When our phone rang last Wednesday night at 10:30, I felt the bottom drop out of my stomach, a kind of Pavlovian response to the bell. After all, when someone calls at that late hour, I pretty much assume there’s been a death in the family.
Thankfully, it wasn’t a death, at least not the death of a person. No, what had expired was the idea that my 16 year old daughter would have an escort to her Homecoming, a mere two days away.
The date, let’s call him Dick, cancelled out, his excuse being something along the lines of, “My new girlfriend doesn’t want me to go…I am a spineless wimp…sorry I didn’t call earlier, like a month ago, and I am an idiot…OK, bye…” Whatever words he chose are not the point. He left my daughter crushed, not to mention, high and dry for Homecoming night. She went to bed crying, her gown hanging off the closet door, still anticipating the big night.
This announcement did not go over well with the parental units. The time and money already rendered toward the special event was one thing. But, hurting my child…Let’s just say that’s a whole ‘nother type of psychic secretion Pavlov never witnessed.
We considered driving to the boy’s house to beat his face to a bloody pulp, but frankly, he wasn’t worth the price of the gasoline. We opted, instead, to create a poster, his face encircled with a big red line through it, a “Just Say No To Losers,” advertisement that was promptly displayed on the outside of the bedroom door. Immature? Defintely. Therapeutic? You betcha. My daughter loved it when I showed it to her.
My husband was beside himself with anger, running around the house in his underwear yelling, “I’m going to hunt that boy down and make him wear her dress!” I didn’t find that extremely helpful, but we all deal with things in our own special way. Imagine the headline: “Dressed to Kill: Fuschia Forced on Deadbeat Date.”
With just 48 hours to the Homecoming celebration, the only viable option was to turn the matter over to the Sisterhood. The Sisterhood is a conglomerate of smart and colorful women, women of courage armed with attitude and cell phones. They are rather like the Mafia in high heels and underwire. They serve to protect the weak, to aid the ally, to console the comrade. They are women of action, prepared for estrogen related crises at all times.
The sisters came through within 12 hours, their task accomplished largely through the efforts of Ellen, our Consigliere of Romance. Ellen reminds me of Roma Downey in the old T.V. series “Touched By An Angel.” A soldier of the Lord, she will take you by the hands, look you square in the eye and say things like, “Jesus cares about things like Homecoming too.” Honestly, she could bring you to tears and increase your faith threefold in one fatal swoop. You want Ellen on your side.
Thursday night our phone rang again. It wasn’t Dick; it was Bobby. He asked if he might have the PRIVILEGE of escorting my daughter to her Homecoming. Big points for Bobby, at least 100.
Bobby showed up Saturday night in a crisp gray suit. 50 points. He presented my daughter with an expansive bouquet of flowers. 75 points. He inquired about my husband’s livelihood. 20 points. He opened doors and pulled out chairs, add 60 more. They had the time of their lives. 120 points. He brought my daughter home safely (1000 points), and asked her to his Homecoming in two weeks (300 points).
Final score: Dick: -25,575 Bobby: Bobby: +1,725