Maybe the puppy wasnt a bad idea, Heather thinks as she arrives at the dog park. Sun shines across the wide-open field. Its a beautiful winter day in Southern California. A tall fence surrounds the perimeter of the large flat grassy area, with several posted signs enforcing various rules of conduct and health.
Heather reads to her husband from the flight magazine. Santa Fe is dry but prone to weather changes. Michael nods. We should move there when the kids are grown, Heather says. Sounds like the perfect place for a menopausal woman. Now we are discussing retirement, Michael says. I guess you really did need to spend the night away.
The only time she engages in meaningful conversation is when the children are asleep. Its a fact shes come to accept over the years. Prior to their bedtime, every sentence was interrupted by a high-pitched Mom! and then shed forget her point. Now, she responds to almost everyone in one syllable. No. Anyway, shes no longer certain that she has anything important to say. When there is time to talk, its usually with Michael and these discussions revolve around the needs of the children. A cavity. Shin guards. Lice, again.
They picked their Halloween costumes in July, Heather says. Of course theyd change their minds. The problem is there are too many choices for kids, Erin says and takes a sip of coffee.
Well tell everyone that we adopted him, Michael says. We cant lie, Heather says, holding the fluffy puppy against her chest. Besides, no one is going to believe that we found a golden retriever puppy at a rescue. A pit bull or terrier mix. Yes. But not this dog.
The intention was to take a quick shower. However, standing under the cascade of warm water, Heather felt unable to move. Im morphing into the new Calagon woman, she thinks. Take me away. Or at least let me nap. Without Ava knocking on the glass shower door, Heather could stay in here forever.
You dont love me, Dylan says. Of course I do, Heather says and sets down the stack of white dinner plates on the kitchen island.
It gets pretty crazy in there so stay close, Heather saysas she pulls into the Whole Foods Parking lot at 5:03pm. Sheparks her Escalade in a compact spot between two silverPriuses.
Last night when Erin called, the shopping trip sounded like a wonderful idea. I have a great personal shopper at Saks, Erin said. Natalie is a genius. Now, as Heather steps into the dressing room lounge in a tight tan sheath dress that fits her like a sausage casting and faces Erin, she realizes that this wasnt a good idea after all.
What will I wear? Heather wonders as she carefully examines the thick ivory invitation. Cocktail attire on the beach at 5pm. Tricky. Her red Nicole Miller is too old. The Ralph Lauren would be perfect but its white. A wedding justifies the need for a new dress. Especially these days.