This morning I pulled up to the Porkly Workly in a faintly peevish mood. The Mister had taken Phartacus and Slappy to soccer practice, but not before I'd had to do all the work of getting them ready, lest they turn up at the field without water, sunblock, pants, etc. Then I got myself ready and stepped outside into the kind of sultry southern summer morning where the sun is blazing and the air is so humid that you feel as if you have to push yourself through it. I drove to the grocery store behind a person with their hand sticking out the car window, lazily flopping in time to their musical selection. You know you are not getting anywhere quickly when you are behind a person with their hand hanging out the window. Not that I was in any particular hurry, but it irks me that people who wish to drive slowly don't care that they are forcing everyone else to go at their pace. Anyway, all that hand flopping was apparently having a negative impact on the driver's ability to navigate curves, gradients, etc., so that it was some time before I arrived at the Porkly Workly parking lot and pulled into a vacant spot. After rummaging around in my purse and spilling half of its contents into the seat cracks, I realized that I had left the grocery list at home. Meanwhile the rummaging process had somehow pressed some odd combination of buttons on my cell phone and locked it up. As I struggled to remove the phone's battery compartment lid, I let out a loud AAAAARRRRGGGHHH of frustration. I quickly fixed the phone, grabbed my keys, and got out of the car, whereupon I found myself two feet from the open passenger window of a Chevy Tahoe, from which several sets of eyes were peering out.
Realizing my AAAAARRRRGGGHHH had been witnessed and was probably loud enough to have also been heard, I felt somewhat squirmy, but this was nothing compared to my reaction when my eyes adjusted to the darker interior of the Tahoe and realized the passenger seat occupant was Vivien, surrounded by her family. Vivien was a woman I had met at my first Mother's Milk meeting as a new Splendaville resident, when I was too desperate to make mom friends to notice that there was something slightly unhinged about the expression in her wide blue eyes. I persevered with the friendship, despite a few signs that something was amiss. For example, on my first visit to her home, Vivi popped in a children's video and turned to me, wide blue eyes full of alarm, to point out that the toy airplane crashing into two rectangles was clearly a 9/11 message from Osama bin Laden to his minions. Then there was the time she told me that telling people in The South that I was Catholic was like saying "nigger". Not to mention the exorcism she was convinced her husband needed to perform on their oil painting, and her extended-nursing son who could unbutton her blouse himself before diving in. Not shockingly, the friendship fizzled, and she called all of the other Mother's Milk members to tell them what a West Coast freak I was.
"Wale, haaah Patsy," Vivi said in her syrupy drawl, "Ah thowt that wuz ewe! Hah ewe doin'?"
"Just fine, Vivi, how nice to see you. I hope you enjoyed my little tantrum when I locked up my phone and couldn't find my grocery list. Ha-ha! You take care now!"
That was what I should have said. What I actually said was, "ep," and took off.