This may be a long post. We'll see.
I left Pensacola on Saturday morning with a new book on CD, a travel mug of delicious coffee and a funeral dress I wasn't sure I could zip by myself. I'm such a gambler. After an oil change and a fill-up, I was in line to buy a fountain diet Coke, my crack cocaine. The gentleman in front of me was buying a Natural Light and a Slim Jim. It was about 10:30. It reminded me of my Dad and I had a chuckle.
I finally got on the road. Dawn and I soon had to make rules about talking on the phone. This was supposed to be my return to solitude, you know? Not 5 minutes later and in clear violation of the rules, Dawn called and asked if I noticed anything wrong with William's hair before I left.
"Like what?" I asked.
"Like his bangs" Dawn replied. I told her that yes, actually, I had noticed his bangs were a little wonky but I just thought he was hot and sweaty from playing outside. She did a big sigh and said she would call me back.
The next thing I heard was that they were all loading up to go to Target to buy a pair of clippers - William had, in fact cut his own bangs to the hair line right in the center. Dawn said he looked like he had fangs on the forehead. Another good chuckle.
My book on CD was Hot Mahogany, by Stuart Woods. It's one of the Stone Barrington Series. He is a cad, a NYPD Detective turned semi-slimy attorney. He's adorably arrogant. I read the entire series before I met Dawn. Since then I've given up crime drama books and TV, my past crack cocaine. And I am lighter for it. So Stone really was quite a turn from the norm. I was loving it!
My intention was to go to the Kiss-In in Piedmont Park when I got to town. But because I took my time getting there and ran into stand-still traffic on the outskirts of Atlanta, I thought I should get on to the hotel, get cleaned up and over to the visitation. I checked in right at 4:00 which is when the visitation was scheduled to begin. When I got to the room I dialed Dawn to say I had made it. When she answered I caught sight of the clock on the bedside table - 5:08. FUCK! I forgot about the time change!
I quickly hung up with Dawn and started scrubbing my pits, dry-shaving my legs and painting my big toenail (it was the only one that was going to show in my cha-cha shoes). I slithered into my torture chamber aka girdle and bustier, took a deep breath, prayed to the goddess of fashion aka Jackie O and put the linen LBD over my head. The zipper is on the left side so I reached over and calmy pulled up. So far so good, so far so good. CRAP! A snag, just as I anticipated. Back down. Another breath, another prayer. Retry. Good, good, good. FUCK!
I looked in the mirror and saw the zipper was pulling away from the seam. Panic set in. Sweating began. More panic. Just as I had settled on throwing something, I noticed a little card by the phone. Care line 142. It went something like this - "We here at the Doubletree want your stay to be as carefree as possible. If there is anything, absolutely anything we can do to help you or make your time with us more pleasant, please don't hesitate to call." So I did, and said something like "Hi. I know this is amazingly awkward and embarrassing and I would appreciate it if you remember that it is even more so for me. I cannot zip my dress that I need to wear to a funeral that I am amazingly late for. Could you please send a member of the housekeeping staff up to help me?" He paused, gulped a breath and said, "Wow. OK. OK. Um . . . . Would you prefer a female member of our staff?" I laughed and said that yes, I would.
I poured myself a beer. That seemed like a good idea. I leaned over the desk, stared at myself in the mirror and reflected on how pitiful I was at that moment. Maybe it was the shame, but some kind of lightning bolt struck me. For my last ditch effort, I took the dress off and zipped it all the way up. Then with much grunting, swearing and tugging, I got the damn thing over my head and pulled on over my sizable boobs that I just knew were going to again derail my best intentions. (I have something of a tenuous relationship with my tits.) TA DA!
About that time, the most adorable woman knocked on my door. After I told her that I was in my dress and didn't need her attention, she assured me that she had not drawn the short straw and that my plight was nothing to be embarrassed by. I thanked her for lying to me and sent her on her way.
My arrival at the visitation went without fanfare. My dad introduced me once as his sister and then again as simply, "Rebecca." I was unfazed. After the affair, the directors asked us if we wanted to take any of the flower arrangements with us. My aunt, the widow didn't seem to want to deal with it, but there was no way in hell I was leaving those lilies, so I employed the help of all the penises in the room. They carried them out as I pulled the car around. I pulled random clothes and towels from the trunk and made a layer on the back seat. I instructed my dad on buckling the vases into the seat belts. When we finished, he said, "It seems like this ain't your first rodeo, so you might want to come and check mine."
I adjusted his and we prepared to drive away. Just then, the funeral director came to the car window carrying a leather case. With much reverence, she bowed her head, passed the box to my dad and said, "I'm so sorry for your loss." He thanked her, held the box steady several inches from his lap and turned to me with eyeballs the size of saucers. He said, "What do you think we have here?" I said, "Oh, shit. Do you think that's Mary?" He said in a rather panicked way, "I don't know. Pull over there by Lea Baby. Hurry up."
I did, and he held the box out the window. "Lea! Lea Baby!" She looked over and said, "Do you want me to take that?" He said, "No. I mean, if you want. I just want you to know that we have it. I don't want you getting up the road and peeling back in here to get it." She stared at him and then laughed and then said, "Well hell, Wally, it's not Mary. Is that what you thought?" By now we were all laughing. It was hilarious.
To be continued . . .
Dawn has to harvest Farm Town or she'll waste raspberries. Damn you, Lesbo!