I eyed the perfection of womanhood that stood on the platform while I chewed on my coffee stir stick. My pen tapped incessantly on a blank page while everyone else obediently followed the instructions of the guest speaker. If ever there was a Proverbs 31 woman in the flesh it was Gail Mackey, the guru of the moment.
“Knock it off, Sarah.” A hand flew at me from my left and snatched my pen. “You’re supposed to be writing down your list.”
I tried to see the burry pen that wagged in my face.
“I’m sure there are several things you could write down to improve on this year.”
Spit hit my cheek when Petra leaned in, nose to ear, and hissed her words. It gave me goose bumps. I giggled, aggravating Petra further. She rolled her eyes and continued to focus on her perfectly penned list.
I stuck my tongue out and crossed my eyes. Double vision made me slap at the wrong hand that smacked my leg. “Ow.”
I wrote in bubble-block letters: MY 2011 TO DO’S. I glanced over at Petra’s paper which declared on the top line: With God’s help I promise to… She made three columns and titled them: Daily, Weekly, Monthly.
“This is lame.”
I began to scribble down the expected answers I’m sure over half the women were writing in the surge of motivational emotion:
Home cooked meals
Petra looked my way and I covered my paper. She smiled with pride like she had something to do with my epiphany to write down a bunch of hogwash.
When the conference ended Petra stood by my van and chatted like a virgin coffee drinker having her first espresso. The smile on my face was from my amusing comparison, not because I was hearing anything she said.
“So what do you think?”
“About coming over for tea to plan how to attack the New Year.”
Ugh, tea…the herbal non-caffeinated kind. I’d really like to see Petra after an espresso. “Okay, when?”
“Tomorrow afternoon, after I lay Elisha down for his nap.”
Petra hugged me and squealed like a piglet in my ear, she was so excited. I watched her slip into her shiny clean Camry before I climbed into my muddy mini-van.
“How was the conference?” Matthew pinned me against the counter after I finished loading the week’s worth of dirty dishes.
“Have you ever noticed we seem to have a habit of pretending the dishwasher is our cupboard? When the dishes are clean we use everything in it for the next few days and when it’s empty, we reload it. Do we ever use the things in the cupboard?”
Matthew laughed at me.
“Or how about our laundry? I wash it, dry it, fold it, and we dress from the piles on the dryer. Why don’t we put our clothes in the dresser?”
“Because it’s full of stuff we’ll someday wear when we lose weight.” Matthew kissed my neck. He pulled away when he sensed my lack of response. “Let me guess. January ladies event…self improvement tips?”
I groaned. “And tomorrow I’m meeting with Petra to discuss how we’re going to accomplish our inspired tasks. Baby, I suck at this stuff.”
“Do you ever say suck to Petra?” Matthew smiled mischievously.
“Are you kidding me? She’d probably wash my mouth out with soap.”
“I’ve never understood why you two are friends. She’s so prissy and you’re so…”
I raised an eyebrow when he couldn’t think of a word to describe me.
“Seriously?” I plopped onto the couch.
“Sweetie,” Matthew sat next to me and scooped me into his lap. “I love you the way you are. Petra’s so OCD it’s annoying. We both have organizational issues. That makes for a bad combination when it comes to housework, but away from home you’re an awesome leader. You’re exceptionally organized at work and with your volunteer stuff at church. Home is home. We’re comfortable. Don’t let Petra intimidate you with her organic-sterile-stay-at-home-mom life.”
In Petra’s immaculate kitchen, I sipped cream-n-sugar loaded herbal nastiness, listening. Agitated. Bored.
“Sounds good,” I lied when she finally stopped.
“Now share yours.”
I opened my notebook and grinned, “I call it…My Blue Moon List.”
“Oh, please,” Petra’s eyes rolled. “I wonder why…duh.”
“’Cause it’s just that important to me.” I stood and dumped my tea down the drain. “And by the way, no lie…tea sucks.”
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