Veronica has been “decorating,” as she calls it, that old house they live in. She is my sister, and I shouldn’t criticize, but I have to say she has the most flamboyant tastes. It is a parsonage, after all, not a Grecian temple.
But anyway, she has been buying things, and, rather than measuring her spaces, using imaging software to stage her outcomes, comparing shades, and shopping upscale for the best deals like I would do, she just drags her kids into cheap retailers and buys whatever is on clearance. Definitely not the Proverbs 31, evaluate-your-field approach. Then, when she gets it home and realizes that whatever it is is too little, too big, too maroon, or way too Bohemian, she hauls it back and exchanges it. And she complains that she doesn’t have enough time in her day.
So last week she goes to Ross. She parks at the end of the lot, under a tree, and proceeds to carry a gigantic mirror across the parking lot and into the store. Sal (who is the fattest 22-month old I ever saw) is strapped into her hippie “baby wearer” (that boy is much too big to be an accessory) and she is dragging Rhonda (who looks like her hair hasn’t been brushed since Sunday) through the parking lot attached to a strap so she won’t get hit by a car. And can you believe, she is EXCHANGING this massive mirror for one that is even bigger?! She plans to swap out a 42-inch mirror for a 55-inch mirror! She should have seen catastrophe coming.
Anyway, she inconveniences everyone in front of her to get the thing returned, and as she is selecting her gigantic replacement, Rhonda says “Mommy, I’m wet! I’m all wet.” And sure enough, Rhonda has peed all over her shoes and all over the floor. Now a normal mother would be prepared for something like this. I always was, when my Felicity was potty training at ten months, but Veronica has nothing on her but her cell phone and Rhonda’s toy purse! Again, a normal mother would discretely call an attendant and then quietly exit the store. But Veronica bellows for a wet mop and then decides to pretend her three year old is not waddling around with her legs wide apart and her shorts dripping. She just carries on trying to buy a mirror she should have hired a delivery van for.
So she makes it to the car, clutching the wet shoes, the toy purse, and a mirror the size of Alaska, with Sal hanging out of her backpack trying to kiss strangers, and barefoot Rhonda, loping beside her like an elephant. When she gets to the car she realizes she doesn’t even have a change of clothes for Rhonda. She hasn’t cleaned out her trunk since her last trip to the beach, and all she has is a pile of wet, smelly swimsuits and one of Sal’s diapers. So she dries stinky Rhonda with a sandy beach towel and Velcros her into a diaper that is too small. At this point, any decent person would go home and bathe her children. But not Veronica, she carries on to her next department store where she intends to return a giant living room carpet.
She drags the carpet and the kids through the door and into the return line, and that is when Rhonda, understandably, decides she has had enough. She begins to throw a Pacific-sized temper tantrum. Sal just sits in the backpack, pulling return items off the sales counter and dropping them onto the floor. Veronica whispers something ferocious into Rhonda’s ear and Rhonda starts screaming that she is about to be spanked. I wasn’t there, but I am sure someone in the back of the store was dialing CPS. Veronica grimly returns the carpet and finally makes the right choice to abort the rest of her errands and take her little rodents home.
She never confides in me, but I think she took the whole day rather hard. I swear I saw puffy eyes and mascara smudges all down her cheeks that afternoon. Silly girl. She ought to know mommying is hard. She ought to know better than to plan more than one errand per day and never, ever to leave the house without a full diaper/baby/toddler/preschooler/potty-trained-or-not kit neatly packed in a pretty, compartmentalized Thirty-One bag complete with burp cloths, drop cloths, doggy pee cloths, a tarp, hand sanitizer, a dust broom, a mop, a squeegee, an unopened package of fresh preschool panties, twelve plastic bags, toilet paper, paper towels, baby wipes, a training potty, a bag of M&Ms, several carrot sticks, a clean minivan that smells like Febreeze, a latte, and several equally organized mommy friends.
Poor dear. I shall bake her a casserole. And of course, I shall tell all her friends, because that’s what sisters do.
(Need the backstory? #IdenticalTwins #WhoIsVeronica? #NotMYSister)