This is an old story… well, not quite Ice Cream Man old, but a couple of months. As the site gets going the stories will be fresher, but in the mean time I’ve got to keep Lori entertained. It’s a job I take quite seriously.
Every year for my birthday I force my friends to go rollerskating; it’s a goofy thing to do and nothing beats seeing your friends crawl around the rink looking like spastic tight-rope walkers without a net. (For those of you who missed it this year and didn’t respond to my lovely and well-crafted invitation, I’ve made notes and you know how I can hold a grudge. Just because I don’t acknowledge your birthdays is no reason not to acknowledge mine. You didn’t do me the courtesy of being born on a holiday like I kindly did for you, which means I haven’t a clue when your birthday really is.)
Aftwards, we typically go out to eat then we all go our separate ways and call it a night. This year those that could still walk went to Chili’s. I wasn’t in the mood, but I troopered through it. As I was standing in the entry way I reached back to give Jay a little tummy scritchin’. It’s something I do to let him know that I know he’s there behind me being a part of the activities. As I’m scritchin’ away my index fingers picks up on the texture of his shirt – a bit ribbed – I didn’t recall the shirt ever being ribbed, but I can’t recall scritchin’ that particular shirt. (Mind you, I’m talking to people this entire time. I’m making eye contact the whole time. These were people who SAW what I was doing. People who didn’t stop me. The kind of people that would let you tuck your skirt into your hose and parade around a crowd, the kind of people who would let you wear gobs of ketchup on your face while spinach waved to the world from all your teeth – those kind of people. You call them “friends”. I won’t tell you what I call them. Back to the shirt – I’m still scritchin’, talking to “friends” when my index finger discovers a breast. My index finger sends a signal to my brain that translates exactly into something like “???”. And in that instant Jay, who was standing within inches of the ribbed shirt, grabs my hand, April shouts to the world “Beth, stop molesting me!!!” and everyone looks at me in horror while I attempt to melt into the floor and die. Unfortunately, “friends” don’t let you die on the floor.
We make a few jokes about it and I’m thinking, ok the whole event has passed and in 45 years when I’m long dead I’ll laugh about it. “No one is going to make a big deal about it unless you do, Beth” – that’s what I try to console myself with. Then I hear back from April the following week. It seems that April is setting up re-enactments at home and work for those who missed out. (With complete strangers at the grocery store, people in the laundry mat, you get the picture.) The ol’ “Ok, you stand here and you be me. I’m Beth and I’m like over here reaching back scratching your tummy. Oh, you come over here, you’re Jay and you’re doing this…” Don’t think I don’t know about the rest of you putting on the same performances, too. I hate you all. I mean that in a loving and supportive way. For those of you who think I’m just continuing to draw more attention to it when it has probably naturally died on its own, well I’m “taking control of the story”. That’s what I’m telling myself.