This originally appeared in February of 2008 in response to a weekly meme I used to participate in, 3 Word Wednesday, in which we were given 3 random words and had to write a story with them. A bit long but I think it’s kind of fun. The 3 words were t-shirt, unravel, and punch. See what you think…
I walked into the house and without looking at her face, I knew Karen was staring at the Slayer t-shirt I was wearing and wondering what the hell got into me. She knew I would never buy a shirt like that. And the micro mini-skirt I was wearing was totally not like anything I would ever wear. At least not in this century. I could feel her staring at me but I wasn’t going to explain. Karen wouldn’t understand. I made a beeline for my bedroom, pulled out some clothes and walked to the bathroom to shower. I had to get that clothes off of me.
I locked the bathroom door behind me and as I reached for the faucet, I heard Karen on the other side of the door. “Hey Mom. So what’s with the clothes? It’s a little early for Halloween!” I could hear her giggling.
Rolling my eyes, I couldn’t quite decide if I would acknowledge the question, let alone answer her.
“Go away. I’m taking a shower.” On came the water before Karen could even giggle.
I let the white Slayer t-shirt drop to the floor at my feet along with the micro mini skirt, the black bra and panties I had borrowed. I never wore a black bra with a white t-shirt but Sherry had only offered the black one so I had no choice. Well, I did. I could come home wearing no bra but that would be worse than having my teen daughter tease me about the clothes I waswearing.
As the steam began to fill the small bathroom, I relaxed against the cold shower tiles, closing my eyes. How did all that mess happen? It had started out so well. Just the two of us. Nancy and I were going to have a nice dinner, go to a movie, and then go for drinks. This was the one night a month we allowed ourselves to have fun. Single moms have it hard. We’re all alone. There is no one to help with the daily stress of raising a teenager. No one to help with the housework or paying bills or mowing the lawn. It is all on our shoulders. We never get to go anyplace to unwind. So Nancy and I go out once a month just to unwind. When we did, our kids were sworn to a quiet evening at home. We would spring for movie rentals, soda, and junk food and they would swear to stay home and keep out of trouble.
That didn’t happen tonight. Instead, after the movie when we both reached into our purses to turn on our phones, Nancy’s phone beeped repeatedly, letting her know she had a missed call and maybe a voice mail. She listened to the voice mail as we walked to her car. We were supposed to meet some of the others from work at Hank’s for a late, unofficial “happy hour” as we sometimes did. I heard her gasp. “Oh no! This can’t be happening!” Jumping into the car with the phone glued to her ear Nancy said we had to go straight home. There was trouble. The neighbor had called.
When we got to Nancy’s house, we couldn’t find a parking space. The street and driveway were lined with cars. Music was blasting and teenagers were all over. Nancy pulled her car onto the lawn, causing a dozen inebriated teenagers to scatter. Inside the house, we found kids packing every room, the staircase, and the kitchen. There wasn’t even standing room. While we looked for her daughter, Sherry, a very drunk young lady bumped into me and spilled her “potent punch” all over my white ruffled tuxedo shirt. Just what I needed. This was the first time I had worn the shirt and the girl didn’t even excuse herself. She just continued to bump into everything and everyone in her path.
Finally, Nancy and I restored order, got rid of most of the sober teenagers and contacted the parents of the drunken ones to come retrieve their youngsters. Sherry had been locked in her room, afraid to come out and face her friends and all the people she didn’t know. She explained that she had only invited four girls but they had each text messaged their friends and soon their friends had text messaged their friends and before they knew it, there were dozens of teenagers eager to have a good time without adults. Her daughter hadn’t been able to get rid of them. She had called the neighbor and asked for help. The neighbor had tried to break it up but his efforts had all been futile so he had called Nancy.
When everyone left, Nancy and I started to throw out the trash and straighten up. Nancy told Sherry that the clean up was her responsibility but some of the cleanup had to be started tonight. On my hands and knees, picking up some of the larger pieces of trash before running the vacuum cleaner, I snagged my skirt on a piece of broken glass. I didn’t even notice it until I kept moving and realized that my knit skirt had unraveled beyond repair. I was left in nothing more than my slip. Nancy is a full five or six sizes larger than I am but her daughter is my size. Sherry went upstairs and got me some clothes to wear home. I had two choices. Wear my punch stained tuxedo shirt and my slip or her SLAYER t-shirt and micro mini skirt!
But would my daughter believe me? No, it was better to just play deaf. I decided to let the shower run a long, long time before having to face her.