“Woowee! This is going to be fun!” exclaimed Jemma, as the plane took off. She adjusted her knockoff Chanel sunglasses, then pulled lip gloss from her purse, applying another coat to her already overly shimmering lips. She admired her red toenails inside the sandals she’d bought specifically for the family reunion.
She’d just pulled hairspray out, when her husband, Bob, meekly peeped up to say, “Dear, probably the other passengers won’t appreciate that and… I think you have enough.”
Jemma shot him a look but not about to allow him to ruin her excitement, returned the hairspray, replacing it with a compact to examine her teeth.
They arrived at the airport two hours later. After retrieving their five suitcases (four being Jemma’s) from luggage, they stepped outside to wait for Jemma’s sister, Cassidy.
“It’s freezing!” Jemma complained.
“It is March, in Missouri,” said Bob. “And you’re wearing a tank top and skirt.”
“Just grab my white sweater from the blue suitcase,” Jemma ordered.
Bob had just found the sweater at the bottom of the suitcase and was about to repack, when Cassidy honked. Hurriedly, he jammed the clothes back, while the sisters greeted each other. As he finally climbed into the backseat after loading the trunk, he noticed Cassidy wearing an expression of stress. There was no time to ask how she was, as Jemma was already jabbering nonstop, asking who all was attending, did they rsvp, she sure hoped they wouldn’t be cooking out again like last year, Uncle Tom always overcooked the burgers. She rambled, not waiting for responses, when suddenly she screamed an ear piercing scream.
“What?” Cassidy yelled, slamming on the breaks.
“I left my sunglasses at the airport!” screeched Jemma.
Cassidy sighed with relief. “We’ll just go out tomorrow and get some more.”
“Oh, no,” Jemma said. “You have to turn around.”
“ Are you serious?” asked Cassidy.
They’d been traveling for forty-five minutes. Bob put his fingers on his eyelids, applying pressure to ease a forming headache.
“They’re Chanel,” Jemma answered. And the car was turned around.
When they finally arrived at the hotel, Cassidy retreated to her room for a powernap. But Jemma, far from tired, dragged Bob by the hand, beelining for her niece, Jodi. Jemma wrapped her arms around the twenty-two year old college student, leaned back and said, “Oh, honey. Looks like you never lost that freshman fifteen. When are going to be done with school anyway? Before you know it, all the good men will be taken, and you’ll be an old maid like Trudi!” Jemma laughed loudly at her clever referral to another of her sisters.
“Where is Trudi anyway?” she asked, then leaned in to kiss Jodi’s flushed face and spun around looking for her next victim. Instead of finding her sister, Jemma spotted her brother Kurt sitting alone. She plopped down next to him and said, “Honey, now just cause you lost your job, doesn’t mean you gotta sit her on your pity pot all week making everyone else’s vacation miserable.”
“Actually, he found a new job.” Kurt’s wife interrupted, walking up to her husband’s rescue.
“Well it’s about time? Way to go there, Kurt. It was starting to look desperate.”
“We’ll catch up with you later. We still need to check in,” her brother said, hurrying off with his wife.
Just then, old Uncle Al and Aunt Eloise shuffled past with their walkers. If only they’d had a bit more speed. Jemma was in front of them instantly. “UNCLE AL! AUNT LOUISE!” she screamed. “HOW ARE YOU?” Each word elongated as if Jemma believed them to not be only hard of hearing but a bit slow, as well.
The couple exchanged a glance to say “Why is she yelling?” but then, smiling, Uncle Al said, “We’re retiring early, but we’ll see you at breakfast.”
“It is getting late Bob” said Jemma. “Maybe we ought to find our room.” She hustled toward the front desk but not before snatching a sucker out of little cousin Jimmy’s mouth. Flinging it in trash, she said, “Don’t want to rot your teeth.. You’ll already need braces with that overbite you’ve got there,” and was on her way.
“Isn’t this fun, Bob?” Jemma squealed, once in their room. “A whole week of this! And did you get a load of their faces? They just don’t know what to make of how great I look. I knew these sandals and sunglasses were the way to go.”
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