It was Saturday. Vern woke up early. She threw on her sweats and went downstairs. She made breakfast for her father. He sat at the table reading his newspaper eating his eggs. Vern sat down beside him drinking a cup of coffee. “Daddy, after I clean the kitchen, make the beds and vacuum the house I’ll be heading out. I’m meeting Susie for lunch.”
“She’s my old college roommate. She got into pharmaceutical sells in the nineties and made a fortune. She’s in New York this week for her annual visit to corporate. Now do you remember her?”
“Yes, she’s the sexy, skin and bones girl with the red hair.”
“Yep, that’s her.”
“Am I coming with you to lunch?”
“No, no, no of course not, Susie wants to meet up with me for lunch at one of those stuffy restaurants. The kind that makes you wear shoes, shirt, and pants.”
“I wear pants.”
“Yes, sometimes you do. Then there are those times I find you wandering about the VFW in those running shorts that look rather similar to skimpy male swimsuit.”
“Hey, I don’t complain about what you wear.”
“True, but I don’t wear the type of clothing that anyone could complain about, unlike you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Anyways back on topic daddy. I’m just letting you know my plans for the afternoon. I’ll bring you back something to eat.”
“Yes, yes, I got it. You are going to lunch with some yuppie friend of yours from college and you want to gossip about things I don’t give a crap about. Just make sure you bring back a pasta dish, with bread, don’t forget to make sure they put extra sauce on the side and if it’s no trouble get me a dessert. Better yet, you should get two desserts in case I don’t like one.”
“Daddy, I’ve never seen you not like a dessert.”
“There is always a first.”
“Never mind, I need to get busy or I’m going to be late.” Vern went about cleaning up the kitchen. She cleaned the table and put the breakfast dishes in the washer. Then she stripped off the sheets and put clean sheets on the beds. Then she started the laundry. She cleaned the bathrooms. Then she folded the clean linens. She started a new load of clothing in the washer. Afterwards, she vacuumed the house. Over two hours had passed while Vern cleaned the house. The timer went off on the oven.
“Vern! Vern! Vern!” Vern’s father hollered from his chair in front of the television.
“Got it daddy.” She went into the kitchen to turn off the oven cleaner.
“Are you going to town like that?”
“Oh no, I set the timer, so I know it’s time change. I’m going back upstairs now.” Vern hobbled up the stairs. She got into the shower. She went in her closet and looked around for an outfit. She fumbled around until she found exactly what she was looking for. She got dressed. Then she put her wet hair in a low bun. She slipped on her favorite old pair of tennis shoes. They were those toning shoes that looked super cool with the little bumps on the bottom of the soles, but now, they were old and the shoelace on the right shoe was so frayed that she had to tie it in a knot. She made her way back downstairs. Her father was in the kitchen getting some juice.
“Vern you look like shit.”
“No Vern, I’m not kidding. You look worse than you did when you were cleaning the house.”
“Why? Why are you going into to town looking like that?”
“Daddy, Susie has never had children. She got a tummy tuck last year. She just got a facelift this year. Susie has a personal shopper at one of those stores that forbids you and me from entering. She gets her hair done every week; in hence, she’s perfect.”
“You look like you are wearing a garbage bag and those shoes are falling apart. What the hell does that have to do with you wearing that black plastic workout suit?”
“Everything, I can’t compete with Susie. No matter what I do, I will look like trash compared to her.”
“That’s your excuse for dressing like trash?”
“Vern, just don’t go if she makes you feel that way.”
“I want to. Susie is full of fun stories. I love meeting her and listening to her gossip about her life. I just get tired of trying to compete with her, so I give up.” Vern replied standing at the front door.
“Sweetheart, I will never understand you or any women for that matter.”
“That’s the grace of age, you don’t have too anymore.” Vern was walking out the door.
“Vern, don’t forget to get my food!” shouted her father.