Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The Vanity Couch
Well, one day the doorbell rang, just as I was walking past the front door. I knew I wouldn't be able to quickly talk my parents into not opening the door (!) so I dove behind the couch, planning to stay a minute or two, until the paper boy was paid or the UPS package delivered, or whatever. You have no idea how mortified I was when my parents ushered in the guy who lived behind us, probably 2 or 3 years older than me, and urged him to sit down on the couch I was hiding behind! I crouched down as low as I could get and pretty much wanted to die right then and there. I can't begin to recall what he was doing there, but my parents didn't even know I was behind the couch! I wasn't the slightest bit interested in him or his reasons for paying us a visit for the first time ever, but still I had my pride, and I was not about to make my presence known. He stayed 30 minutes or so, and I remained behind the couch, trying to cross my legs, as I really needed to use the bathroom!
After the door closed behind him, I sheepishly raised myself up to a standing position and my parents looked at me with that, "Laurie, we love you but sometimes you're a bit puzzling" expression on their faces. When I explained what happened, they laughed almost forever!
You would think I would have learned my lesson several years before, behind that same couch. When I was probably 17 and a senior in high school, my sister and I went to a costume party that some friends were having. I dressed up like a "nerd," which was kind of a popular thing in the mid-80s. Not particularly creative, you know? I greased down my hair, parted it in the middle, found some dorky clothes and sported my dad's old black horn-rimmed glasses, with the lenses popped out and embellished with a piece of tape I put on the center part. I drove my sisters and some of our friends in the family station wagon. Lots of fun was had by all, and after driving everyone else home (I have a faint recollection of someone wearing fuzzy bedroom slippers and sticking their feet out the window of the car on the way home), Mary and I went home to our house.
We pulled up to the house and I froze in panic. There were tons of cars in our driveway and at the curb in front of our house. Oh, no! We forgot Mom and Dad had some kind of meeting at our house! I sat there and tried to keep my breathing under control. No way could I have actual parents of prospective future boyfriends see me like this! Suddenly, my sister, Mary, started laughing. She's like, "Oh, that was a good addition to your costume! I hadn't even noticed it!" I looked down at my shirt, where she was pointing. There I noticed a major dribbling of toothpaste, dried and crusty on the spot it had apparently landed hours before.. I had never done that before and I haven't done it since, and, though I was dressed like a nerd, I was still completely humiliated because I had NOT meant to do this!
I so wished I had my house key so I could go in the front door, and avoid all the people in the family room, which is where the other door was. Finally, Mary agreed to go in the back door, and then open the front door so I could sneak in and go straight to the safety of my room.
I waited and waited. She never came! Ugh!! I knew I had no choice but to go in the back door so I did what I had to do. I couldn't look anyone in the eye, except to glare at my sister who was talking up a storm with all our company. Suddenly, I heard a high-pitched voice say, "Oh, Laurie! Stand still so I can see your costume! I want to see what a nerd looks like!" It was one of the ladies attending the meeting.
Oh my word! Complete and utter mortification! I did what any self-respecting "nerd" would do--I ran! I kid you not, this lady chased me around my house, calling, "I want to see what a nerd looks like!" Did someone dare her to do this? I'll probably never know. But anyway, I found myself in the living room and flew behind the couch. Yes, the same couch that would come in handy a few years later! But this time, there was no hiding! She stood there looking over the couch until I finally relented and stood up.
"Ohhh! You look so pretty!" said she.
It was sooooo weird!
I can just hear my dad saying, "See where your vanity gets you?" ;)