An IM with Fatally Hip Mrs. Friend Two concerning the break-up of Thing Two* and Cecelia:
Terrible Mother: Thing Two dumped Cecelia yesterday. Because she licked a marshmallow and gave it to Van**.
Fatally Hip Mrs. Friend Two: Dude, you just SLAYED me!
Terrible Mother: I know! It's perfect, right?
Fatally Hip Mrs. Friend Two: I'm laughing so hard right now I seriously considered writing "lol" even though I'm politically and morally opposed to that.
Terrible Mother: And the best thing is he's all adult about it: "I am not old enough to get married yet anyway. We are both way too young. And she should have given the marshmallow to me."
Fatally Hip Mrs. Friend Two: That last sentence just blew Thing Two's cover: "And she should have given that marshmallow to me. That faithless bitch! Toy with my heart, Cecilia! I'll show you who's the real man in this situation!"
Terrible Mother: The story slayed me. I nearly wrecked the car when he piped up with that from the backseat. And plus he was doing that adorable Thing Two-talk*** that he does. I nearly died.
Fatally Hip Mrs. Friend Two: Jesus Christ, that relationship was WAY WAY too old for both of them. They really shared a connection. I mean, it was dramatic and deep enough for 15-year-olds. Licked a marshmallow. I'm dying.
Terrible Mother: I know! It's like some strange mating ritual gone horribly awry or something.
Emails from Stoic Writer which he sent upon finding out about the goings-on with the Nefarious But Adorable Poet:
I think there might be a few things to think about. First, reassurance. Second, challenge him. Call him a chickenshit. Tell him that sheltering yourself from the world makes for a pretty miserable life. Third, Chekhov. Make him read that fucking story "Journey by Cart." And explain what it means.
One more thing. If there's any writer who rivals the genius of Chekhov, it's Joel. Billy, that is. Play this song for him and tell him to listen closely to the lyrics. Only, replace "man" with "woman."
[Attached: I Am An Innocent Man.mp3]
That whole series of emails made my day. Christ, it made my fucking week. Is there anything better than thinking a relationship can be at all helped by sending someone a Chekhov story****? A Chekhov story along with an old Billy Joel song? Stoic Writer, you kick ass. But sometimes in a weird way. Like the time you chased all three of my children with a teddy bear. Yes. Just like that.
A conversation with Friend One:
Friend One: So, I sent Fly Boy a text message today about being in a bad mood.
Terrible Mother: Oh God.
Friend One: I know, right? It was totally a test and he didn't even know it.
Terrible Mother: What did he do?
Friend One: He texted right back and asked if there was anything he could do. And then he asked if I wanted a cheese sandwich when I got home.
Terrible Mother: That's good, yeah? He passed right?
Friend One: Well, he passed the first part.
Terrible Mother: Oh no.
Friend One: Because if there isn't a surprise for me when I get home I'm going to be angry.
Terrible Mother: You know you're crazy, right?
Friend One: Yeah. But you're the one who puts men through something like the Dating LSAT, at least according to Friend Two.
Terrible Mother: Well, you could at least have told him it was a two-part test! That there was the Section B! He doesn't know what he's up against!
Friend One: No, but he will. He will.
*I sort of hate the way some parents say their elementary-aged son is "dating" someone, which has always seemed to me a hysterical assertion of heterosexuality on par with buying boys camouflaged pants and encouraging them to shoot small animals with BB guns. But Thing Two legitimately entered into something with Cecelia, and that something including holding hands, sharing toys and craft supplies, and kisses (which would have both her parents and me yelling, "Cheeks! Only cheeks!").
**As it turned out, I think I got the story wrong because later Fatally Hip Mrs. Friend Two and I were told that Van licked the marshmallow and gave it to Cecelia who then ate it.
***Thing Two, being mildly autistic, talks in a kind of adorable monotone, brown eyes big and round, and almost completely without contractions (a side effect of spending 5 of your 7 years in speech therapy). It's so him that I can't help but think this story would lose something if another child were telling it.
****note to Omega: there's totally a set-up for a joke here, and I'm giving it to you. It's a gift. Take it, sir. Take it and run.