Authors: Christine Zolendz,Angelisa Stone
And we try, we really do try not to fall back down into a fit of giggles, but it’s way too hard. We follow the guard down the hallway.
“Dude, I could so be a violent criminal.” Angelisa mumbles. “Shouldn’t you cuff me? Why doesn’t anyone ever want to handcuff me, Chris?” she whines.
“Ummm, she’s not violent. We swear. She’s just… just… dumb.” I explain, nudging her.
“Seriously though, how does he know I’m not packing an oozie in my girly stuff?”
“Ya know that is true. It’s kind of sexist that you don’t think we could be hiding heat?”
“Ladies, the only thing you two are trying to hide -- or hide from is good, old-fashioned middle age. And quite frankly, neither one of you is doing a bang-bang up job of it,” the son-of-a-slut says, pretending to shoot us.
“Is that what you do now? Shoot blanks?” Angelisa quips, exploding in laughter that spirals out of control until we’re both laughing like lunatics.
“Enough!” he shouts, trying to silence us before we enter the courtroom.
The two of us are still giggling like two immature kids being brought in front of the principal. Matted hair, mascara-streaked cheeks, and barefoot. I’m pretty sure I even have an extra tattoo somewhere.
We’re sworn in; big vocabulary is used. Case numbers are brought forth, and I almost fall asleep. I’m just about to face plant into the table with exhaustion when Judge Caroline Jacobson calls both of us up to the podium. “Ms. Zolendz. Ms. Stone. Approach the bench please.” She has dark, tired brown eyes, eyes that are weighed down with darker brown bags beneath them. Her light blonde hair is pulled back into a tight, painful looking bun. It’s streaked with gray. I want to pull out all those restraining pins. I want her to stop feeling so tight and tense behind her bench. I want her to feel free like me, like us. Well, like the freedom we felt before we were thrown in jail.
Almost as if Angelisa’s reading my thoughts, she mumbles, “Man, she needs to get laid… and needs to get those roots done.” I can’t control the giggle that escapes me. The judge eyes us sternly, and you can nearly hear our mouths snap shut.
“As I hear, you both were found in the fountains of the Bellagio last night. Swimming. Naked,” she chirps.
“Yes, that’s true,” Angelisa giggles, proudly, next to me.
I nod my head in agreement, “Yeah, that certainly sounds like us—well, the
The judge pinches her lips into a tight pucker.
Doesn’t she realize that’s exactly what makes those little wrinkles all around her mouth?
She pulls out an envelope marked Prisoner Property/Currency and unfastens the clasp. I suck my lips between my teeth to stop myself from laughing, because this isn’t funny—at all. But if I remember correctly, the things in the envelope
She slips one dainty little hand in.
Angelisa and I lean forward to watch.
Two books of matches, fifty-six dollars, a bent wedding ring, a fake moustache, a shoehorn, four glow sticks, two “Call for a good time” prostitute cards, a tube of Bengay, and an extra large rubbery dildo that flops on its side when she places it on her desk.
“Do you want to explain to me why two fully grown women, respected in their fields, would be caught in this situation… with these items?”
Angelisa and I look and back and forth from her to each other and back again. We both shrug.
“Well, it all started with an apple pie,” I smile.
Angelisa nods next to me, “Yes, definitely. That’s probably where it all started, the apple pie fiasco.”
The judge leans back and draws in a long breath. She pulls her glasses off her fatigued eyes and rubs them softly with her hands. “An apple pie?”
“Yes. A forgotten apple pie. I can tell you every detail except for three or four days where I have no recollection. Both of us can. It’s what we do, tell stories.”
The corner of the judge’s lips curl up the tiniest bit, “Come into my chambers ladies, this I have to hear.”
Twitter: McDonald’s apple pie and a bedazzled vagina: always a good way to start any adventure. #TripleX
I lost it in McDonald’s. My dignity. My smile. My self-esteem.
