.”
“Honey, that’s not a Jewish name, is it?” Irving asks.
Boobala gets angry with his many questions. She snaps at him with a sharp tone in her voice “Vat, are you writing a book? You ask me about my private life. I don’t know you? My husband was English and he was a bum. He beat me and made me. My life was very unhappy.” It was a loveless marriage of seventeen years. Because he couldn’t hold a job, we ended up living with his Uncle Jake for our entire marriage. We lived in bad times where even a penny was considered money. I worked, and he stole my paychecks to gamble with. Harry died of a heart attack at 36 because he owed money to a loan shark who was going to slice him up. I should have listened to my mother, she didn’t like me, but I was so young and so in love that I eloped with him. My parents were very rich, they had a top-of-the-line clothing business in Brooklyn, but they disinherited me when I eloped with Harry. Guess what, I didn’t even pay for this trip, I won it. There you go, my whole life! in a nutshell! Boobala quickly raises his hand to his to her mouth, shocked by what she just said to a complete stranger. It glides like oil on water. She felt ashamed, wishing the ground would open up and swallow her. She hoped the ladies at the other table hadn’t heard. What was it about this man that made her feel so instantly comfortable that she told him her whole life?
Irving looked at Boobala with compassion and adoring eyes: “The world is beautiful Boobala, but it’s the people that make it ugly.” He was mesmerized by this feisty woman. For the first time in many years, he believed that he was in love. His hazel eyes twinkled as he continued to talk to Boobala.
‘What a charming smile,’ he thought, looking at her face. ‘Nice dental work. At least her breath doesn’t stink, and there’s no hair coming out of her ears and nose.’
“I see you are a good Jewish woman. Do you speak Yiddish?” Irving asked.
“How can you know I’m Jewish?
Irving points to her chest: “You’re wearing a button that says, ‘Kiss me, I’m Jewish,’ and it’s written all over it, too.” Boobala looks at his chest and smiles when he remembers that Myrtle put the button on him. He could still hear Myrtle laughing and saying, “This is Boobala, an attention grabber. It’ll make a great conversation piece to help you meet someone. Mazel Tov!” she had said as she hugged her beloved friend to say goodbye to her.
Irving continued to speak: “Also, you remind me of my ‘Libe Mameleh’.” (Yiddish term: beloved mother). She takes out a large handkerchief and wipes her tears and blows her nose, putting the handkerchief back in her pocket.
After clearing his throat, he asks, “Tell me, did you remarry?
Boobala responds curtly as usual. “Would you be here alone if you were married?”
“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking. I was just trying to make small talk.” he he replied.
Boobala, now irritated, continues to enjoy her food. She suddenly pauses for a moment to let out a burp and says to Irving, “Hand me a roll and the salt shaker, please, and wipe your chin, you’re drooling.”
After he finishes, he abruptly stands up and leaves the dining area to head back to his stateroom, stopping to buy a ticket for the land cruise. Irving, on the other hand, is so enamored with Cupid’s arrow that he follows it around like a lost puppy. Boobala stops at the photographers’ section to admire the images taken as passengers boarded the Empress Carinthia. She recalls the ordeal of hers and exclaims, “They didn’t even take my picture. I don’t see it here.”
She turns around and sees Irving behind her. ‘No way on earth can you be my prince charming. Those outfits and the quad stick have to go. She is starting to get angry and is constantly avoiding him to the point of being rude. No matter how much he is insulted, he always comes back to her dragging her feet.
Every day they met in the dining room. Boobala began to let his guard down and warm up to him as they got to know each other better. She was beginning to wait for him to show up. She really started to like him. Irving actually had a great sense of humor, which Boobala instantly adored. He was entranced with his smile. He was a man in love and she was the woman he wanted to marry. He would wait for the Captain’s night to propose to him.
Well, well, what will happen next. Will Boobala accept Irving as her Prince Charming? Has Boobala found true love? Will Boobala finally have a fairy tale ending to his troubled life? You can only find out by reading part 3.