how i almost made my sister pee in her pants
picture, if you will, me at sixteen years of age. i was not only a late bloomer; i was also a slow bloomer. meaning that my "awkward phase" had already lasted for over a quarter of my life and was showing no signs of letting up in the near future. maybe it had something to do with my coinciding "braces phase" that lasted just as long, but i had, by the age of sixteen, cultivated an attitude that i, and only i, considered mysterious and interesting. the attitude i'm referring to involved talking very little and smiling even less in the hopes that my graceless braces would be overlooked in light of the intrigue i cultivated around me wherever i went. it also involved sitting down a lot to mask my gangly and ever-growing limbs and staring off into space so others could imagine the many fascinating thoughts running through my head at all times. needless to say, all of that staring off into space and not talking led to a rather slow social agenda and so at some point i no longer had to pretend to spend most of my time daydreaming.
not that i was an airhead or even antisocial. i was just, at any given moment, somewhere far away in jenna-land where everything was always exciting and suburban life was not part of my experience.
now that i have set the stage- picture, if you will, my sister dropping me off to pick up something at the drugstore after school one day. she stopped the car in the emergency fire lane while i ran inside to get whatever it is teenage girls get at the drugstore. the new sassy magazine perhaps? hot off the press. anyway i bought my magazine or lip-gloss or wax for my braces or whatever it was and wandered back out to the car that was supposed to be parked in the fire lane right outside of the entrance exactly where it was when i went in. i was, as usual, lost in my own thoughts about how much roswell sucks and how cool my life was going to be once i got away and everyone discovered how amazing and interesting i really was beneath my boring suburban facade.
i went up to the car that was parked in the exact same spot, opened the door and got in. that was when things got a little weird. i swear to you, time slowed down. as i shut the door of the car, disturbing details began to seep into my consciousness. for one thing, my sister was driving a two-door thunderbird (can i get a "hell yeah!"?) and to properly shut such heavy doors you have to really slam them. so i got in the car and slammed the door in one unthinking motion, still lost in my teenage angst. oddly, the door was much lighter than usual and it really made some noise when i shut it. quite unusual. looking at the door wait a minute, why is there an ugly green umbrella in the side pocket of the door? i don't own an ugly green umbrella. scanning the dashboard in front of me why is the dashboard maroon? i thought it was grey. looking farther to my left why is there a cross hanging from the rearview mirror? my sister isn't religious. looking at my sister why is my sister a middle-aged, matronly african american woman looking at me like i have completely lost my mind!? oh shit.
yes, that's right. wrong car. my eyes got approximately as wide as the woman's eyes i now confronted. my mouth dropped open in solidarity with her own extreme surprise and confusion. i mumbled some incoherent apology and got out fast. the whole incident may have lasted five seconds, but it felt more like well, at least thirty seconds. maybe forty.
here's what happened- while i was inside the store my sister had pulled the car ahead about twenty feet and this poor, unsuspecting woman had taken her previous spot and i had gotten in her car and shut the door. i have no idea what she must have thought. at least i wasn't very intimidating. all gawky, brace-faced 100 pounds of me. she could have totally taken me and we both knew it.
by the time i high-tailed it to the thunderbird i had decided never to tell another soul about this mortifying incident. unfortunately my dear sister had other plans. she had seen the whole thing and was laughing so hard when i got back to the correct car that she was crying and couldn't see to make the quick getaway that i had hoped for. we sat there for ages while she laughed and cried and threw in a few heartfelt snorts here and there but she did not lose control of her bladder. damn her. she was close. i think she even said "i'm gonna pee in my pants" a few times but to no avail. if she had things may have turned out very differently. this story would not be fondly recounted at my expense whenever she gets the opportunity because she would have to pay the price of retribution. as it is i have no retribution for this story. well, actually, i do, but most of the stories concerning her exploits are x-rated or at least r-rated and i certainly can't tell them in front of my parents and grandmother... or can i?