Monday, July 18, 2011

The Dinner Party

Here is an excerpt from a piece of writing I did last week for school ... yes, the events actually happened last week while our vacation was just beginning:

The Dinner Party

Hannah has just finished helping me set the dining room table. It’s a formal antique table with a matching buffet and hutch in a light stained oak. The mish mash of place mats and chairs pulled from other parts of the house are placed deliberately. I’m sure it would make Martha Stewart cringe. I don’t however, as I’m just so happy to sit down to dinner with my dearest friends who have just driven two days to get to me.

Kathy and her three kids; Hannah, Megs and Jack and our friend Lucky are all sitting around the table hungrily diving into a salad made of quinoa and Northern Beans, dressing grilled sausages and digging spoons into the southern staple of Mac and cheese. My daughter Finley, age two, is climbing in and out of her chair too excited to sit or eat.

We’re cackling with laughter at the names we’ve given ourselves for this girl’s and kids trip, Sponge Bottom Square Boobs Mom, Hooker Mom and Prozac Mom.

“But why Prozac Mom? Are you happy now?” I’m asked.

“I never wasn’t,” I say, before tagging on “ Please don’t feed my dog, I just cleaned up puke upstairs.

“What was it?” Lucky asked.

“Apple?” I reply. She mocks a guilty look.

“No more dude!” I wag a finger at her as Finley climbs the back of my chair to hang off my back. Finley looses her balance and clings to my tank top and bra strap. In an effort to prevent a nipple slip I’ve clamped my hand down over my now exposed bosom. Jack, sitting directly across the table from me swings the desk chair around backwards to avert his eyes. His whole body turns red with embarrassment. At 11, he’s not yet on the life long man quest to see boobs. The rest of the table becomes alerted to what is going on and we all begin laughing. Lucky then chokes on her food, collectively we pause to stare at her wondering if we’ll need to perform the Heimlich maneuver, before returning to our fit. Finley slides off my back, while I readjust myself, “Poor Jack finally gets to see a breast and it’s my lazy eye nipple” I say.

Our laughter is broken by a wretched gagging crossed with what sounds like a cat coughing up a hairball. We look back toward the kitchen to see my Yorkie throwing up, again. Lucky’s dog is circling to see if it’s good seconds and that’s when Finley yells, “Mama I’m pooping!”

I jump up, “quick let’s get to the potty.” She’s already dropped her little black and yellow striped undies and is in a squat. I get to her as she drops a turd on the dining room floor.

“Don’t step in it! I command as she pops up to look back proudly at her accomplishment. And thus the tone is set for our week long vacation. It can only go up from here…

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