Beach towel, soup and cat

“I don’t know why we have to come to the beach when we just built a beautiful deck in our backyard.”
“No waves in a kiddy pool, babe,” said Jason, zipping up his wet suit and eyeing the parking lot.
“I hate the beach. There is all this SAND. I don’t know why you still surf, anyway. You’re a grownup.” Jessica carefully spread out her Love Pink beach blanket. On top of that she would lay her Roxy beach towel, all to keep sand from touching her skin.
“I’ve surfed since I was a kid in Huntington Beach. You know that. My dad still surfs.”
“Well, it’s not like he’s a grownup.”
“What’s in the cooler?”
“The usual.”
“Really? No sodas?”
“You could have packed it yourself if you wanted something. I didn’t see you near the kitchen when I was getting ready. Spray me, babe?”
Jason looked at his wife in her coral colored Victoria’s Secret strapless bikini with the thong bottoms. Hot. No question. Fucking hot. Yep. He took the spray sunscreen and sprayed then smoothed it over her skin.
“God, don’t touch me!” she shrieked.
“How’s it supposed to get spread around?”
“In the sun, stupid.”
Jason looked up toward the parking lot again. Finally. He watched his mom and dad cross the space of sand. As always, his dad carried a board and his mom carried beach chairs and a basket. “Over here!” he yelled. “Dad! Mom! We’re over here!”
“Oh god, not them,” thought Jessica. “What a LUMP that woman is!”
“Hi kids,” said Margaret, eyeing the girl on the blanket who didn’t even look up from her book. Jason kissed his mom and shook hands with his dad.
“How’s the surf?”
“Clean. Chest high, regular sets. Looks like fun. Rip tides over by the cliffs, that’s it.”
“Nice. You ready?” The two men walked toward the breakers, their boards strapped to their ankles and carried under their arms.
Margaret watched them from behind, remembering when Mike was a young man much like Jason. “Time flies,” she thought, and not for the first time. And here was Jessica. Jason had brought her home to meet the family. Margaret and Mike made a backyard cookout, ribs, potato salad and asparagus. Smelling the smoke, Jessica had said, “Grilling causes cancer,” and went inside. When supper was served, she asked for two cups of boiling water in a bowl, and, when Margaret set it in front of her, she took a packet of dry organic miso soup from her purse and sprinkled it on the hot water.
“I could have made you soup, Jessica,” said Margaret, embarrassed and somewhat sad.
“No you couldn’t,” Jessica had replied, “I doubt you know anything about my diet or my needs.”
The next morning, Margaret had called Jason and invited him for lunch. “If you marry her,” she said, “you’ll be very unhappy. There will be only one person in that marriage; her.”

Only a month later, Margaret was being told what to wear to the wedding as mother of the groom. Jessica was pregnant, though whether the absence of ensuing events was the result of a miscarriage or a lie remained an open question.

“Whatcha’ reading, Jessica?”
Jessica let out a huge sigh of exasperation and held up her book.
“Really? You’re reading that? I can’t believe it.” Margaret caught herself.
“Yeah? Well look at you. You and Mike? You still drive the car you drove when you got married. You still live in the house you’ve lived in since Jason was a kid. I mean, what do you have to show for your life? Nothing. That’s not me. I NEVER think negative thoughts. NEVER. Only positive thoughts and look what I have. A handsome husband, a beautiful brand new six bedroom house, a Jaguar.”
“Your dad bought you the Jag and we co-signed your mortgage.”
“Like that matters, HOW? I have it and all because I think ONLY positive thoughts.”
“No. You have it because you’re a self-centered, greedy, egocentric, superficial and ruthless little touat. That’s why you have it. That’s how you trapped my son. You didn’t even think…” Margaret stopped. Now SHE wasn’t thinking. She’d sworn NEVER to engage this girl. She knew her opinion didn’t matter at all to Jessica. Not a bit.
“WhatEVER,” said Jessica, unfazed, turning back to her book.

Margaret sat in silence for a while, watching the surfers, trying to pick out her son and husband from the small crowd bobbing, waiting and riding. Finally she stood and folded her chair. She stuffed her book in the bag and put on the long shirt she wore to the beach. She turned and walked to the 1968 VW camper van in which she, Mike and the kids had traveled the world and that Mike kept running out of love and nostalgia. “I hope that little bitch doesn’t mind Jason dropping Mike off at home,” she thought as she turned the key in the ignition.

10 thoughts on “Beach towel, soup and cat

  1. Now, what a great example of a short story with a surprise ending. Loved it. You go girl. I suppose that phrase is as old as the hills, but nonetheless, you are such a great writer. šŸ™‚

  2. Too bad this is very real. I can’t figure out why men like women like that, but a lot of them do. Well written. I just hope Mike doesn’t have to hitch a ride home!

    • I guess Mike would call his wife. šŸ˜‰ I couldn’t begin to explain why men like this kind of woman, but you’re right. A lot of them do. I imagine it has to do with survival of the fittest. This woman will not be trampled by woolly mammoths in the act of saving her children and she’s likely to toss her baby to a saber tooth tiger in order to save her own life.

  3. I think it has something to do with their ability to rock the tan, bikini & thong, and their ruthless pursuit of “looking good,” no matter the expense. Botox (injecting toxin into your body, on purpose?), liposuction and implants are nothing to this lot. Murder baby seals? Give me the club and get out of the way (not me, but these types of women).

    In my experience, lack of interest in a man seems to really make them want to win you over, so on a more serious note, I think that the complete self-centeredness and utter disdain for other people that these types exemplify is some sort of turn-on for men. If you doubt it, check out the movie “The Girlfriend Experience” but try to watch it on an empty stomach. It completely repulsed me that the movie in any way portrayed what could be called anything like a real relationship.

    Enough of that; I really just wanted to say that I am very happy to see you “not” not writing posts as you threatened to do last week! You are truly a great writer and reading your posts (when I get around to it) is always a pleasure. Keep rocking WordPress (please)!

    (And good luck with your editing and revision too.)

    • I don’t think men can help it. I believe strongly in the power of biology. I don’t think (on that level) men want real relationships. On that level, they want to find the most nubile bitch, impregnate her and move on. In my story, it should be clear that Jason had been losing interest so Jessica faked pregnancy. I think (watching other animals in the mating dance) men like to pursue and win so a woman who treats them like crap but then ultimately puts out would logically be very attractive (not that logic enters in…). I’m not dissing men. Women are just as involved biologically in this whole thing. Our socially altered consciousness just tries to get us to see it differently.

      • The women’s involvement, as you put it, includes some of the things I mentioned earlier. I do understand the biology involved but it seems to me that if we are, as we at least like to imagine, indeed the “superior” species on this planet, we should strive to use these big brains of ours. Yes, biology can – and often does – win out over brains, but I don’t think that many people really make any serious attempt at using their brain when it comes to selecting a partner. On second thought, we must be thinking or else the world would be one giant orgy, would it not? Biologically speaking, our hormones drive us to do certain things. We are, whether consciously or not, constantly decide things like, “not him / her,” and the cliched, “not now.” Of course, there are still people who don’t seem to do that either…;-)

        For a truly informative take on the biological aspect of mating across the zoological spectrum, read “The Monogamy Myth.” I read it back when it was new and it was definitely an eye-opener.
        Again, thanks for your posts!

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