I was standing in line ordering, while my fingers texted my Facebook
, Angelisa Stone. Doesn’t it seem like nowadays all new relationships start and stop with social media? Anyway, she was trying to talk me out of a double cheeseburger. She knows my secrets; I was about one vanilla shake away from a heart attack, a small fry away from a Weight Watchers’ intervention, and an apple pie away from disrupting the Earth’s rotational axis. But her pleas didn’t stop me, nothing ever does. I’d lost all my willpower as soon as motherhood clamped its claws around my uterus and held on for dear life. I also found that I couldn’t quite distinguish the blurry line between hunger and boredom. And binge eating was my superpower.
Three skinny twenty-
in tight leggings and pouty lips, drenched in perfume, and clutching their Coach bags walked in. I longingly looked at them and missed my youth, then quickly shook it off.
I have an okay life; I don’t need to envy how smooth their skin is, or how thin and young they are
. Grasping my bag of food a little too tightly in my hands, I walked toward the door. Opening my bag before I reached the exit, I noticed the
forgot my apple pie. I huffed loudly and threw my head back, eyes to the ceiling like it was some sort of government conspiracy theory about censorship and the public withholding of apple pies and unnecessary caloric intake. That delicious apple-gooey-goodness was the only thing I actually came in for. Well, I did buy a meal to go with it and one of those yummy caramel fraps. I mean, I figured since I was there, why not just blow the whole diet?
Anyway, I marched back to the counter in an inconvenienced huff. The three flawless girls were still ordering, so I waited until they were finished speaking. It’s only polite, right? I smiled warmly and pointed into my bag, “Sorry to bother you, but you forgot to put in the apple pie.”
The tallest of the herd of bitches rolled her eyes at me and snapped, “It’s not like you really need that.”
All the better to sit on you, my dear, Slutty-McTwiggy
No sooner were the words out of her thin-lined, pouty little lips, but I had my hand around her neck and my other hand in my bag. Taking out my cheeseburger, I shook the paper off of the sandwich and shoved it in her No-Carbed face, and yelled, “Yeah, that’s what bread tastes like. Maybe you should eat more of this and swallow less… forget it. You’re too dumb to even get it.” Yanking her by the hair, I plowed her into her little friends, and they went falling down like pretty little Barbie doll dominoes.
Okay, so that’s not what I did, but I wanted to. I really wanted to. Still wish I would have. Instead, I smiled sweetly and said, “Wow. That’s really classy of you.”
Didn’t she realize all I had to do was sit on her and she’d break?
“Well really, someone should let you know how you look,” she sneered.
Those imaginary hands were choking the Hell out of her again, this time shoving in some apple pie with that hamburger…
Instead of my dreams of skinny-tart torture, I saved the pie for myself and winked at her. “Then thank you for checking me out, babe. But, I don’t swing that way.”
Before the little twit could say anything else, I grabbed my apple pie,
okay it was two
, out of the cashier’s hand and walked out the door with my head held high. I climbed into my minivan, drove home, and opened the biggest bottle of wine I had. Filling a 48-ounce glass to the tippy top, I gulped it back. Grumpily, I played back my trip to Mickey D’s as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, glass of wine in hand, and went over the most brilliant lines of sarcasm and comebacks I’d ever heard, all the things I wanted to say, but was too classy to articulate center-stage in a crowded fast food joint.
I made my way into my eight-year-old’s room, and it took me a good ten minutes to clean off the four-foot pile of Legos and stuffed animals that blocked her mirror. I dragged in a stool, stood on the damn thing, and gawked at myself in the mirror. The stupid stool made menacingly cracking noises beneath me.
My world spun.
Who the hell was that?
I had a half a glass full of wine and a half-eaten burger in my hands. And I was
. No, that
in the mirror was
“What are you doing?” my four-year-old asked, scaring the Hell out of me and almost shaving twenty years off my life.
