A couple of weekends ago, we went to visit my grandmother, the Queen, in my hometown.
I won’t broadcast her age as a true lady never does, but you should just know that she’s pretty badass and I love her lots.
After having a relaxing weekend at her place, we headed home late Sunday night and embarked on our Bermuda triangle tour of I-95. I say that because my hometown is only 2 hours southeast of Raleigh. The trip requires a devoted 1 hour on I-95 that somehow feels like 12. The section of the I-95 that runs through North Carolina is truly the armpit of the state. I shudder every time to think that this is all some people will ever see of my lovely home state because it’s pretty wretched. Dated, weathering billboards with slogans like Dare To Bare, Risque Cafe, and South of the Border saturate the horizon. Mix those babies in with an occasional one story 12 room motel that offers (gasp!) HBO and some uber flat semi-abandoned farmland and well, soon you’ll find yourself describing Las Vegas as a “classy” city. It’s grimy and utterly b-o-r-i-n-g. I don’t mean to be harsh. I love the Ole North State. Truthfully, it saddens me to see once thriving small town communities falling into such poverty and disrepair.
But still, ugly is as ugly does. Bless its’ dilapidated heart.
Anyhoo, tangent aside, on Sunday we had limited eating options as our departure time was later than normal. Consequently, we ended up stopping at an establishment that promises “eatin’ good in the neighborhood” because the thought of drive-through-grease-in-a-box just wasn’t doing it for us. So after the hostess seated us at our booth, I excused myself and headed to the restroom to freshen up for our impromptu prom date dinner.
Upon entering the modestly sized restroom, I ran smack into a gaggle of teenage girls. Five to be exact, all clustered around the mirrors animatedly chatting. Maybe it was prom night?? Then I remembered it was Sunday, so no. At first I thought they were happy-excited but I quickly realized that they were in fact, not. Indeed, a catastrophic event had clearly devastated them, as indicated by the multiple tear streaked streams of mascara on incredibly smooth, young cheeks.
As my grandmother would say, “Oh de-ah.”
Unsure how to maneuver around the swarm of cellulite free thighs, I stood back until one of the taller ones, a ringleader I think, said “Hey let this lady through.” Well gee thanks, for both the impromptu aisle way and the cryptic reference to my age. So as I made my way into the stall, I naturally overheard their conversation.
It went a little something like this.
Girl # 1, the Star: crying, crying, sniffle, sniffle. “I just don’t know why….”
Girl # 2, supportive sidekick: “Oh. my. god. I’m so sorry!!”
Girl #1: sniffle, sniffle, then quietly…..”Thanks.” (promptly followed by more crying)
Girl #3, more animated sidekick: “OMG! Now I’m crying because this is so sad!”
Girls 2 & 4 chime in: “OMG! Like, I’m crying too!”..… “Yea me too. It’s like the saddest thing,…ever.”
Girl #3: “OMG you guys, look at us we’re all crying! This is so sad!!”
Girl #1: “Thanks you guys. I just don’t know why…why” (trails off, more crying. It was very dramatic.)
Girl #2: “You guys were, like, the best couple like, EVER. It’s just so sad I can’t even stop crying for you!”
Girl #1: “I know! It just sucks because he’s like, a senior and everything and I’ll never see him again EVER because he’s going to college. I just don’t know why he broke up with me. We totally could have made it work.” (more crying now)
Girl #5, wanna-be-star: “OMG you guys! This like, so sad that I.Can’t. Even.Cry!”
(Audible gasps all around.)
Girl #2: “OMG you can’t cry? Like ever??”
Girl #5: “Seriously I’m *soooo sad* about this because yall were like awesome together and ….I just can’t even cry about it. What’s wrong with me?”
All the other girls, in a jumbled conversation: “OMG she can’t even cry! Have you ever cried before?”….”Wow I can’t believe you can’t cry. That’s crazy.”…..”Look at me I’m totally crying!”…”I’ll get us some tissues. Don’t leave me ok? I’ll be right back!”…..”I just…OMG it makes me cry even more how sad this is and that you can’t cry!” …”Yea me too! Now I’m crying for like, both of you.”
Girl #1, firmly bringing the attention back to her: “Well, thanks you guys. I guess I’ll be… ok …and (to presumably Girl #5) I know you would cry for me if you could.”
Girl # 5: “Oh totally!”
Sniffle, sniffle and then they start to leave the restroom to which I hear one of the girls say:
“You know, you and Tray would make like an AWESOME couple.”
And then the others: “OMG! YES! Yall would be some so awesome!”
I guess heartache is short-lived at that age. And waterproof mascara has yet to enter their sweet, young lives.