The other day my friend, The Empress, came to stay at my lake place with me. She should really be called the Queen, but that conjures up visions of cross-dressing men and The Empress is definitely not that. The Empress is 130 lbs of pretty woman with a figure like Jessica Rabbit and a giant head full of brunette hair that just never ends. The Empress has had four husbands up to bat and she’s struck them all out of the ball park, the losers. She has a great job, a fantastic house and knows how to do anything. I mean anything. If I called her with a bullet wound, she would know exactly how to handle it so I didn’t scar or at least fix it so I’d get to get free liposuction out of the ordeal. She can get anything to grow, rescues little fluffy dogs and manages the church sales. The Empress has a beautiful house, a garage full of vintage cars, can assess a commercial property with a shrewd eye and still mix a perfect drink in kitten heels. I adore the Empress and aspire to her level of tough. She’s my hero.
Well, I thought she was a tough girl until the other night. We had been sitting around, tippling just a little, when we decided we were starving. The Empress was still in condition to drive, which I was not, which only goes to her tough nature. Halfway into town I spot a giant snake crossing the road. I yell out “stop the car!”, which illustrates my mother was right and women become vulgar when alcohol is involved and get loud. I really get loud but that might be another story. The Empress slams on the brakes and I jump out, wobbling down the road in a pair of “sittin’ shoes”. You know the kind. I was also wearing a dress that was probably better suited to the younger generation but it is sometimes hard for me to understand that I’m not 25 anymore and the Golden Goose does a good job of hiding it from me. Now, in my mind, I was thinking that when the Goose and my son arrived late that night they’d be proud of me for catching a snake. Don’t know why I thought this, but that was my motivation and also why I was not driving. I’ve dealt with lots of snakes and I really do know what I’m doing on a normal day.
This evening, I was not at the top of my game. I did catch up with the snake, just as a truck pulled up in the other lane. The Empress yells out “girl, you’re exposing your entire ladytown every time you bend over” and proceeds to roll up her windows and look as if she is not there. Because she pointed this out in front of the truck full of men, I was offered two unmentionable acts accompanied by a six pack and received one insincere proposal of marriage. Of course, the snake bites down hard, which causes great glee to the audience and by the time the truck pulls away, I’m just a silly woman in a great, if wrong, outfit, standing with a bloody finger in the middle of the road. A snakebite has a sobering affect on a girl and so I gently laid down the evil serpent and slunk back to the car. The Empress had locked the doors and the entire vehicle was vibrating with something that sounded suspiciously like Yanni. I’m hollering at her to let me in and what the heck does she think she’s doing and she’s yelling back that when she’s scared, she turns the radio to “watercolors” and locks the doors. This apparently works for her and it might be a good strategy for all of us to keep in mind, but as I was outdoors at the time, I wasn’t enjoying it. I finally convinced her to let me and take me right away to a big wine and an even bigger dinner, which I charged to the Goose, by the way, as I consider the entire incident his fault since I was only trying to be a good wife in the first place.
I’m thinking more clearly at this point and I like to make the best of any situation. The good thing I’m taking away from this Springer episode gone wrong is that I may have worn something inappropriate, I may misjudged my wine consumption, I may have even exposed a little too much to some men from the sewer department, but, darn it, I was tougher that day than the Empress. In my book, that’s a win.