A shoulder to giggle on

September 4, 2010

Whoever said that summer was a time for relaxation was either delusional or a practical joker playing a huge prank on society. From the moment Spring lost its icy grip on Willowmoss county, Summer activities would fill every social space until the Labor day fair in Sept. This summer was no different.

“What are you doing?” Jake stares at me curiously from the bedroom door. I stand in my lavender, poofy bathrobe staring blankly at a full closet. Today was Pioneer Days, and as the whole town would attending this event, I wanted to look exquisite. I look to my closet for answers, but no help is to be found. Oh well, I guess I can settle for cute. Pulling on a pair of dark-washed capris and a form-fitted red tank-top, I then find a matching beaded necklace and tug on my favorite pair of flip-flops.

“You look great,” Jake reassures before catching the toddling Cyrus from toppling over. Cyrus glances over toward me; a grin spreads over his tiny face, “Ma-ma.” Looking at my reflection in the full-length mirror, I was no Desiree Blackwood, but no amount of turned heads could replace the love of my family.

Willowmoss may have few inhabitants, but a single roadside can fill up fast when everyone drives 4-wheel-drive trucks. After squeezing in-between two over-sized Chevys, the three of us head off to enjoy the festivities..

At 10:00 in the morning, the sun is already blistering down on the crowd below. Sweat glistens on men’s foreheads; I duck to avoid a raised-arm’s stench assault. A bakery of women pass by us on the left displaying their muffin tops and jelly rolls. I can feel Jake cringe beside me.

Just because the shirt fits, doesn’t mean you should wear it, ladies.
 A baby cries in the distance as her parents try to shield her from the torturous sun. Children run and play unhindered, except by the road that will host the opening Pioneer Day parade in about thirty minutes. Cyrus leans away from my hip, wishing that he could join the frolic.

“Someday bud.” I kiss him on top of his innocent forehead.

Looking up the crowded roadside, I catch sight of Andrew and Alexis sauntering toward us. Alexis’s tall, slender frame is fitted with a denim miny-skirt, cowgirl boots, and a large matching hat. “A cowboy stole my heart,” her loose-fitted t-shirt declares to the world. Ironically, the man who seems to be attached to her body with invisible Velcro, looks nothing of the sort. Even though he is fashioning a pair of snug Wranglers, his pasty, white skin and all over chub, make him look as though he has never spent a day in the sun.

Great, here comes the Pillsbury Doughboy and his girlfriend Cowgirl Barbie.

Andrew and Alexis were two of the most miserable people I knew, but denial forced them not to notice. Both tried to cure their insecurities by being perfect at absolutely everything: physically, socially, professionally, sexually, ect. Even though this was an impossible burden to carry, they tried ever-so hard. Every social event was an opportunity for them to prove their perfection, even if it meant tearing other people down in the process.

“Look ‘Lex, the Hills are expecting again,” Andrew smacks his clammy palm on Jake‘s stomach. “What did you do? Swallow a watermelon?”

Has he never looked in a mirror? Andrew could have a watermelon harvest spilling over his butt-hugging jeans.

Jake rolls his eyes, “You’re just jealous that you don’t have a real man’s body, yet.”

“Oooohhhh,” Andrew laughs good-naturedly.

The two guys exchange playful banter as Alexis glares, irritated. Tossing her long, blonde braid over her shoulder, the looming girl releases her hold on Andrew’s belly and moves up to his neck. Unable to maintain focus on his conversation, Andrew is now caught under Alexis’s spell. With a sly giggle, she pulls his lips to hers, and Jake and I are left to stand there… blinking. As we were no longer members of this conversation, we scurry away, leaving the couple to exchange saliva privately.