“Mommy is looking at herself in the mirror.” I turned to look at my ass. Holy Good God it should have its own zip code! Who knows? Maybe it does. Why has no one told me that I looked this bad? An uncomfortable burn started to rise in my throat as my head ached.
“You have a big butt,” the kid said, eyeing me.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious. You couldn’t say that when you were like two, right? Couldn’t stop me from eating all those cookies back then, right?”
“I was too busy playing when I was a baby,” she explained all serious.
“You did this to me, you know. You and your sister got all up in my business and made me gain all this weight.” She gave me some crazy look, did a half lopsided cartwheel into the hallway, completely dismissing my accusations.
I looked closer into the mirror, leaning over the dresser, and spotted a bunch of nasty crow’s feet that weren’t attached to any birds. No, they were attached to my once bright green eyes that now held more bags under them than the bottom of a cargo plane.
Seriously, what the heck just happened to my life?
I was just twenty-one with my entire life ahead of me. Now I’m fat and… and… and…
Insert midlife crisis here.
about to indulge in one of the adult extra large size tantrums that cause my four-year-old to run for my phone and dial 9-1-1.
Immediately (okay not immediately it was a good ten-minute tantrum), I ran to do what everybody else in the known universe usually does in times of crisis. I signed into Facebook, so I could vent to a handful of strangers who most likely think of me as one of the cool, hot, strong characters of my novels.
Reality is basically crap.
Reality. Oh, sweet, life-sucking reality.
(Hold on tight to something, I’m about to drop an F-bomb)
Reality is I am
, and my body has decided to exact revenge on me for all the fun I had in my twenties. Anyone who says forty is the new twenty can suck it—if they can bend over enough to reach it. It’s more like the new ninety, because you’re now seriously pondering when Death will ring your doorbell in the form of those everyday pains and aches that now torture your once hot, tight body.
I posted something to Facebook that said, “I just met with a bunch of crow’s feet in the mirror.” Seventy-three twenty-four-year-olds answered me back. I gagged back the curses I wanted to write, swallowed them whole. Then, I was met with a sneezing fit that catapulted me off my damn chair to change my underwear, because as I have explained before, I am
. My bladder thinks it’s hysterically funny to let go of whatever it might be holding at the most precarious of times. The four-year-old stood at the bathroom door with her arms folded, and fell into a fit of high-pitched squealing giggles, because mommy peed her pants.
. Then she thoughtfully asked me if I was in need of one of her old diapers.
Ah, that kid
. They should all come with warning labels, those little people. Those life-sucking, fun-stealing, wonderful little people.
Nobody told me what having a kid or two was really freaking like—especially having kids in your thirties. Nobody explained to me what it would be like to have girls. Two of them. I have rhinestones everywhere.
. As soon as I clean them up, they pop up again, laughing their little gleaming rhinestone heads at me. And the scary part is I have never bought a damn thing that had rhinestones on it, so where the heck are these little sparkly things coming from?
And what did this all do to me, made me eat a whole box of Oreo cookies. Yeah. Like the McDonald’s meal wasn’t enough. I was all hyped up then, pacing, with sugar pounding through my veins. I felt like someone slipped me a crappy life while I wasn’t looking.
Again, certainly not what I ordered.
I couldn’t for the life of me pinpoint when I’d completely lost it. Maybe it was after the third bite of apple pie and first glass of wine or the last bite of pie and the last sip of the second glass of wine. Whenever it was, I realized I needed a change, a big one.
Slowly, I laid all my food down, and stepped away. I had my mother sit with the girls and decided to go visit my husband at work. No worries, I wasn’t drunk or buzzed. I have already established I’m no light weight.
My husband. My best friend, my soul mate, the guy I’ve been married to for twenty years, the love of my life, blah-blah-blah. I walked into his office, unannounced, without knocking to find him balls deep in some unwrinkled, non-cellulite collecting, undernourished side-piece.