Last night we went over to Joey's sister's house. She just got married a couple of weeks ago in a wedding that blows Cinderella out of space. She had fireworks set off as they drove away from their reception at a posh golf course in a long, very shiny limo.
It really was beautiful and I told Joey that at our fiftieth anniversary party I definitely want fireworks.
So anyway, they just got back from their two week honeymoon in the West Indies somewhere and family and close friends were invited over to watch them open their wedding gifts.
Now, don't get me wrong from anything I might write in this post. I like this family. Which is to say, I don't just love them because I have to, I actually really like them. That being said:
Ever since the day I was introduced to Joey's sisters, I have felt...small. Out of place. Poor.
Joey's two older sisters are beautiful blond women who are sweet and sincere and fun to be around. For whatever reason, whenever I get around people like this, I shrink. It's even worse when their friends show up. Its not just the personalities; its the grape size karats in their wedding rings and the new SUV's and the ninety dollar highlights in their hair. I go from being a fairly content mother and wife and person to thinking that I have done everything wrong and should have become a doctor or a lawyer--or at least married one--so that I could have my highlights done too instead of buying them in a box at Albertson's.
So we walk into the bride and groom's temporary home (they're building a new one on a holf course) and I feel it. Shrinkage. We hug everyone and everyone hugs us. Joey takes Ethan out on the patio where the groom's dad is grilling chicken and I stay in the kitchen with the girls. I am half starved from not eating for three hours while I was at work, so I time my trips to the cracker and dip table carefully so as not to seem like a pig. We small talk: hows work, how was the homeymoon; we talk about lost luggage and the cute new things Ethan is saying. Both sisters are really close to me and one of them picks up my "diamond" necklace.
"Oooo Danae, that is so pretty."
"Yes, where did you get that? Did someone give it to you?"
I can feel my temperature rising, my cheeks blushing, my mind racing at what to tell them. The necklace is fake. I don't even know where it came from.
"Ummmmm..." Should I lie? Tell them Joey gave it to me? "Um, I think my grandma gave it to me." I lied. I can hardly believe it. I also can hardly believe what a BAD liar I am, slipping in "I think" like you can forget if your grandma gave you a diamond necklace.
They both look a tad confused as well but decide to drop it. I am restless, so I guzzle a Pepsi not out of thirst but for something to do and then decide to go outside and check on Ethan.
He is jumpping off very dirty steps saying things like, "Jump!" and "made it!" and "dirty, dirty," everytime he glances at his now charcoal colored hands. A small circle has formed around him and he is enjoying being the entertainer.
I am smiling in a fake way because I never know how to act in these situations. As a mom, you don't want to seem too amused by your own child but you don't want to come off as a dead fish either. So I am just smiling pretending not to be that interested in Ethan's amazing cuteness and then in the middle of all the giggles and laughter Joey's oldest sister yells across the circle to me, "Omygosh, where did you get his shoes? They are so adorable!"
His shoes? I act like I can't hear her. Shoot! Not his shoes!
I bought Ethan these brown, two-strap velcro shoes at Wal-mart. Half of Ethan's clothes are form Wal-mart. The other half are hand-me-downs.
I walk over to her so as not to come off like I am blowing her off, and she asks me again, "Where did you buy those shoes Danae, they are so cute!"
I buy time. Lying is definitely out of the question it was such a bomb last time. "Oh I know, aren't they great? I have to get him those velcro kind becuase his feet are so fat..." I am hoping we can drop it right here but she just giggles and then says, "I know, where did you find them?" I can't stall any longer. I push it out. "Wal-mart." I try to laugh it off. She does a double take just for a split second, so small no normal person would have never cought on, and then says, "Yeah, I mean, why spend money on kids shoes when they grow out of them so fast anyway?"
Right. I know she actually just said that to try and make me feel better because I am sure she picked up on my embarressment in my voice when I squeaked out the word. But still. I just want to disapear right now. Which is what I do, somehow making it back inside.
Where Joey's other sister asks me, "Danae, where did you get Ethan's new shoes? They are so cute!" This time I am on top of it; I know there is now way around it. I get it out as quickly as possible. "Wal-mart."
"Wal-mart! Your kidding me! You never know what you'll find!" I smile and wait for the conversation to pick up on something less CLASS DIVIDING.
Ethan comes inside and is all smiles from all the attention. He's hanging out in the living room with his uncles when I hear it: a small child's gag. Which either means:
A. Nothing. Just air.
B. A small amount of spit up. (This has not happened for...um...nine, ten months now?)
From the response from his uncles, I pick "C". I don't really know what to do in this situation either. His grandmother is already by Ethan's side (does he need me?) and the groom's mom is already removing the cushion from the couch to clean it (shouldn't the mom clean up her kid's barf?) I decide to forget Ethan (if Grandma is around, he prefers her anyway) and go try and help clean up. These people are the type of people that just do it though. Like after dinner, they are so on top of the dishes. I always feel like I am just hanging around, in the way, two steps behind them. Which is how I feel now, even though I tell them that I can clean it up. No, No, she says. It's no problem. So I stand watching her scrub my son's barf off a very nice, suade, camel colored cushion.
All in all, it really wasn't a bad night. On the car ride home I feel as good as poop for lying and for being so insecure about Wal-mart, and for making the groom's mom clean up Ethan's barf.
I decide I want to be a confident woman. One that will grab the pillow and say, "No way! You go on inside and let me clean this mess up!" and to his sisters, "Ohmygosh, this necklace is sooooo fake! Isn't it beautiful?" and about the shoes, "WAL-MART PEOPLE! I BOUGHT THE SHOES AT WAL-MART!"