As I departed my bedroom to embark on a Twinkie expedition in my family’s upper-middle class slice of the American dream, I overheard my parents talking about something downstairs. I wondered if Lydia and Kat had gotten themselves into trouble again as they were usually the topic of hushed discussions in our house.
I normally slid down our mahogany stair rail with my dismount ending in a noisy, parent-irking thud on the wood floors in the foyer, but long ago we’d learned to be ninja quiet when attempting to eavesdrop on my parents. They could hear a bird fart from two-hundred yards away in a thunderstorm.
“Lock the doors, bolt the windows and set the alarm. We’ve got new trouble in the neighborhood. And I’m talking trouble with a capital ‘T’,” Mom said in her customary flustered manner.
She flipped her hair behind her shoulder and settled in next to Dad on the family room sofa.
Talk about wired!
She always fluttered through the house amped up about something. More often than not, to our dismay, her diatribes involved some fanatical effort to protect our virtues. “I finally sold the lakeside mansion over in Woodmore II today. You remember the property I listed in the gated section? And you’ll never guess who bought it.”
Dad, a fairly laid back man with a psycho wife and four hormonal teenage daughters, made a feeble attempt to bury his head into The Washington Post and avoid the discussion. He understood, as we all did, Mom’s talks went on far longer than they ever needed to.
“Well, don’t you want me to tell you who bought it?” she urged.
Couldn’t take a hint either.
He let out a heavy sigh of resignation. “You’re going to tell me whether I want to hear it or not, dear, so go ahead.”
Although he’d offered a less than enthusiastic invitation, Mom ignored him as usual. “You won’t believe it, honey. You just won’t believe it! They’ve got more money than they know what to do with. And you should see the furniture! Very elegant. Those enormous flat screen televisions alone would’ve had you drooling with envy.”
Dad finally looked up from his paper. Mentioning electronic gadgets of any kind always piqued his attention.”Okay, spill it.”
“Well, the man of the house plays for the Washington Redskins—ever heard of Darnelle Williams?”
Dad’s voice perked up. “Say whaaaat?”
He lived for football season and loved his Redskins. Dad wanted to paint the house burgundy and gold, but Mom threatened to divorce him. We thought her threat would be incentive enough for Dad to run to Home Depot and buy up every can of paint in the store, but he relented and settled for a “man cave” in the basement.
“Yeah, he seems like a nice guy, pretty down to earth. His wife, on the other hand, hmph. Let’s just say I didn’t get the warm and fuzzies from her. She acted a little bourgeois and had more labels on her clothes than the can food aisle at Safeway,” she quipped. Then she let out a long dramatic breath. “Doesn’t matter anyway. They aren’t the real problem.”
“Well, what is the real problem in your estimation, dear?”
“The booty magnets. They have, not one, not two, but three boys. Well, two teenagers and a baby.”
“Are you suggesting the baby might be attracted to one of our daughters?”
“Don’t be silly! But we will have to keep an eye the older ones. Handsome devils,” she said, shaking her head in pointless despair. “Just what we need, two more rocket-headed boys coming into the neighborhood to get the girls’ panties in a wad. We were this close to getting the girls out of the house without being impregnated by some horny knuckleheads and now here they come. So much for that dream!”
“Well, I’m not concerned about Liz and Jeni. They’ve always got their heads in the books. And when Liz isn’t in the books, she’s on the basketball court. It’s fast-assed Lydia and Kat that we need to worry about. Always scheming and getting into something they don’t have any business doing. No matter how hard we try or how strict we are, trouble follows them wherever they go.”
Mom shook her head. “No, let’s keep it real. They always find trouble—and Lydia’s a little trouble hound, sniffing it out wherever she can. Kat’s just a wingman. As handsome as those boys are, Lydia will get pregnant just looking at them.” She heaved a sigh. “As for Liz, she’s such a tomboy, no small thanks to you putting that stupid basketball in her hand from the moment she could walk. I’ll consider motherhood a success if I can get that girl back into a dress before she graduates. I mean, people talk. You know what they say about her. That she’s a les… a les…a les… that she likes girls.”
Neither did I.
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