Rainy Day Woman

It took every last ounce of my patience and every QP of my fear of jail not to slap that bitch’s hand away from my brownies the instant her fire-engine-red Lee Press-On Nails clicked against the tray’s tinfoil covering. The effort of restraint made all the blood rush to my head, ruining my high—which made me even more pissed off. A lone bead of sweat zigzagged its salty way down from my hairline to my eyebrow and then through my eyelashes before finally blinding me. But even with one eye closed, I still noticed that the left hand the Blond Megaphone was using to lift up the foil was bare. Holy shit. There is a God.

“Hey, Beverly.” (Of course her name was Beverly.) “Did you lose your wedding ring or did you just get divorced?”

A quick jerk of her hand back into her Liz Claiborne–perfumed dome of a jacket and on came the shakes, then the shimmys, and finally Mount Beverly erupted into a cacophony of tears, spit and snot upon realizing that her prize possession was gone. I used the welcome diversion to drop my name tag in the garbage can and sauntered on into the empty banquet hall. T-minus 25 minutes till reunion time. Not a soul in sight. I deposited my 99-cent-store tray of treats on the designated dessert table and made for the bar. Back in Vaporella-hometown-land, the drinks are still cheap, and now that the hardest part of my mission was complete, I didn’t have a care in the world. Sure, there’d been a few glitches along the way, but it’s not like James Bond ever eased his way into enemy territory without a snagglepuss somewhere.

I was rewarding myself with Whiskey Number One when I overheard the first clucks of the excited alumni making their way from the parking lot to the name tag sign-in booth. Smoothing out the wrinkles in my dress and dropping some Visine in my eyes, I gathered my fakest of smiles and crossed my toes. A whole slough of suits and evening dresses plowed through the door and into the bar en masse. I slammed Whiskey Number One as three glossy-lipped women came rushing at me, arms outstretched. I forgot everyone’s name immediately. Whiskey Number Two ordered and set on the bar. Game on.

I nearly maxed out my credit card in the first hour buying drinks for everyone, trying to get them drunk enough to follow my lead to the dessert table. Without being too obvious, of course. Bored of baby pictures and hearing how I haven’t changed a bit, I caught tear-dried Beverly munching on one of my finest creations. Apparently she hadn’t changed a bit either—thank heaven. She was still just as popular 10 years later as she was back in high school. As soon as some of the other classmates/sheep saw her chomping away on my treats, looking like she’d just had a foodgasm, they removed themselves from their chairs and significant others and joined her in brownie bliss. Soon there was a whole crowd around my tray. I even noticed that some of the servers, formerly standing behind their meat stations, ready to dole out a slice of ham or beef, were now leaving their guarded areas to see what all the mmming and awwwing was about. Even I got to my feet and snuck up on the group, watching them stuff brownies down their throats—laughing and smiling.