Flirting With Forty by Jane Porter
By SMW Staff
Reaching up I wipe my face dry again and think of the two umbrellas in my car that have been there for two years and never used. Odd to live in a place that rains so much and yet never use an umbrella. It’s just that most of us who live here don’t pull out umbrellas for something as insignificant as showers. We’re well…tough…tougher.
Or maybe just stupid. Stupider.
I feel stupider right now, walking through wet mushy soil to stare at staked trees. We’re the only ones at the lot. Yes, it is a Monday at four in the afternoon, but surely there must be other parents who promised their kids they’d buy a tree today if they were good.
If they were good, and glancing at my two, I see Jessica take a swing at William. Jessica with her blonde hair and blue eyes and great dimples at her mouth may look like an angel but is the devil incarnate. She’s hell on wheels and I wish I could blame it all on Daniel, but word has it I was difficult at five, too.
And six. Seven. Eight. But whose counting?
Certainly not me because I just want to go home.
“How about this one?” I say, pointing to a relatively attractive fir that’s in the five to six foot tall range.
Both Jessica and William shake their heads. “It’s short,” Jessica says.
“It’s ugly,” William adds, moving his hand in one of the tree’s huge holey-pockets. “There’s nothing here. How will you hang ornaments if there’s nothing to hang them on?”
He has a good point but I’ve seen the price tag. The tree is sixty-five dollars, twenty less than the better groomed brothers in the seven foot row. “We can put something special there,” I say.
“Like what? A piñata?”
He’s getting funny in his old age. I can only imagine the excitement of adolescence. “It’s not perfect, but it’s a nice tree.”
He hrmphs me, much like his father used to do, and then finds the tree we end up buying. While Jessica splashes in puddles in her best shoes (why didn’t I see she was wearing her best shoes earlier?) and then cries the whole way home that she’s cold.
The good news is we have a tree tied to our roof and we’re in our car heading home.
The bad news is that it’s only step one. Swiftly I review the other steps–
Step one: buy tree & tie on car
Step two: drive home without losing tree
Step three: get tree off car
Step four: get tree in house in stand
We’re home soon–I like step two, I feel really good about step two and congratulate myself for a job well done and now it’s time for three.
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