Note to self: next time, bake the cookies before taking a shower. *picking little bits of dough out from under my fingernails*
Noon rolled around and found me walking into Monkey’s classroom, goodies in hand. The Thanksgiving spread was quite impressive. The kids had all made little turkey centerpieces that festooned the various tabletops, there was a big basket of papier mache fruits they’d made (“Taste my pear! No, don’t! I painted it!”), and the “buffet” table was covered in homemade tablecloth (butcher paper the entire class had colored for the occasion). It was noisy and crowded and delightful.
Monkey and I dined on a variety of finger foods while sitting on the rug and chatting with other kids and parents. Every time he saw a child with a brownie or a molasses cookie, he shouted, “Hey! My mom made those!” It’s so nice that someone is proud of me.
The time came to start cleaning up and getting ready to go, and the teachers pointed out that each child had made a turkey centerpiece, and they could be taken home. Then we parents started noticing that the front of the turkeys had a little heart that said, “What I am thankful for” and then each tailfeather bore a different testament to thankfulness. We passed by one where the tailfeathers read:
Awwwwwww! Right? Totally AWWWWWWWW! But when two teachers came over to me trying to conceal their laughter, asking if I’d found Monkey’s turkey yet, I should’ve known.
It turned out that we had to search high and low for it, and I still don’t know where it was found; one of the teachers brought it over to us. “Read the feathers!” Monkey urged me, proudly. At first I steeled myself for tears… surely there would be something so touching that I would remember it always. Right? Ha! Monkey’s feathers read as follows:
Hmph. Tallgirl–in case you hadn’t figured it out–is Monkey’s girlfriend. I thought I had a few more years before being replaced, but apparently my time in the spotlight is over. But at least I got one feather! His father didn’t even rate!
I had a chuckle at this, then went over to introduce myself to Tallgirl’s father. “Hi,” I said, “have you met my son, your future son-in-law?”
“You must be Monkey!” he greeted the little stinker. “Tallgirl talks about you all the time!”
“That’s because she’s my girlfriend!” Monkey said. “And we are going to get married, only it’s taking kind of a long time for us to be grown-ups so it’s not gonna be for a while.” And for a moment I wished for the floor to open up and swallow me, but then everyone in the immediate vicinity was reduced to a sweet and viscous goo as Monkey and Tallgirl embraced. Tallgirl is nearly a whole head taller than Monkey, and she rested her chin in his hair for a moment before pulling back and tickling him under the chin. Meanwhile, Monkey radiated with such joy and innocence that anyone who wasn’t already oozing along the floor from the hug was struck blind by his glow.
It was kind of messy, then, what with all the blind people trying to navigate and not lose their shoes in the sticky residue from those of us who simply melted, but sometimes love is complicated like that.
Naturally, there was no way to top this extravaganza other than to go grocery shopping. So that’s what we did. After that, it was time to fetch Chickadee from school and head down to Daddy’s.
Chickadee and Monkey munched leftover Kira cookies as I headed back towards the highway. The main street one must follow to get there is a typical “main drag” with lots of traffic lights, and we were just lucky enough today to hit all of the lights red. No matter. We were making good time; I wasn’t in a rush; the children were playing nicely in the back.
After the second red light I realized that Angry Dude In A Hurry was in the car behind me. I caught sight of him in my rearview mirror, and he appeared to be delivering a lengthy lecture about my inability to drive. His hands were waving around and his expression was exasperated. What little of his rant I was able to glean was essentially: FOR GOD’S SAKE WOMAN civilization as we know it is about to end because I AM IN A HURRY and you waited 1.3 seconds to accelerate after the car in front of you moved!
I confess: I found this very amusing. I picked up my Diet Coke and swigged the last few drops (necessitating a head tilt) while watching him, and BY GUM that was THE LAST STRAW. His exhortations increased, his hands flew wildly, and although my speed and course had not varied it was obvious that my AUDACITY at PARTAKING OF LIQUID REFRESHMENT while he was NEEDING TO ATTEND TO URGENT BUSINESS was just too much for him to bear.
Now we were at yet another red light, and when it turned green I hit the gas immediately… but lightly. I inched forward and a car from the next lane cut in front of me. At this Angry Man began shaking his fists at the heavens because LOOK WHAT I HAD DONE, there was now YET ANOTHER MORON between him and SOME IMPORTANT DESTINATION and it was ALL MY FAULT! I turned slightly towards the backseat and said, “Hey guys, take a look at the man driving behind us.”
Before the kids even had a chance to turn, Angry Man’s conniption reached fevered pitch because I ALREADY WAS MAKING HIS LIFE A LIVING HELL and here I had INCLINED MY BODY AWAY FROM THE ROAD for TWO SECONDS which probably cause the earth to fall right off its axis. Now I was laughing out loud; I couldn’t help it. This guy deserved an Oscar. Or a stroke. Something.
“Whassa matter with him?” asked Monkey.
“I think he needs to use the toilet real bad,” declared Chickadee. This prompted fresh gales from me and now–having reduced it down to potty humor for the masses–the children joined in. When we turned onto the highway ramp and Angry Man sped past us, still sputtering in indignation, all three of us waved. We were still laughing.