I saw Vivien today at the Splendaville Library counter. I had one hand on Slappy, who was pillaging the sticker box in search of Transformers, dinosaurs, Iron Man, or pretty much anything other than Care Bears and My Little Pony, and my other hand was rummaging for my library card. Slappy had just been to the pediatrician after being booted out of school for pink eye, but not before Spring Picture Day, noooo. So those will be some nice shots; you know you have to pre-order them, don’t you? Right now I’m kind of wishing I’d ordered two sets of Grandma & Grandpa mugs.
I got the call from the school nurse on my way into the shower, so I scrapped that plan, threw on gray sweatpants and The Mister’s old military shirt, gathered my limp hair into a ponytail, and took my makeup-less self down to school and from thence onto a morning that had nothing to do with my carefully laid plans of sloth and gluttony. Though I certainly looked like I’d stuck with Plan A. For pretty much, years. I was half of a hot mess; you know which half.
I look up unawares from the library sticker box and encounter that pair of big, bright blue eyes gazing at me with an expression that suggests she has encountered a potentially rabid baboon holding a handful of shit. Vivi’s two little boys clung to her pant legs, goggling at the wide world filled with non-Baptist book readers, bottle-fed babies, and other reprobates.
Now I know that if I go to Walmart unwashed and unkempt, I will see all the people who discuss me at the Backwoods Baptist Wednesday night Bible study, but I thought that the library at noon on a Monday might give me a pass. So wrong, so very wrong. Here’s Miss Nine-Eleven Conspiracy Theory herself, eyeing Slappy with alarm in case unholy germs spring from his head like a pink-eyed Athena ready to spear good Evangelical children.
“Wale, haaaah Patsy,” crooned Vivi in a sugary timbre that set my ears ringing, “Is thayat lil Slappy? Mah he’s grown beeg.”
(“Why is that your little Ray-Erick? Ten already? It seems like only yesterday he was five years old, unbuttoning your shirt for a quick hit of ‘liquid gold’.” No I didn’t, but I thought it.)
At this point karma threw me a bone and I noticed that Vivi was also in a baggy sweat ensemble, and the hair on the left side of her head was mashed up against her skull as though she’d just sat up from a fraternity gang bang.
“Hi, Vivi. So wonderful to SEE you!” (to see you just as unwashed as my heathen ass)
We eyed each other with mutual distaste, exchanged buh-byes and I dragged ole Pink Eye out of there before he could touch Ray-Erick or his little brother and send them running for the Protestant-only bathroom.