We are not used to girls being around here. That’s why when my neighbor dropped off her two daughters here this morning, it was just a tad uncomfortable for all of us: the girls, my boys and me, a ten-year-old boy trapped in a housewife’s body.
My job was to get the girls and my boys to our Snow Routes bus stop down the mountain, as the school bus doesn’t come up here when the roads are snowy and slick. The girls’ mom had to get to work, so I offered to help out.
But when they arrived, it wasn’t like when boys enter my frat house for fourth graders. Rather, it was awkward and quiet. I told the girls to take off their boots and coats and go play the Wii. None of the kids acknowledged each other, and it appeared almost painful for my son to pick out a game for the girls. I noticed that once he got them set up on Mario Kart, he disappeared for a while. My other son, however, gave them pointers from the safety of the recliner, while the girls sat on the couch.
I took this opportunity to get some girly fashion advice. I pulled out an old ski hat I hadn’t worn in years and asked the girls, “Is this a ridiculous hat?” They seemed uncomfortable with the question. “C’mon,” I pleaded. “I never have any girls around here to help me out with fashion.”
One girls meekly offered, “No,” and the other blushed and tried to hide behind her Wii controller.
I removed the black faux fur-lined hat and replaced it with a purple Elmer Fudd-style hat from the Gap.
“Is this one more ridiculous or less?” I asked. They liked the purple one, probably because it was made for a twelve-year-old.
“There’s no such thing as ‘more ridiculous,’“ my son countered. “It’s either ridiculous or not.”
I argued that are degrees of ridiculousness and that I thought the purple hat was rather ridiculous, but I’d wear it anyway, because the girls said so. And then the girls got that look on their faces as though they’d really rather walk to the Snow Routes bus stop. Also, that I’m a geek and both of my hats are truly, really ridiculous. Girls’ facial expressions are so complex. My son’s expression simply said, “You’re wrong, Mom.”
So, I wore the purple hat. After I left the kids at the bus stop, I looked up “ridiculous.”
Ridiculous: ri·dic·u·lous (ri-dik-yuh-luhs) Deserving or inspiring ridicule; absurd, preposterous, or silly.
While my black hat certainly inspires ridicule, the purple one is just plain silly. And those girls will beg their mother never to drop them off at our house again.