My neighbor, the one I call "Mary" because they're pretty much all named Mary in these parts, gives me about five minutes notice.
"I'm going out for drinks in the city," I object. "With grown-ups."
"We're grown-ups," she says.
Yeah, they're grown-ups all right. Grown-ups with about 11 kids between them. Some of them theirs, some of them strays. I have never seen her with fewer than four.
"How many?" I say.
"How many what?" she asks innocently.
"How many children are with you?"
"They will just play in the backyard," she says, an evasion that suggests double digits.
"Fine," I say. "But I can't drink margaritas in the afternoon and go out for drinks in the evening."
"And you call yourself Irish," she says.
"I call myself Kamikaze," I say. "I'm pretty sure that's Japanese."
She sits on my deck a minute later drinking Mexican cocktails in a woodland-themed apron she has worn deliberately to provoke me into saying something about Midwestern women. As if her shoes weren't enough.
I refuse to take the bait. Even when she starts telling me I made the drinks too weak. "Someone needs to teach you how to make a margarita," she says.
But I do take her picture. She's adorable. She looks like she should have a tray of cupcakes in her hand. They would be terrible cupcakes, and she would break them into little pieces and scatter them among the children like chicken feed, but still.
from the Something about Mary archives: Some people claim that there's a woman to blame