Lois steadied the paper plate on her lap and looked around the room with growing desperation. It appeared that Carianne’s family had all come—there was Carianne, laughing with a plump aunt, one hand resting on Jason’s back. Lois watched her son with Carianne for a moment, then glanced at the door again. Still no sign of anyone else from Jason’s family—all fashionably late.
She fingered the pearls at her neck, and noted with a slight sniff that Carianne’s family were dressed very causally—that plump aunt was actually wearing stretch pants that only emphasized her generous bottom. Lois tried to imagine Jason fitting in with this family: Jason, who had never been served a meal on anything but china, and who had always worn starched shirts and pressed chinos to his private schools.
A sigh escaped Lois’s throat as she toyed with the dough-wrapped wieners on her plate. She tried to imagine what dire circumstance of starvation might bring her to actually eat such a thing.
“Dude, you’re like, Jason’s mom, right?” A teenaged boy took the folding chair next to Lois and plopped a bottle of Mountain Dew at his feet. “Jason’s like the bomb, and Carianne’s really like into him, y’know?”
Lois cleared her throat. “Yes, I’m Mrs. Pettigrew.” She looked anxiously over the boy’s shoulder to the front door. “Are you related to Carianne?” Lois noticed that the boy was wearing camouflage shorts, flip-flops, and a shirt that read “Repossessed”.
“Dude, she’s my sister. This is like an awesome engagement party, huh? You gonna eat those pigs in blankets?”
Shaking her head in befuddlement, Lois thrust her plate at the teen, who popped a whole wiener in his mouth and, to her dismay, continued to talk.
“Jason and Carianne say I get to like do something for the wedding. They’re not sure what yet—either play my guitar in the church or deejay the reception. Whadda you think, dude?”
Briefly closing her eyes, Lois remembered her own formal wedding—the pipe organ, the twenty-foot train, the orchids. “Why, I’m sure that either would be…lovely.” A burst of laughter from across the room drew Lois’s eyes back toward Jason. He was whispering into Carianne’s ear, his dark curls contrasting with her auburn waves. They were a veritable picture of young love.
She pictured Jason standing at the altar, this absurd young man beside her wearing—what do teens consider “dressy” these days? A tie with some cartoon character, perhaps, or—heaven forbid—sneakers.
“Mrs. Pettigrew, can I like bring you something?”
No one from her family had yet appeared at the door. Lois grasped one hand in the other; her fingers were trembling. A vodka martini would be nice. “I’m fine, thank you. I’m sure you’d like to visit with your family. Really, you needn’t stay.”
A headache was beginning to form behind Lois’s eyes.
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