Posted: June 27, 2016 in Advice, Consulting, Experiences, Thoughts
Tags: , ,

I met some of the girls I’d grown up with for dinner the other night.

As you can imagine, I’d managed to avoid dinner with them for a while, mostly to save myself from hearing thoughts that might hurt my feelings. Not that these friends are mean or anything, but there’s always that element of competitiveness that comes when a group of women get together.

The drill goes like this: We start out by getting updates on what everyone’s doing in their lives. This is accomplished by going around the table so everyone gets a chance to talk about themselves. That’s when we get to hear about the cruises, trips, new cars, houses, and what activities the children are involved in, and how smart they are. Then we usually end with the latest gossip about other people we know. Pretty standard, right?

In some ways, I really wanted to go because I’ve got some crazy stories I could tell that might just top anything anyone else had to say. I’d also know how much of the truth they told, and how much they embellished their stories just to sound good.

But on the other hand, I’d know what they really thought about each other … and what they really thought about me. I wasn’t so sure that was a good idea, even as much as it enticed me to know.

Anyway, it just so happened that I was free on the night of the scheduled dinner. And in a moment of weakness, I told them I’d be there. That’s how I ended up in the restaurant, surrounded by six other women whom I’d known since grade school, but hadn’t talked to in almost a year.

When it got to me, I decided to tell them about my consulting agency. I picked up curiosity, and a lot of astonishment, that I had the guts to do something like that. They had a ton of questions for me about what kinds of cases I’d worked on. Mostly because they didn’t quite believe I was telling the truth, or that I was totally legitimate.

In fact, there were a couple of them who thought I couldn’t possibly be a real investigator, and it was just a hobby, or something I said to impress people. Then someone asked if I’d ever worked on a murder case, but she was thinking that was the true test of my legitimacy as a consultant.

So naturally, I took the bait, and told them about the case where I’d helped a young woman find her mother who’d been missing for ten years, but whom I found out had actually been killed by a serial killer. That got their attention, and they listened with astonishment to the whole story, amazed that I got out alive. And who was this Ramos person? (I’d sort of glossed over that part, since I couldn’t exactly tell the truth. But I had to say something about him. I mean, how could I leave him out when he’d saved my life?)

By the end of our dinner, I had their grudging respect, but they also didn’t want me to think I was too high and mighty for them. So they took what I said with a grain of salt, not quite believing all of it. (Mostly the Ramos part.)

It also made me realize that if one of them had told my story, I’d probably have a hard time believing it too, so maybe it was all right.

Still, as we left, I had a strong desire for Ramos to show up on his motorcycle and take me for a ride, just to prove it was all real. That would show them, right? Plus, they’d probably all die of jealousy.

But, as satisfying as that scenario might be, all it would really prove was that I was lots more competitive than I thought. Even worse, that I’d enjoyed being the center of attention and having the best story of them all.

Dang. I hoped that didn’t make me a bad person. It might also mean that I’d better keep my mouth shut next time. With as much trouble as I seem to get into, it’s probably a good idea.



  1. Stephanie says:

    As someone who is really competitive I completely understand that desire to show off while wondering how that would make me look lol. Nothing wrong with friendly quiet competition.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Audrey Reed says:

    Love it! Thank you


  3. Lola Baptiste says:

    When is the next book coming out? I’m a new Shelby Nichols reader. Got the first for free was hooked and spent the next two weeks not sleeping or cleaning my house, after buying the rest of her books, I’m now am ready for a new story.


    • That’s so awesome!! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed them! It’s coming soon. Finished writing it and now it’s at the editor and the cover artist! Should be coming out in August!!


  4. Johleene Moore says:

    Hey! Caribbean fan here! Just wanted to say that I absolutely adore your adventures!! Sometimes I laugh so hard my kids think I’m losing it!. And a little competition amongst friends is healthy, keeps things interesting.😁


    • Hey Johleene! Thanks so much! Number 9 is coming in August! I know what you mean about what your kids think… be glad you can’t hear everything that’s going on in their minds! hehehe…


  5. rmsqnresve says:


    As each member was going around the table, I would expect that you picked up on which of the stories were “embellished” and which were truly telling their story. Some people have to live their lives through other people–to include their children–because they did not have the strength to step out of their “comfort zone” and tackle a new adventure, like you have.

    If they are begrudging your new adventures, it might mean that they are jealous that you took a step that they never would have–even in their dreams. In short, they have small minds and their critiques are not worth your time.

    If anything, I would expect a phone call from one of the group in the near future. Someone will remember that you–someone that they trust–would be able to help them, one of their family members, or one of their friends who might be in trouble or fear an unknown threat (Crossing Danger, released 27 APR 15).

    It might not be dangerous (a suspecting wife thinks the husband–who she never would dream would be fooling around is many contacts with the very attractive secretary (can you say, “drop dead gorgeous”?) outside of work, moreso than usual. Actually, he is–with the help of the attractive secretary (who is good a making arrangements and loves her female spouse)–setting up a surprise anniversary (or birthday) get-a-way (see the post script) or it could be another case where Uncle Joey, Jackie, Ramos, or Dimples helps “keep your bacon from burning in the fire.”

    Anyway, as one who reads minds, do not let those with small minds keep you from living your life because they do not know how to fully live theirs.

    Just a thought.

    Post script: The get-a-way is her reward because they married early, and they did not have much for a honeymoon. All the money was spent on a modest wedding because the families did not think much of the future in-law until a major event (one of the two at the deathbed but recovered, after the birth of first child, sacrifice so one could finish school then the other sacrificed so that the other could go to school, etc) took place. So, the families are chipping in for the wedding they never supported but realize what a prize the new addition to the family is to their son/daughter. The husband has been saving, as well, and and pooled money would provide the dream vacation/honeymoon.
    If the dream location is Paris, I am sure that you can provide the husband or secretary with maps and suggestions.


  6. obiwan324 says:

    Yes, but Shelby – sometimes it’s just nice to have a normal dinner with friends, right? Even if you did want to be the center of attention, or have the best story it doesn’t make you a bad person.
    Geoff Parker


    • You’re right! It is nice to connect with people who share some of the same memories. It’s just a little awkward when you know what they’re thinking, but hey… I should just put up my shields, right? Only… I don’t want to. Hopefully that doesn’t make me a bad person either!


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