It’s Saturday afternoon and I get a frantic phone call from Heels.
“Do you have a minute?”
I glance over at Buddha who is dangerously perched on the coffee table.
“Sure... is everything okay?”
I’ve become accustomed to asking this question the moment I hear Heels’ voice. Ever since she got engaged last Christmas there has been flower drama, sister drama, hair drama and even shoe insert drama (“If I use my Dr. Scholls inserts my Manolos don’t fit!” she told me last week.)
But this time she calls with a real problem.
“I want you and PJ to come to a baseball game with us tomorrow.”
A real problem for me. I scramble to think of an excuse, thinking that I’d rather scrape dried baby food off the kitchen floor than go to a sports game of any kind.
“Can’t. We don’t have a sitter,” I say. It’s an obvious cop-out, but worth a try.
She doesn’t buy it. “Get your mom to look after him! Come on, it’ll be fun!”
“I don’t know if I want to go out…”
PJ saunters in gnawing on a piece of sausage. “Go out where?”
“Baseball,” I roll my eyes.
“Awesome! Call your mom!”
The next day we wait for Heels and Draggy Feet at the stadium entrance. The smell of concession food wafts through the air and my mouth starts to water. Maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Suddenly, through the crowd they emerge. Heels is never hard to spot. No matter what the occasion she comes dressed to the nines and today is no different. She’s wearing a Reiss sundress and six inch heels.
I give her an exaggerated once-over. “You going to the prom after we’re done here?”
She smiles as if she’s just received the biggest compliment. “You like it? Kate Middleton has the same one.”
“I heard they make those in a Romanian sweatshop,” I say, bitterly looking down at my jeans and t-shirt.
She ignores me and pulls out a large floral print umbrella.
I look out at the clear blue sky. There's literally not a cloud in sight. “You think it’s going to rain?”
Heels launches in to a long-winded explanation of the sun’s rays and the damage it can do to a person’s skin. I am sorry I asked.
After loading up on mini-donuts and climbing over a sea of legs we are at our seats. Heels settles in, opening up her enormous tent of an umbrella.
“Put that thing away,” says Draggy Feet. “You’re going to block other people’s view.”
I don’t often agree with Draggy Feet (last I heard he wanted to have a wrestling themed wedding) but today he’s making some sense.
“Yeah, Heels. You really should listen to him.”
“I can’t sit here in the sun. I’ll roast!” she wines.
“I can’t see!” says a kid in the row behind us.
“Be patient, she’s putting it away,” says his father.
“See, you’re blocking people. Put the umbrella away!” insists DF.
Heels glares at him as if to say “shut the F up” and he does. It's an outright abuse of female power if I've ever seen one.
It’s the third inning and finally someone taps Heels on the shoulder. “Excuse me.”
She turns around, eyebrow raised.
“Could you please close your umbrella. We’re having trouble seeing and it’s not even raining!”
Heels calmly explains that her skin is very sensitive. She tells the woman that she wouldn't be saying that if she had an obvious skin condition, but since she has unblemished skin she gets unfair treatment. She turns around and continues to watch the game.
For the next two innings people aren’t as polite. In fact, they become downright infuriated which is made clear by the wide array of expletives used to describe Heels. This includes the father and son duo behind us who have now threatened her life.
I bury my head in my hands, genuinely humiliated, but also as a way to show that I do not agree with this sort of behavior. Heels can be stubborn at the best of times but this is just over the top.
Suddenly I hear shouting. I look up, expecting to see angry people with batons, but instead I see a baseball heading right toward me.
A fly ball.
It all happens in a flash. PJ jumps in front of me using his body as a human shield. The ball zips past him toward the angry father’s son. Quickly, Heels holds out her umbrella and the ball bounces down into the row in front of us.
Heels turns to her enemies. “How do you like me now?” she says smugly.
For the rest of the game we receive free drinks and snacks from the people behind us. I feel entirely undeserving, but hey – free food is free food.
And the best part: I finally coax Heels to put away the stupid umbrella by offering her my sweater. Guess I could have thought of that a little sooner.