It was our monthly Moms Night Out and the evening was starting to fade. We’d reached the usual point where Penelope had lost track of her drinks and had resorted to aggressively dominating the conversation.
We all knew from past experience that there was no point in trying to participate as Penelope managed to change the conversation to a monologue. If anyone attempted to engage her, Penelope would glare at the speaker and nod vigorously until she found the “opportunity” to jump back in with “As I was saying…”
That night she decided to drone on once again about her glorious days as the Sorority President at the state university she’d attended. How many times had we heard this?!? I was tired and was starting to get a headache. Every time I looked at Penelope, I was blinded by the glare from her shockingly white teeth, the tips of her French manicure and the two carat diamonds in each ear. I wondered why I kept engaging in these monthly experiences and suddenly wished I were on the couch watching The Man Show with my husband. Who was going to be the brave one tonight and say they had to leave? Although we were all ready to go home, none of us wanted to be the one who ended the evening…one of many ridiculous and unspoken social pressures.
As Penelope detailed the various and intriguing steps which lead to her name appearing on the sorority ballot, my friend Andrea politely excused herself and went to the ladies’ room. I fumed to myself as I thought about Andrea quietly retreating to the welcome and solitary silence of the bathroom. Having had a few drinks myself, I suddenly experienced a simultaneously disturbing and compelling thought that I absolutely had to act on. I excused myself from what was now Penelope’s table and went to find Andrea in the ladies’ room.
Upon entering the restroom, I was pleased to see that the coast was clear and I quickly approached the one occupied stall. I began to bang loudly on the outside of the stall door, shouting “Get Out!” in a muffled deep voice. At that point, I was unable to stop myself from shaking and doubling over in a fit of hysterical drunken laughter. I heard the flush through my laughter and with hands on hips offered a big “gotcha” smile as she came out of the stall.
When she came out, the look of shock she wore was truly beyond words. At that point, I stopped laughing altogether and resorted to shaking and then quietly said “hello” to the wife of my husband’s boss. I nervously whispered “I truly apologize. I thought you were someone else.” I was quite sure my excuse did not exactly relieve her sudden bout of constipation, but it was all I could offer at the moment. I promptly excused myself, entered the stall and vomited heartily into the toilet. I waited for her to leave before exiting the stall and cleaning myself up as best I could. I then made my way back to the table and discovered that nothing had changed. Penelope was still describing her life as Sorority President and Andrea was missing.
As it turned out, Andrea was the brave one that night. Instead of using the ladies’ room, she had simply paid her portion of the bill and gone home.