On the 4th of July I missed work. I spent it at a barbecue hosted by the couple with whom I was staying. I spent the previous night drinking all night and made my walk of shame that afternoon right into the house midbarbecue while still in my spidery long eyelashes and bright turquoise eyeliner. I was wearing a purple and blue tie-dyed short cotton dress, black thigh high socks and tall wedge cork shoes that didn’t match at all. I quickly dove into the bathroom and washed the trashy off. I emerged in a modest knee-length gray skirt, a Beatles T-shirt and a gray hoodie.
I was invited to go out drinking again with my many new friends, but opted to eat ribs, potato salad and cake off of patriotic paper plates. The cake had bright red raspberries and blueberries arranged in the shape of the stars and stripes on white frosting. How could I resist?
There were several children at the barbecue. I had to explain jokes to a curious 10-year-old as we sat around watching movies. “Why are you laughing?” she’d ask as she braided the hair on a Barbie head. The adults were socializing outside on the patio, but man, my seat on the couch where the kids congregated was really comfortable. I took a 2-hour nap amid the falling and screaming (they call it playing?) of the kids. I was reading a book and fell asleep midsentence like the way a grandpa would do.
My drinking buddies gave up on me. I think the children did too.