Tonight is a sweet sixteen party and my daughter is invited. I’m not sure how another child’s 16th birthday is costing us so much, but we must be moving in on $175 at this point. The $25 gift card for the birthday girl has been the least of it.
Last night was dress shopping. We were quite lucky to find not only a party dress but also a prom dress at the same store. All I can say is thank God a single retail outlet in America realizes there are girls larger than a size 13, because the look on her face when we were looking in Lord & Taylor’s was something reminiscent of the kid who goes to an amusement park and discovers their favorite ride has been closed for the day, then drops their lunch on the ground.
I wish every dress designer who only makes dresses for stick figures would be placed on a ship, bound together and left at sea.
Anyway, we did find beautiful stuff and she looked great and by the time we left the mall she was beaming and jumping up and down with excitement. I wouldn’t have cared if we had to go bankrupt at that point. Who gives a shit? Not me.
This morning I got up early and went to our quarterly library book sale, where paperbacks are a quarter and hard covers 50 cents. Seriously better than sex, way better, although I did buy one authored by porn star Jenna Jameson, just to keep my skills in check. I also bought four for Rachel as she slept. It’s nice to be a princess.
Upon return home we had to go purchase shoes. She got two pair, one that perfectly matches tonight’s dress and another pair of sneakers covered with silver sparkles. PayLess had a sale and we walked out with two pair of shoes and two pair of footies for $17. Damn, I was impressed with myself. When your feet are the size of paddle boats PayLess is a more reasonable alternative than nicer stores because they cater to the transvestite market.
On top of everything else we then took her out for her lunch, since the adults in the house are fasting. Was that enough?
No, I had to shave her legs. Completely over the top. I guess maybe in normal households mothers do things like this? I don’t know, because I never lived in a normal household. The only times I remember my mother being nice were (1) when I wrecked my bicycle and had to have rocks taken out of my face in the ER with a brillo pad and (2) when my girlfriend wrecked her car and we were both knocked unconscious. During those two occasions she was stellar. I guess I should have gotten better at self-injury.
Returning to present time, the girl is now complaining, “Do I really have to wear a bra?” Oh my God, next she’ll ask if she really has to brush her teeth. Sometimes I could easily confuse her with a 12-year old boy instead of a 13-year old girl.
All potential difficulties are made up for by two things: (1) her loving nature and (2) her fantastic sense of humor.
At bowling Thursday night she had headphones in, like she often does, which annoys the fuck out of me. One of the older women, who is close with Rachel after having conversations lasting several hours each week for more than two years, got up to answer a phone page and passed out on the germ-ridden bowling alley floor. People surrounded her and an ambulance was called. She’d been lying in probable ebola virus for 15 minutes when Rachel said, “Who is that?”
Oh my God, the entire bowling alley had come to a standstill and she had paid no attention whatsoever.
A couple minutes later she called me over and said, “Is that MY Pat?” I said, “YES. Who did you think it was?”
Her reply: “Oh, I thought it was black Pat.” Now, mind you, “black Pat” quit working at the bowling alley about a year ago . . . and her name was Jill. I began laughing so hard I doubled over. She turned an entertaining shade of salmon. After I walked away she called me back.
She said, “I am warning you, I do not EVER want to hear this mentioned again! STOP laughing, you bitch! First of all, I sound RACIST. Second, I better never hear you tell anyone about this and you had better SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Meanwhile, we were both laughing so hard we were holding our sides and I was about to topple over. I had tears running down my face.
The words “black Pat” have now entered the realm of family history.
Oh, here we go. She just entered the room and told me she doesn’t like her shoes. They are not the exact color of the dress. In other words, she’s wearing the silver sparkly sneakers instead. Perfect! Directions were “dressy casual.” She is dressy up top and casual down below. Very Gemini for a Virgo girl.
* * * * *
She has now been delivered to a nearby firehouse, my job for today is done. Except for the part where I have to be available at her beck and call in case she texts or calls. If I do not reply immediately she will assume I am dead. Her preference was that I sit in the parking lot for four hours, but she capitulated to my wishes. This recliner is far more comfortable. And warm.
The boy she likes will be there. We have joked endlessly about him.
I remember being kissed for the first time at 12 by Dale Hansen at the bottom of the stairs in my house on Guthrie Street in Corn Field, Illinois. Dale had a skin condition and wore black framed glasses. When he moved in for the kiss I closed my eyes but then made the mistake of opening them and burst into laughter. Dale looked painfully comedic with his face all screwed up and lips pursed.
Good luck with that, Rachel :p
* * * * *
She is home.
The story of the night? She was dancing in a circle with the birthday girl, flinging each other around and around. This 16-year old happens to have a mild case of cerebral palsy and is half Rachel’s size. One moment she was on her feet . . . the next moment she was on the floor, on her face, with her dress over her head. Rach is mortified and feels responsible but thank God her friend is fine. She summed it up with, “They remember me wherever I go.”
To get a complete picture of the scene I asked, “Where was the boyfriend while this was happening?” and she said, “Oh, standing there like man candy, shaking his head.” When I tell you this geeky boy should beg her to marry him NOW because no one will EVER call him anything so flattering again, I am dead serious.
I could not get better entertainment if I paid for it.