Of Freedom And Of Pleasure

Millie: Did anyone tell you what happened on Friday?
Tata: No.
Millie: No one knew where you were.
Tata: What? I had a wedding. Everyone knew about it.
Millie: No one knew a thing, but no one noticed you weren’t here until the afternoon. Everyone asked everyone, “Have you seen her?” and no one had. Finally, Gianna called Lupe at home and Lupe knew you were at a wedding.
Tata: I told you all about it. Don’t you remember how miserable I was?
Millie: You never said a word.
Tata: What are you talking about? I complained for months!
Millie: Nope.
Tata: Honest to God, my whole life needs subtitles.

We sat in this room for less than fifteen minutes.

Millie: So what happened?
Tata: Pete and I and my niece Lois drove down to the Tintin Falls Holiday Inn, where we met up with my sister Daria and her husband Tyler and our baby sister Dara and her new boyfriend Josh who looks just like Justin Bieber so all evening I kept asking, “What’s Justin’s name again?” That doesn’t go over as well as you might think.
Millie: I bet it doesn’t!
Tata: We got dressed in a room the size of prison cell and drove over to this barn on the beach at Long Branch, which is so corporate we checked the ocean for sponsors. The wedding took about fifteen minutes in a room overlooking the ocean that was set up for another wedding. I don’t know what we were doing there. Anyway, minutes later, we piled into cars and drove four miles back to the Holiday Inn. It was about 90 degrees, my AC’s broken and Route 36 was wall-to-wall construction, rush hour and shore traffic, so the ride took almost an hour, by which time my hair was a foot high. I pinned it down with a barrette but I looked like the Contadina lady’s mother-in-law in kitten heels.

Meet Daria, the sister sixteen months younger than me.

Millie: I’m sure you looked fine.
Tata: I looked awful, but that’s not important. Daria has been very depressed, so at the cocktail hour, where we all dove face-first into gin & tonics, and we were joined by my Fabulous Ex-Husband and his current wife Karen, which could be traumatic except we love them. But there was this lull in the conversation and I picked up the camera and took pictures of myself. Daria said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I went to a wedding and had a great time. See? Here I am at the cocktail hour and here I am eating stuffed shells. There were other people at the wedding but they were in my way.” She was in a better mood after that.
Millie: How was the food?
Tata: It was okay, but that’s not important either. I can’t explain that. Anyway, the reception room was so cold people wrapped themselves in tablecloths. A year later, we had dinner. I looked up from my plate and Karen was wearing her napkin like a schmatta. There’s photographic evidence of my laughing in a public place. The whole thing was an expensive, silly ordeal and I complained about it for months. I can’t believe all the noise in my head never made it past my lips. The happy couple got married before my cousin got deployed to Iraq and now they’re pregnant, and why did we do this? The prime rib?

Daria, our baby sister Dara and Jersey detritus.

Millie: You never said a thing. I would have written your vacation day on the calendar.
Tata: It snowed formal wear! I wore two different pair of expensive, painful shoes!
Millie: You can keep a secret.
Tata: Nuh unh. Daria’s redecorating Facebook with photographic evidence as we speak.
Millie: That’s nice.
Tata: Yeah, she’s not good at crime.

One response to “Of Freedom And Of Pleasure

  1. Long Branch! You didn’t say it was Long Branch. I lived in Long Branch for six years before they condo’d the whole shore. Back then it was a rundown shore town and I loved it.

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