My brother got engaged to Holly—have I mentioned that? Here’s my no-frills assessment of their courtship: They are gross. He’s the jungle gym and she’s the 3-year-old. When I’m around her I have to restrain myself from yelling, “Down, girl, down!”
Imagine my delight when my brother called yesterday and begged me and Chuck to stand in for my mother and step-father, who were supposed to be dining with the lovebirds and her parents at the nearby casino. Was it luck that we live so close to the dining enclave they’d chosen? Or that my father—who is usually busy with golf, bowling, or bird-watching—happened to be free to baby-sit?
Oh yesiree it was.
I was actually curious to see what kind of people had produced such a well-endowed, chirpy girl. Holly has thrown me a few curve balls in the eight months I’ve known her. Her sing-songy voice is beguiling; it distracts from her snarky comments. Like when we were all on the Cape and she kept teasing me about my misplaced drink: “Where’s Mommy’s drink? Where did she put it? Does Mommy need her drink?”
Instead of pushing her into the lobster pit like I wanted to, I sing-songed (sang-singed?) back to her, “MOm-meee is dr-Ink-Ing bE-cAuse she had a lOOooong wE-eeeek and nEveeeer gets to plAA-y anymore.” Why was I explaining a few rum and cokes to a 21-year-old whose laziness destroyed my oven and left my child smelling like a dank alley?
Oh, the pious and hypocritical indignation of youth. I fricken swear.
So there we were, the six of us, at a sushi bar. Me and Chuck, Ted and Holly, and Mrs. J.Jill and Mr. Moustache (I can’t remember their names). On the one side, severe face sucking and whispering. On the other, uneasy voyeurism of said face sucking. In the middle? Chuck asking, “Does anyone want to split a Spicy Tuna roll?”
We all agreed that sharing was ideal, although interpretations varied. Ted and Holly decided to use their faces as smorgasbords. After 10 minutes of shielding himself from the flying saliva— and downing several bottles of sake—Chuck jabbed a roll with his chopstick and unsexily crammed it into my half-open mouth.
“Hranks,” I said.
Then, in a moment that can only be described as horrendously uncomfortable, Mr. Moustache tried to feed Mrs. J.Jill a roll and was denied! Before it reached her lips she giggled, removed the roll from the fork (they didn’t know how to use chopsticks) and plopped it in her mouth. He tried to look nonchalant, but the rejection was all over his face.
I thought of offering my own agape mouth so he wouldn’t feel left out but realized that that would only contribute to the already palpable awkwardness. Although I have to be honest, I did try singing it out in my head, “Ho-Olly, yoUr Daaad just wAnt-ed to have soo-Ooome too-O.”
Yah, it’s gonna be a kick ass wedding.