Setting: A two-stall bathroom at a Chick-Fil-A in a small southern town, one of those scary Deliverance sort of towns that dot the landscape of the Panhandle.
My daughter is in a bathroom stall. The other stall is occupied. A woman is doing her makeup at the counter. One of my other daughters and I are standing in line waiting for the next available.
My daughter from the stall: "Mom? Can you go to the car and get me something?"
My daughter from the stall: "A tampon."
Me to the daughter standing next to me: "Go get your sister a tampon."
My daughter next to me: "Why do I always have to be the one to do everything? (For the record, each of my daughters think they are the one most put upon.) I don't want to get anything for her. She was mean to me today."
Because my children can never do anything whatsoever without giving me grief first. They use up more time and energy arguing about it, than actually doing it. Officially, they are the laziest creatures on the planet. A sloth is the Energizer Bunny compared to my daughters.
The woman in the other stall: "I have a tampon you can have."
She comes out of the stall and hands us one. We thank her profusely. She says she's a sorority advisor and she keeps a stash full in her purse.
We thank her again as she leaves.
My daughter standing next to me: "I'm leaving before you can think of anything else for me to do."
She stomps off. I am glad.
The woman at the sink applying makeup: "I had a hysterectomy back in 2000, but I have two beach houses and the teenagers are always coming and going, so I keep both houses stocked with tampons."
Me: "Oh, that's nice."
Me In My Head: "There's not a single fact in that sentence that I wanted to know about and I'm kinda creeped out that you have teenagers coming and going from your beach houses and I'm certainly not going to ask, because then you will continue talking to me. And I just want you to stop talking to me."
I slide into the unoccupied stall, relieved to walk away from hysterectomy and tampon talk with a complete stranger.
So I thought.
Woman At The Sink: (Talking even louder, so I can be sure to hear her.) "My husband refused to buy me tampons."
Me from the stall: "Oh, my husband's a rock star at buying the tampons for his household full of females."
Me in my head: "What the f**ck?"
Woman At The Sink: "And that is why he's my ex-husband."
Me In The Stall: "Ha-Ha."
Me In My Head: "I really hope there's more to it. Do they even accept that in divorce court? Is a refusal to buy tampons considered mental cruelty?"
Woman At The Sink: "My boyfriend, now, he's great. He buys tampons and every month when I need the ole' Monistat, he has no problem buying that, too."
Me In The Stall: (In a very small voice) "That's nice."
Me In My Head: "Really? Really? Is it my hair? Do I have the crazy eyes? Why are all the freaks drawn to me? And why must they tell me everything that lies in their freak little hearts? And what the hell? EVERY MONTH? You need to get yourself to a doctor, Freak. WAIT A MINUTE! Did she use this stall? OMG! Must not touch ANYTHING."
Woman at the sink: "Yes, indeed. That's when you know, you have a good man. A man who'll buy the itch cream without batting an eye is secure in his masculinity is what he is."
Me in the stall: Silence. Because I now realize that engaging in conversation with this person was a bad idea from the get go.
Me in my head: "What the f**ck are you talking about? It's not like anyone would mistake vaginal cream for his masculine insecurity."
And here's where it gets good.
Another woman enters the bathroom, "Kendra, are you almost done? The ferrets are gonna get overheated if we leave them in the car for too long."
I had to write it down, before I forgot the brilliance.
We are up in North Florida now with the family. Getting Through. Talking. Laughing. Crying. Remembering. Drinking Wine. Getting Through.
Thank you all for all your lovely notes. I promise to get back to every one of you. I'll see you next week.