Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ring My Bell (Hysteria Lane)

Susan, Gabrielle and Bree sit parked in a mini-van outside Lynette’s house waiting for Lynette’s kids to finish eating dinner. The girlfriends are going out to celebrate Susan’s birthday and between trying to get ready and feed the kids, Lynette found herself so frazzled that she burned the first pizza she had made for the kids' dinner. Deciding to make a second pizza now meant she, and everyone else, was running late.

Meanwhile, Edie is arriving at her house which is across the street from Lynette’s. She has been busy all day running errands. When the three women in the van see Edie drive by, they duck down and hope that she doesn’t notice them. Edie does see them and the sight makes her giggle. She waits until they sit upright and waves at them. (You know, just to make them crazy.) What they don’t know is that Edie already knows she wasn’t invited to their little celebration. Lynette told Edie where they were going when she asked her to babysit.

Sounds like an episode of Desperate Housewives, no? It isn’t. This is a true instance of life imitating art. My life.

In my neighborhood, I am Edie Britt. Certainly not in the “skanky TV Edie Britt” sense because ironically, these women are much wilder than I am. More like in the “left out of the neighborhood mom coffee clutch” sense. Unless, of course, they want something. Then, they are my BFFs.

Since the weather in my area isn’t nice year-round, I don’t see them too much in the wintertime. In the summers, though, I listen to them rag about their husbands at the pool and participate in dreadfully dull neighborhood BBQs.

Earlier in the day, Lynette rang my doorbell, told me it was Susan’s birthday and asked if I could watch her kids so she could go out since her husband would be away at National Guard. After I said yes, she said just couldn’t keep quiet about something. All of a sudden she seemed quite upset with me. Not too upset to ask me to babysit first, mind you.

It seems that one of my daughters made plans with a group of neighborhood kids and didn’t invite her daughter to go along. I had my daughter correct the situation, but when I mentioned to Lynette that she had a lot of nerve coming over and yelling at me about something she does to me all the time and is doing right now, she got mad. I could tell by the look on her face that she was startled that I actually said something about that. Lynette isn't totally dismissive of my feelings, but she was probably more worried at that moment that I wouldn't babysit.

She laughed off the tension and said “You wouldn’t want to go anyway.” She’s right, but that’s not the point.

The point is that they are rude. I think, at the very least, if they don't want to invite me, they could at least lie about why they need a babysitter. It’s only polite.

It’s not that I dislike them. I don’t. I just don't like to hang out with them when there's alcohol involved. The last time they went out, they had a little too much to drink and ended up taking off their PTA t-shirts and dancing in a fountain in their bras. Not really something that’s high up there on my to-do list. It’s not even on my “something I’d like to see” list either. The Playtex Playmates are more than fine without me on these excursions.

Still, I invite them to all of my things. I don’t know why because really, they aren’t all that nice to me, but I just can’t snub people the way they do. I don't have any part-time BFFs or people I just call when I want something.

I had just returned all of the kiddies to their tipsy, but clothed, mamas and was relaxing on the couch when at 10:30 PM , the doorbell rang again. It was my rather obnoxious (not to mention tipsy!) sister-in-law, Gloria Vanderbilt. She doesn’t live in this state and I didn’t know she was in town. That’s not unusual. She normally pops in to visit my in-laws every two months or so and doesn’t let me know unless my nephew, Prince Perfect, is with her. Of course, this is only so I can babysit while she goes out.

She had been out to dinner with my so tipsy they were ready to topple over in-laws and thought she’d stop by to catch up. By catching up, she means I listen Gloria talk about herself, her mansion, her Jaguar and Prince Perfect until she can sense I am almost ready to run to the nearest bathroom ready to vomit. Right before that actually happens, though, she pretends she is actually interested in me and will ask me some sort of question about my children.

Last night’s question was could it really be true that my oldest is about to drive a car? As much as I’d like to believe that it isn’t, it is. This led to an entire lecture about how she’s a protective mom and there’s no way Prince Perfect will drive a car. Just too dangerous and he really doesn’t need to drive because she drives Prince Perfect everywhere he needs to be. She would never rely on other parents to drive him around, like she’s sure I have to with four children.

I wish that were the case! No one drives my kids anywhere. I am the one always driving vanloads of cheerleaders, soccer players and band students complete with instruments.

Personally, I think Prince Perfect's biggest danger is getting his ass kicked from someone someday because of his mouth, but that’s just my opinion. Once, he accidentally bumped into me in my kitchen and instead of saying “Sorry” (like normal people) he said “Oops, silly me, I’m not used to being in such a small house”. (give me a break)

If that were one of my kids, they’d probably find themselves face down on the floor, but I have to be extra careful with my delicate nephew since my carpet isn’t made of cashmere. I wouldn’t want him to have a reaction to my inferior carpet fibers. I already got in trouble for “almost killing” him once.

I was babysitting and the kids were all out in front riding their bikes. Prince Perfect, age 8 at the time, told me he didn’t know how to ride a bike. I thought that was weird, but he is Gloria’s son, and I offered to teach him. He turned out to be an exceptional student and by the time Gloria returned he was proudly riding by himself up and down the sidewalk.

Gloria shrieked as though I had taught him to jump through hoops of fire or something. She informed me that Prince Perfect has never even so much as needed a band-aid and here I am, “almost killing” him by teaching him to ride a bike. Ok, whatever!

The name of my street may not be Wisteria Lane (it should be Hysteria Lane!) and the names have been changed to protect the guilty, but each weekend is it’s own episode of Desperate Housewives on my block.

Stay tuned for next week when Edie stops answering her door.

1 comment:

Jessica Morris said...

ok, so I am HOOKED!!! You must do this every single week - every Sunday you are slotted in to write about you being a part time bff to those topless fountain dancers ... personally I think you should take a picture of it, then you would have a way to blackmail them into driving the van loads of sweaty kids around!

Thanks for nominating me =) where is the contest?