I had a sorta bad feelin, kinda like I’d forgotten somethin. Probably just some anxiety, so I did that checklist thing: phone, keys, children with husband — All good. I turned the corner by the cat food and there she was, buying biscuits for her precious Princessa. I could have sworn she said she baked all of Princessa’s treats, but whatever.
I hesitated, almost turned the cart around. I could feel the oxygen leaving the aisle, and definitely my chest.
“JOEY! Hi! How are you?”
“Good, thanks. How are you?”
“Oh, I’m so busy! Just busy, busy, busy, I don’t know why I do this to myself!” She gave a fake laugh before heading into her long list of humblebrags. Please excuse her tennis whites, she’d been practicing after work because they’d be going on a cruise with Todd and Suzy and they’re so good, she wouldn’t want to lose every game. She had to hurry home, because she had a fundraising event later, and she paused to show me a picture of her bright yellow gown from her phone, “Size two! Thank you, Whole 30!” Another fake laugh before asking how my kids were.
“Good, they’re good.”
However good my kids are, or what they’re up to, is of no interest to her, as has been established by every conversation we’ve ever had. Her boys are brilliant and they do everything well and she is so blessed to be their queen mother. She is exactly the kind of person who actually says aloud, “Hashtag blessed!” and does not mean it ironically.
Then a bejeweled hand on my forearm, “I heard you’re not working again.”
She is two years my junior, but she still somehow manages to smell like an old lady.
“I don’t know how you don’t get bored, home all day, no kids, no husband. I’d go crazy! I have to be busy! I know if I didn’t make the money I make, well, I’d feel like I didn’t have a right to say how we spend, and you know how I like to spend!” More fake laughter.
Oh what a hoot.
I looked how I look most of the time — wild hair, clean face, holey jeans, white tee shirt, flip flops.
I hadn’t been bored with my day. I didn’t feel dissatisfied in any way. My husband had been home, driven the girls to school, woke me up for sex and coffee. I spent the morning on the internet, had a sushi date for lunch, put a roast in the oven, and read all afternoon while The Mister napped. I picked Sassy up from afters and dropped her off before heading to Target. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I find my simple life so incredibly fulfilling. That I’d rather eat her dog’s biscuits than go on a cruise. That I’d let her beat me with a tennis racquet before giving up bread.
Like she said, she had to hurry off, because like she said, gala.
“SO good to see you!”
“Yes, you too,” then I added, “Take it easy this weekend, Ange. You look tired.”
I took a deep breath as she exited the aisle.
I mean, really, she left me no option.
Okay, you be catty now.