Dave has forwarded an email to me titled 'directions to Sandi's house' and I am not liking the sound of this. I do not know any Sandi and if I did she would not spell her name with that cutesy "i.". Sandi sounds blond and perky and whip-thin and somebody I do not want to sit next to, let alone go to her house. She lives on Kathleen street, rich people always live on streets named after women and the address has five numbers indicating it's one of those sprawling mansions on the outskirts of town. It is clear to me that Sandi must be one of the "John Deere wives."
Sharing a life with Dave means I am thrown together with John Deere people because that's where the boy works. I do not like their coddled wives. Their lives have been blatantly clear of tragedy and human messiness. They have the straightest white teeth on the block because dental insurance has followed them all their natural lives. As a divorced mother I would question the financial balance, groceries or dentist bill this week? Groceries would always win.
It is one of my early dates with the Cowboy and we are going to the country club for a steak fry and general gathering of the John Deere crowd. I rush home from my job, do the shower-shave thing and ponder my choices on wardrobe. I have no fashion sense, I'm a social worker for chrissake, and my closet holds mostly brown and blue, a leftover from my Catholic upbringing. I grab a pair of plaid shorts from my youngest son's drawer, we disturbingly wear the same size and I pooh-pooh the jewelry thing. I do no like metal against my skin.
I realize as I pull into the parking lot that I have made a grave mistake. Men are clustered around the outdoor grill chugging beers and guffawing and smelling the meat. Their women are blazingly bright in white shorts and platinum hair. I am amazed at the amount of gold and diamond settings on these chicks, their fingers studded with multiple rings. I hear one woman complain. Her name is Lucy and she worked eight hours weekly at a boutique but had to quit when her employer refused to give her time off on a specific weekend so she could clean her closets. There were evidently a lot of closets.
After my divorce I worked a variety of strange jobs until the fickle gods of employment smiled and granted me a position with the state government. One of those jobs was working in a renovated daycare center, the benefit being I could take my children to work. I was scrubbing the kitchen floor in the basement, a gargantuan room and the grease I swear was an inch thick. Sweat was dripping off my face and my youngest boy was eight years of age and sitting on a cafeteria chair. He asked, "Mom, do you like your job?"
I remember mumbling under my breath so he could not hear me, Jim, do you like to eat?
I'm not saying I'm better than these women, wait, I am better than these women but I wish the world were a more fair place, a simple request from a simple woman.