Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Not That Kind of Girl, Part 2

Brenda Kay’s clothes have their own room. It’s not exactly a room, I guess. More like a closet you can walk inside. There’s a light in there and everything. Her shoes are arranged in rows on the floor beneath her clothes. Her skirts all hang together, then her dresses. She even has some slacks. Her sweaters are folded on shelves at the end of the closet. On top of every sweater is a matching pair of knee socks. Her mother buys most of Brenda’s clothes at Harley’s on the square, but some of them come from Dillards, 60 miles away in Springfield.

Brenda’s mother dresses up every day and she always, always wears make-up. Even at breakfast on Saturdays. She must not put her head down to sleep because her hair is always a perfect brown bubble on top of her head. Even here in tornado alley there’s never been a wind strong enough to defeat the hairspray that holds her bubble in place.

MaMaw and PaPaw live above the funeral home, across the driveway from Brenda Kay’s house. They’re her father’s parents. Like Mrs. C., MaMaw’s shoes always match her dress and her ear rings match her necklaces. MaMaw’s hair is gray, though, and her bubble doesn’t stand up as far as Mrs. C’s.

MaMaw and PaPaw take Brenda’s mother and father and the kids to dinner at Hutch’s Café almost every night. Sometimes they drive the hearse, but mostly they drive the “family car,” a shiny black Cadillac that Brenda’s father washes every night before they go out to dinner.

Brenda Kay’s other grandmother, her mother’s mother, comes to visit once in a while. Her hair looks like a Brillo pad after it’s been used too many times. Her face kind of collapses at the bottom because she doesn’t have any teeth. If that’s not strange enough, sometimes she smokes a pipe. But never when Brenda Kay’s mom is around.

When the family goes out to dinner, Gramma stays home in the little room at the back of the house where she spends most of her visit rocking and watching TV. Brenda Kay usually brings back a plate from Hutch’s for her—mashed potatoes and green beans and cornbread and stuff like that.

I am not that kind of girl.


kario said...

Keep going, Jerri! I am loving this story - getting sucked in deeper and deeper.

Kim Meisner said...

I'm getting sucked in too--your world then is really coming to life.

Prema said...

This is fantastic, really great details. I can see it all. And it makes me laugh and touches me all at once.