I hold two smoothies in my hands and I’m not wearing any underwear. She is playing one of her more recent playlists and explaining the title of it to me.
I haven’t felt this okay in a long time.
The day before, my sister picked me up from the airport—a mason jar smoothie in hand—and let me sleep the rest of the day away. We went to dinner (and she told me I looked great when I knew I didn’t), and we accidentally watched all of Love, Rosie.
We spent the morning shooing off our goading grandmother, telling her that “we will be fine,” the shop we have a one o’clock appointment at being directly across the street. Our mother and her boyfriend are there, but we skirt quickly past them, jumping into my sister’s car, yelling our goodbyes, and zooming off down the road.
My sister has just turned 21, looking forward to a new year. Valentine’s Day was yesterday, so that hell hath passed. And, for today, I finally get a glimpse at what it means to be open and kind with other women.
(For some people, this next part might be TMI, but whatever dude—this is life.)
I stand in a waiting room, having just signed a waver ensuring I won’t sue the waxing place if they happen to accidentally rip my skin off. I ask my sister if it’s going to hurt. She says probably.
I can’t stop sweating, and when she leaves me and I am sat alone in a waiting room, praying I can be woman enough to not scream, another young lady comes out, introducing herself to me. She has kind eyes and dark hair.
We go into a far back room and I tell her that I have no clue what I am supposed to do.
She is wonderful.
She tells me absolutely everything I need to know, answers all of my questions, and makes small talk with me. You’d think it’d be weird—to lay on a table, getting the hair ripped out of your body, and chat with another girl—but it’s not. She encourages me, laughs with me, and, when one pull is a little worse than the others and I sing explicit phrases, she says she thinks I’m rad. When she walks me back to the waiting room, my sister already waiting there for me, she gives me the biggest hug and says she wishes I lived in town so I could be a regular client.
Afterwards, my sister drives the extra 10 minutes to go to my favorite smoothie place in town. Then, we go to the neighborhood playground and sit down on the swing set.
We stay there for a while, and I never want to leave.
I haven’t eaten for 40 hours. (Okay, I downed two yogurts and a banana about 35 hours through, but you get the point.)
My friends have just finished doing my hair and makeup, and I’ve spent the past twenty minutes trying to get good pictures of everyone and annoying the hell out of them while I do so.
It is my prom night, and I am with my favorite people in the whole world.
I’ve saved the necklace and earrings I’m wearing since I was in middle school, always putting off wearing them for a more special event. Tonight, I finally decided to wear them.
The weekend before this, I was with all the same people, competing my last UIL one act. It was a hard blow not to advance, but because we didn’t, we get to go to said prom.
Following this, we will get in the limo we collectively paid for, down a couple dozen tortillas at Alamo Cafe, go to a hotel, and dance our little hearts away. There will be multiple existential crises as the night gets later, but we are all there to pull each other back up to the surface. Eventually we all split off: a couple to the movies, a couple to a party, some back home, and the rest of us back here, my best friend’s house, where we fall asleep watching Psycho and eating Lays chips.
There is no place I’d rather be than with them, my family.
This was a year and two days ago.
With half in college and the other half still in high school (save for my date who’s currently in Brazil), I can tell you that there is still no other place I’d be than with them.
Thanks for the memories, guys. Here’s to a lifetime more.