Juliet and Mandy have known each other forever. How they have remained friends, despite their painfully obvious differences, is anyone’s guess. The friendship defines diversity. Juliet, the athletic tom-boy, is more at home on a softball field than leisurely sipping lattes with Mandy, the debutant, during her weekly pedicure.
Widowed with four kids, two diagnosed with measles’ vaccine autism, Juliet’s life is anything but leisurely. Randy’s insurance had secured their home and Social Security benefits supplemented the twin’s medical expenses; but she still had to work fulltime to put food on the table. Finding a babysitter for an occasional break was impossible.
Mandy, on the other hand, stressed over linens and centerpieces. Jonathan, her bright entrepreneurial husband, had the Midas touch. Every idea he developed birth another fortune. Mandy’s life is held together by a personal assistant, a cook, a live-in domestic and fulltime nanny. She has to be free to chair committees, entertain Jonathan’s investors, at a moment’s notice, and chauffeur her four prodigies.
One Saturday a month the gals get together. They always meet at Juliet’s house. Mandy would sooner die than unleash Juliet’s rowdy crew in her elegantly decorated home. Unfortunately this Saturday Juliet’s house was being fumigated. Mandy relented and invited everyone to swim.
“Randy, Jr. quit bothering your sister!” yelled Juliet from the pool’s edge bubbling with eight rambunctious children.
“But mom,” whined Randy, Jr., “she started it!”
“I don’t care who started it,” Juliet shouted back, “it’s finished now!”
“Why don’t you hire some help,” sighed Mandy unnerved by the children’s behavior, “at least with the housework?”
“Mandy, I appreciate your concern,” smiled Juliet, “but who’s going to pay for this wonderfully amazing help?”
“Come on, Juliet,” pressed Mandy, “it doesn’t cost that much, besides you need help controlling them. How do you ever expect them to accomplish anything if they don’t learn a little self-control and discipline?”
Juliet just rolled her eyes and refreshed their iced teas. Mandy might be able to stretch a penny until it screamed for her philanthropic interests, but she had no idea what her life was like.
“Mom!” screamed Victoria, “the twins keep splashing me.”
“Josh and Eric stop it!” ordered Juliet.
“Oh, please Juliet,” spat Mandy annoyed with Juliet’s lackadaisical attitude toward discipline, “it’s obvious they don’t listen to you, no matter how loud you are. You need to go over and intervene.”
“Well, Missy, since you know so much, feel free,” Juliet answered as she waved her friend toward the chaos.
Mandy got up, her mules clacking against the inlayed courtyard brick edging the pool. Reaching the edge of the pool, she knelt down and in her best superiorly controlled voice explained the concept of self-control and respecting others personal space to the twins. They simply stared back at her in dazed confusion.
Mandy stood, turned to Juliet and straightened her sundress, “There, see what I mean.”
“Yeah, yeah,” laughed Juliet raising her hands in a celebratory wave, “you’re the woman! You got the power! You rule!”
Suddenly out of nowhere a beach ball soared toward the back of Mandy’s head.
“Duck!” screamed nine voices in chorus.
Before Mandy could react, the ball crashed into the back of her head throwing her off balance sending her tittering toward the edge of the pool. Everyone held their breath for the one nano-second that it appeared Mandy might regain her balance.
“Canonball!” yelled Randy, Jr. as Mandy crashed into the pool, arms flaying aimlessly for rescue.
“Oh no,” Juliet laughed choking back the guffaws.
Everyone swallowed their giggles as they watched her climbed out the pool. Juliet hurried with a towel to engulf her friend’s wounded pride. Mandy batted her gathering tears.
“Well, you know what they always say,” Juliet started as she hugged her friend, “it’s no use…”
“No! Don’t even go there,” protested Mandy.
“Whatever,” laughed Juliet, “let’s go inside, you can change and explain that discipline intervention thingie to me again.”
Mandy squeezed her friend tightly. They gals locked arms and headed inside to find dry clothes.
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