THE NEW GIRLFRIEND
Friday, April 20, 2012
With Wil away, last Easter was going to be a quiet one with just our other son, Matt expected out from his digs in the city. Still, Cupcake insisted on making a big turkey dinner and, Easter morn found her high on chocolate bunny, merrily puttering about the kitchen. Since I do most of the cooking now, she wrings out as much mileage from her infrequent forays into domesticity as possible. I was looking forward to a nice, peaceful dinner. Suddenly, our hopes for a quiet holiday were abruptly dashed with a phone call from Matt telling Cupcake he was bringing a girl out for dinner.
I wish I’d had a camera to capture the look on Cupcake’s face that appeared frozen for a good five seconds. It was the picture of immediate, rapturous joy and excitement mixed with huge helpings of panic and stress. “Stunned” would be a good description; like with a two by four upside the head.
“Oh Matt! That’s wonderful!!” she finally manage to blurt out. “Who is she? What is her name? What does she do? How did you meet her? What is she like? How long have you known her? How serious is the relationship? ACK! We’ve got to get ready! Tell me everything when you get here!”
She slammed down the phone and did a happy dance all the way back to the kitchen while shouting out orders to me of all the things needing doing before the arrival of The Girlfriend.
“Matt’s bringing home a girl?” I asked incredulously. “This should be most interesting!”
Although Matt is 23, he has never before brought a girl home to meet us. Until somewhat recently, he had been on a self-imposed program to drop down from 350+ pounds to a slim, fit, 160. It was a miraculous transformation and bolstered his confidence when dealing with the “fairer sex”. (If they were truly fairer, Matt wouldn’t have needed to slim down to attract them.) Nonetheless, meeting chicks or whatever they call young ladies nowadays was his motivation and it was powerful. Apparently from the phone call, his determination was yielding results.
“Never mind that!” Cupcake cut in. “Hurry up and tidy the house! Make sure the bathroom is clean! Put all the laundry in one basket and cover it with a towel! Damp mop the porch! Take out the garbage! Dust the furn...”
“Hold on, dear,” I tried to calm her down. “Matt’s bringing a girl, not the Queen of England. I make sure the place is kept up pretty well. There’s no need to panic.” Cupcake eyed me with determination.
“I’m the boy’s mother and I will panic if I want to, now get busy!” How the words escaped her tightly clenched jaws, I’ll never know. I got busy.
In record time the place was as ready as it could be apart from “Welcome Matt’s Girlfriend” banners in the yard. Cupcake had worn off the simulated wood-grain of our expensive laminate flooring from her walks from the stove to the window overlooking the driveway.
Not that Cupcake was anticipatory or anything but if I could bottle the energy waves she was radiating, I could power a small village for a week. I even gave her a “pep talk” about not trying to push things along and made her promise not to bring up either marriage or babies. It’s tough for her, though, because all her friends are having grandbabies all over the place and she feels left out as they post their daily bandwidth allowance of pictures of their progenies’ progeny. I call it “baby spam” but I still “like” it on my Facebook page as is now customary in the world today. They should have a button that says “Very cute but awfully similar to the picture posted yesterday”. Kids do change quickly, but not that quickly.
Suffice to say Cupcake was unliveable for the duration between the finding out about the girlfriend and meeting the young lady.
“Okay,” Cupcake said, practically panting in anticipation. “They’ve just pulled into the driveway... they’re coming in. Did you flush? Did you mop the driveway? I better check on the...”
“Honey, relax!” I rolled my eyes, making sure Cupcake didn’t see me do it. She hates it when I use one of her patented moves without express written permission.
The young lady was delightful. Not only as cute as a bug’s ear (that’s a compliment, by the way) but had more spunk than the combined cast of The Pussycat Dolls. It was obvious from the outset she was trying hard to impress us as much as we were trying hard to have her like us. The situation seemed so weird and fraught with potential peril; I figured a beer was a good idea. I went to the fridge to grab one and opened it with the customary kerssshhhh-sschnick of the tab.
“Is that a beer you’re having?” inquired Matt’s new “Um-friend”. (Um-friend is a new designation in society used for introductions. “Hi, Mom and Dad, I’d like you to meet my... ummmm.... friend.”)
“Yes it is,” I admitted.
“Do you mind if I have one?” she asked forwardly, yet, somehow innocently.
“Not at all!” My heart leapt with joy. This was obviously a keeper.
Whatever fate might befall Matt and the little honey that he managed to sweet-talk, I was glad to have met her and was completely drawn in by her engaging ways. Cupcake, of course, adored her, as well.
Still, I know I should emulate politicians and try and manage her expectations.
Wish me luck. I’ll need it.
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