“We’re having a going away party for one of the guys at work and you’re coming,” Tom told me a few days ago.
“Why?” I responded. I rarely go to those things because I never know what to say to people. After I say, “hello” I’m usually at a loss. Sometimes I want to say, “Doesn’t the Air Force suck ass sometimes?” but then I worry that the person who I said it to will get all huffy and spout on about how fantastic the Air Force is and shame on me for thinking otherwise. And okay, for the most part I like the Air Force but it’s been known to tick me off. Like that one time when they tried to send us to Malmstrom AFB in Montana. And when they keep my husband away from home on his days off.
Plus, and here’s what really bugs me, Tom spends most of the time talking and barely even realizes when the kids act up. No, he just stands there with his drink, conversing easily while one of our children goes streaking across the room. Then I have to look like the bitch wife when I screech, “TOM! Could I get a little help over here?” I mean honestly, if roles were reversed and I just stood there yapping while the children turned into mini devils, Tom would have a fit too.
So yes, I admit it, I usually don’t go to Air Force stuff.
But this time Tom wasn’t letting me off the hook.
“You’re coming,” Tom repeated. “There are some people who don’t even believe you exist. I talk about my family yet you guys are never seen.”
“I’d rather stay home,” I insisted.
“But it’s at a place where fried food is served,” Tom pointed out.
Crap. He knows how much I love fried food. I was already picturing a pile of onion rings. Oh, and maybe some stuffed jalapeños.
“It should be for no more than an hour,” Tom continued, knowing that he had my interest.
But then I remembered that Gymboree was having a sale that day.
“Could we just stop into Gymboree before we show up?” I asked sweetly.
Tom frowned. “It starts at 11.”
“I know. I’ll be quick.”
Tom eyed me suspiciously. “When have you ever been quick in that store?”
“Can’t you just go afterwards?” Tom wondered.
“No! Someone might take the size I need if I wait too long. And I have to get this ultra adorable green dress with daisies, I just have to. Gymboree usually only carries two of the sizes I need so they could be GONE by the time we get there and—” I rambled.
“Stop. Okay. We can go. So long as you’re quick,” Tom broke in. I think he wanted me to shut up.
So on the day of the farewell party, we stopped off at Gymboree. I stared at some of the clothes, hand on my chin. I went, “Hmmm,” and then moved to the next row of clothes. “Does this remind you of anything?” I called out to Tom, who was sighing impatiently behind me.
“Um. No. You nearly done?” Tom tapped his wrist. This looked ridiculous because he doesn’t even wear a watch.
“I’m you! When you were looking for your truck tires,” I said with a laugh. (See previous entry for that story.)
Tom shook his head. “I didn’t look like that.”
“Trust me, Tom. You did. I would know. I was shooting the back of your head all sorts of evil looks since you were taking so long and leaving me to deal with the kids,” I replied. I grabbed the dress that I was looking for and held it up. “I’m ready. We can go. Isn’t this adorable?”
Tom shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s a dress.”
“Come on Tom, you made me describe your Kevlar tires for you,” I argued as I brought the dress to the counter to pay.
“Fine, the dress is adorable. Happy?” Tom said, picking up Natalie.
“And your new tires just look like regular tires. Happy?” I shot back as the Gymboree worker handed me the bag that contained the ultra adorable dress.
When we got to the restaurant where the farewell party was taking place, our table wasn’t quite set up yet. So we started chatting with another couple that had arrived. I’m not the greatest with the small talk as I’ve mentioned before. The woman and I exchanged pleasantries and then sort of blinked at each other. Then she said, “I like your perfume,” and I went, “Thanks, I rubbed it on from my Glamour magazine. It was something called Chloe and it had a picture of that chick from Big Love --you know the one who is the daughter of the prophet?—so I guess it’s her perfume.” I shrugged and ignored the Look that Tom was shooting me.
“Oh,” the woman said, a bit stunned. Maybe she’s never met anyone who has rubbed on perfume from a magazine? Or maybe she’s never seen Big Love. If not, she doesn’t know what she’s missing.
Our table was thankfully ready at that point. As we walked to it, Tom hissed, “Did you have to tell her you put on perfume from a magazine? Couldn’t you have just said thanks?”
“I was being honest,” I answered as I sat down. We were seated at this long table and handed menus. Natalie was thankfully given crayons so she scribbled on her paper menu.
Some other people arrived—most of them were in uniform. I half expected Tom to point at me and go, “Here she is. My wife. She exists.”
I ordered a baked ham and cheese sandwich with some greasy fries. Then Natalie decided she didn’t want to sit anymore and yes, while I was wrangling her Tom just sat there talking. I mean honestly, is he blind?
“Here she is,” I said cheerfully after the fifth time of grabbing Natalie. I plopped her in his lap.
“How am I supposed to eat?” Tom asked because our food was arriving.
“You’re a smart man with Kevlar tires, you figure it out,” I replied sweetly. Does he forget how many times I’ve had to eat with a child in my lap? It is possible. I mean, sure, the kid usually winds up with ketchup or crumbs in their hair but you do what you have to do to get sustenance.
We left a little while later. Tom had managed to get Natalie to sit in her chair—he might have bribed her with one of his onion rings.
“See, that wasn’t so bad,” Tom said as we drove home.
No, it wasn’t.
When we got home, Natalie wanted to try on her new dress. I’m not kidding, she actually asked. Normally I like to do fashion shows outside but it was too cold. So I managed to get a few inside—it was difficult because Natalie kept running around the house.
So here it is:
The ultra adorable dress.
Much cuter than tires, I must say.