“Come on you guys, we’re going to be late” Sheila commanded.
Colleen called out “The reservations are for six o’clock and Chez Pierre waits for no one, not even a woman celebrating the big 5-0.”
Patsy smiled as she put the finishing touches on her hair and jewelry. She could never have asked for two better friends. Just as she breezed down the stairway the phone rang.
“Let me machine get it” Colleen implored. “We’ve got to get going.”
“It’ll just take a second, it might be one of the kids” Patsy said as she hurried down the steps. Her friends waited by the door, tapping toes and drumming fingers to hurry her.
“I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.” She said with a smile in her voice. She sent her cape fluttering on her shoulders. “Let’s go have some fun!”
Giggling like teenagers the trio headed for Sheila’s car, the conversation never ending enroute to Chez Pierre.
Ensconced in their booth they sipped champagne and talked with the easy familiarity so common among women. They reminisced of their life journey as they neared the Golden Years. Colleen and Sheila had recounted their highs and lows and turned to Patsy.
Raising her fluted glass in a toast, Sheila said “Well, here’s to a woman who has triumphed evil and looks better today than she did at 25”.
“Oh, it wasn’t all that bad” Patsy said blushing.
“The hell it wasn’t” Colleen chimed in. “Maybe we weren’t there to see it personally, but that’s because the bastard wouldn’t let us near you”. Champagne sloshed over the edge onto the white tablecloth as she slammed her glass down.
“But….” Patsy started, but was cut off immediately by Sheila.
“Don’t even start to defend him,” she said. “You know it’s true. William never liked us ‘influencing’ you as he put it. Remember how I used to call him Bill just to get a rise out of him?”
Giggling, Colleen added “and I’d call him Billie or Willie and he’d go ballistic! My name is Will Bradley he’d say, straightening up like he had a steel rod shoved up his…”
“Girls! Enough!” Patsy blushed, glancing around the elegant dining room. “Let’s remember where we are and try to behave like ladies.” The reprimand made Colleen and Sheila giggle all the more.
“Don’t try to deny that you were a life support for an ego machine. You were always the perfect little housewife, the perfect hostess, the perfect mother to William II and Peggy Sue. Geez, William the Second. Wasn’t it bad enough to have him for a father without saddling him with The Second.”
“I will admit the marriage had some problems, but we had a lovely house and nice things…” Patsy tried to intervene.
“Yeah, right” Sheila countered. “He had $2,000 suits tailor made and you got half price sale off the rack. What was that all about?”
Patsy took a deep breath and another sip of bubbly and tried to explain. “I guess I just got sucked in to the theory that we were part of this team. He was the fast rising corporate leader and his image was critical. His explanation was that both our futures depended on his looking good. It does seem a bit silly now.”
“Not as silly as when you tried to rekindle the flames of desire, isn’t that what you called it?” grinned Sheila.
“Oh my! That was such a disaster!” Patsy said.
“Wait a minute!” Colleen said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard about this before…fill me in!”
Face flushing, either from shyness or the wine, she wasn’t sure. Patsy relayed the incident to her friends.
“Well, the kids were grown and gone by then and I felt we were drifting apart. He was staying later and later at work and I started wondering if there was another woman.”
“And there was!” interjected Sheila. “That bimbo that worked for him…. Boom-Boom or something. Colleen’s face twisted in confusion, so she added, “You remember. Looked like a toothpick with boobs, always teetering around on those high-heeled shoes like she was on stilts. She was young enough to be his daughter.”
“Ooooh. Now I remember,” said Colleen. “The platinum blonde with the tiny little skirts. I think her name was Barbara.”
“I like Boom-Boom better.” Sheila said. “It fits better, has a nice sound to it…”
“May I continue?” asked Patsy. Her friends clinked their champagne glasses and said in unison “please do!”
“Well. I was reading that book that was so popular at the time, ‘the Feminine Mystic’ and I thought I’d try an idea or two, you know…rev things up” Her friends grinned at each other and turned back to Patsy. “I couldn’t seem to get the hang of peeling the skin off a grape with my teeth, so I decided to go the saran wrap route.” She chuckled to herself as she recalled. “There I was, totally naked, wrapped up in a saran wrap dress, holding the perfect martini, ready to greet him at the door. I figured that might get him to put down the newspaper!”
She had her friend’s rapt attention; as well as that from the next table, which was trying hard not to look like they were eavesdropping.
To be continued tomorrow....you didn't think I'd share it all at once, did you?
Long Live the Queen of the Cliffhanger