It is 4:00 p.m. at my grandmother's house. Apparently, that means we need to have tea.
Maria and Wendy climb up in the cushioned kitchen seats. They cross their legs daintily and look eager to participate. Bill sits in his high chair, smiling at the world, and allowing the women around him to include him in their fun.
I sat dutifully but certainly not daintily.
Grandmother pours tea into very delicate china cups. We have sugar-free cookies and other finger foods.
Maria and Wendy sip very carefully. I slurp.
"Don't slurp, Kara," Grandmother admonishes me as she raises a cookie to her lips. Admiration fills me as I watch her stretch her mouth around that cookie, carefully not messing her lipstick. It was quite a feat. My sisters and brother liked to watch her eat, always waiting for the time when she would smudge her Instant Mocha shade.
Apparently it happened, for she always reapplied using this little mirror attached to the lipstick tube. I never saw her make-up out of place. Not once.
Grandmother seemed like perfection. Everything nice. Everything pleasant. Everything intelligent.
I thought it amazing, and I wondered if I would ever appear as put together.
If it meant no more kick ball games, well, it would probably never happen.