Little Girl Lost


Botox, liposuction, vaginal regeneration (oh, yes, the “V.R.). The world wants to be young forever. But when adults reach back to the toddler years, things gotta change. A fifty-year-old woman walking around the ?Boro wearing a shirt with a dwarf on it that reads, “I’m Grumpy Today,” (Target, Monday, 11:23 a.m.) requires electroshock therapy.

On the weekend, I flew back from New York. A fellow Nashville-bound woman and her little girl sat across the aisle from me. The woman opened up a brightly colored Little Mermaid backpack, offering me a piece of gum. Airline crisis diverted, I felt relaxed and willing to chit chat.

“My little girls love Ariel too,” I said, pointing to the neon Disney backpack. “Oh, it’s her father that’s in love with Ariel,” the woman said.

“Uh huh.” Idiot. Stop being nice, Karen, stop it.

“The movie came out in ?92 and hubby bought it for himself. When she was born, we got the DVD too. Oh?and this backpack is mine.”

“Fantastic,” I replied. If we crash and end up on an island with a hot doctor and a mysterious hatch, I might need to eat her.

She continued, “I’m so glad we’re getting home, that delay and all. It’s divine intervention. That man sitting over there is a pastor going down for a Southern Baptist conference. So of course, God knew we were going to get there tonight.”

“Actually, my going-to-hell gay friend sitting in that lovely seat up there by himself should be thanked for forcing the airlines to rebook us.” All right, I didn’t say that. I’ve seen footage of what happens to passengers who make trouble mid-flight.

“What were you doing in New York?” she asked, followed by the dreadful, “I always feel it is polite to ask people about themselves.”

This is when I raised my hand and asked the attendant if I could move. I slid in the seat next to my friend before the woman had the chance to squeeze my phone number out of me and set up a play date where her hubby and mine could play Ninja Turtles. (I wanted to be Leonardo.)

I focused on my pretzels with Zen-like concentration, wondering why grown women couldn’t find themselves reasonable hobbies.

Then her voice again, talking to her daughter, or the air, possibly the Little Mermaid. “We’ll get her a seat, honey. But she needs to be buckled in for the take-off.” I peered through the seat cracks and saw the woman caressing a Cabbage Patch doll.

Damn if that yarn-haired hussy didn’t get my old seat.


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