I arrive home just in time pay the babysitter and pack a few clothes for the kids before Tiresa arrives.Â My stomach is in knots before I hear her carâ€”her very expensive carâ€”pull into the driveway.Â I don’t want her in my home so she waits at the end of the walk, just outside the garden gate while I hustle Abe and Fi out the door.
“Aunt Tiresa!” they shriek and rush to greet her.Â Each laugh and smile is a stab to my heart.Â I waddle down the walkway after them and hand Tiresa their suitcase.
She takes it calmly and stands there avoiding eye contact, like she’s waiting for me to say something.Â She knows that I know about the wedding.Â No doubt she’s waiting for some tirade or snarky comment.Â Instead, I fold my hands and stand there just as calmly.Â The ball is in her court.
Finally, she looks at her nails and casually says, “You’re invited to the engagement party and the wedding if you want to come, but don’t expect an official invitation in the mail.”
“I’m surprised you’re inviting me at all, Judas,” I reply coolly.Â “Makes it rather awkward when the person you crucified is hanging about.”
Tiresa looks me in the face for the first time.Â “Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be?Â And you wonder why you aren’t getting an official invitation?Â Mama Rose wants you there for the sake of family, but she forgets how awkward that YOU make everyone feel.Â So if you insist on coming, make sure you stay out of the way.Â I know it’s difficult, but you can at least try.”
With that last stab at my size ringing in my ears, she turns on her high heels (they looked like shoes I’d seen in a magazine and cost more that three months’ rent for me) and clomp-clomps to her shiny car.Â She pitches her voice high as she chats with Abe and Fi, buckles them in before getting in the driver’s seat, revs the engine and squeals out of there.
I stand there, angry and hurt and feeling helpless.Â “Fine,” I say aloud thinking about my conversation with the gang earlier.Â “Something has to be done.”
A bottle of wine later, I am confident enough to take charge.Â I am going to do it.Â I am going to find someone to fall into my river.Â I am going to find a date online.
I face the laptop, my window to a new world, and type in the web address which Ryan wrote on a napkin and slipped me with my second mocacchino.Â The site pops up with a large photo of a young couple in each others’ arms smiling back at me, as if it’s the easiest thing in the world to find the perfect mate in an online meat market.Â The tagline actually says, “It’s the easiest thing in the world to use our EXCLUSIVE match-making system. Start today and date tomorrow!*”Â Of course, the fine print at the bottom of the page states, “This site does not guarantee a date the day after you join.”Â That’s always a good sign, I think: a web site which lies.