Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Puff Paint and Prada

I have two teenaged sons and a husband who think Dungeons and Dragons should be an integral part of the American educational system and the Vulcan salute a worldwide gesture of solidarity.

For some peace of mind and a chance to chase the boy cooties from our personal space, several of us girlie types have been gathering every couple of weeks for some good, by which I mean stuff I’d never let the kids have, food, and a taste of culture, by which I mean input on the latest computer games, rantings on the working life, and a double shot of craft night.

In recognition of the fact that I am severely craft challenged, my husband calls our outings “Crap Night” and refuses to allow me to max out the Visa card on glitter glue at Hobby Lobby. So no more tie-dyed Elvis T-shirts with hand-beaded Hound Dog hair for him.

Of course, the last time we got together the only thing I successfully tie-dyed was the left leg of my dress pants and the terrier’s bangs, but you can’t have Masterpiece Theatre every night when all you can afford is Mardi Gras beads and chartreuse body paint off the clearance table.

All the same, I’d rather be out with a group of cultured individuals who do not regard a Slim Jim and three packs of barbecued pork rinds as a party. For the guys I left at home, the telephone is the key to epicurean delight. Supper means never forgetting the number for pizza delivery.

So we girls gather like kittens around a cricket, swapping “I could’ves” and “You should’ves.” There’s nothing like a little girl talk to refresh the mind and chase away the mundane worries of the day. My niece is relating—with panache, gusto, and more than a little personal satisfaction—the happenings of a favorite computer game.

“She had too many friends.”

“What did you do?”

“I slapped her.”

“What did she do?”

“Put a contract out on me.”

“Then what did you do?”

“Slapped her again.”

Apparently nothing says female bonding like knocking some girl who needs it right off her platform pumps and into the pit of pledge week. If assault with a deadly diamond tiara brings serenity, this chick is coasting into Nirvana. It’s the sort of slice of life that could knock feminism back to the days when Gloria Steinem was just a pinup girl in horn rimmed glasses.

The game is called—if not in reality, then in intent--Sorority Death House, and it involves joining rabid gangs of starving supermodels, er, sorority houses of preppie girls, in order to band together for the purpose of stealing high dollar stuff on the way to a life of prison reform, er, sorority heaven.

It’s over six scoops of caramel cheesecake ice cream with a cupcake on the side that I find out about life in Sorority Town. True nurturing involves a representative from every group of the food pyramid from sprinkles to artificial flavoring.

“So,” I said, tongue clinched between my teeth in proper crafting manner as I apply hot glue and pink puff paint to my pants. During the process I managed to laminate my bra into Madonna cones right through my tye died Frisbee dog T Shirt. I looked like a lunchroom lady collectible figure.

People keep ganging up and stealing your sapphire bracelets and beating you up for your Prada bags. Why do you play this game?”

“Because every time I beat somebody up, I pretend it’s somebody I don’t like. After my performance review, I beat up my boss every day for a week and nobody ever knew.”

I dropped the glue and grabbed the computer mouse. “Tell me how to get to Animal House. I have an ex-husband who’s begging for a close encounter with the business end of a pair of Monolo Blahniks. Then he’ll be a real heel for sure."


Nancy said...

You DO know how to have fun, my pal!

Tinnell said...

Hey! I made it in, I made it in! I see me in your blog!!! Love you. I'm so proud of you!

Anonymous said...

You always have me laughing. :)