Becky sobbed uncontrollably. “How could she be so insensitive?”
“Oh, Sweetie,” Clarissa said, “You know how that woman can be. Always thinking about herself.” Clarissa rocked Becky in her arms.
Judy came out of the kitchen carrying a tray with a teapot and several steaming mugs. She placed the tray down on the coffee table, placed coasters down in front of Clarissa and Becky. “I’m going to take care of this once and for all.” She handed Becky and Clarissa a mug filled with herbal tea.
“What are you going to do?” Becky asked.
Judy pulled out her cell phone. “I’m going to give that woman a piece of my mind!” She squinted as she looked at the cell phone. “Clarissa, can you pass me my reading glasses please?”
Clarissa set down her mug and passed the reading glasses over to Judy.
Judy put them on. “Much better.” She scrolled through her cell phone, stopping at A. Marie’s contact information. She tapped the green button.
The phone rang.
“House of chaos,” A. Marie answered.
[Give me back my Transformers!]
“Children! Please do NOT kill each other while I’m on the phone! It’s bad manners! I’m sorry. Who is this?” A. Marie asked.
“This is Judy van Wench. And I have an urgent matter—”
“Judy van Wench. I’m one of your neighbors.”
“Oh. Right. Sorry. Go on.”
[Give me back my baby! No! No, Bobo! Don’t flush my baby!]
“What on Earth is going on at your house?” Judy asked.
“Just my kiddos, working out a few issues.”
“Very well. As I was saying I have an urgent matter—”
“—This isn’t about our orange lightbulbs is it?”
“No. It’s not.” Judy clenched her teeth, taking a deep breath. “This is about what you did to poor Becky.”
[Momma! Momma! Momma! Ook. Ook.]
“Yes, Baby. Give Momma one second.”
“What is an ook?” Judy asked
“She’s saying book. It’s almost her bedtime and she wants me to read to her. But, go on. You were saying something.”
“Yes. I was saying that you should be ashamed of yourself for the way you treated poor Becky on Facebook, Sunday.”
“Becky Cretin.” Judy sighed, clenching her fists. “She’s also one of your neighbors. Honestly, don’t you ever go outside and talk to people?”
“No. Because then if I talk to people, they might try to talk back. Then we’d have a conversation and the whole episode would probably be very traumatic for all parties involved.”
“You owe Becky an apology!”
“For that Facebook post you made on Mother’s day! It was thoughtless, insensitive, and completely selfish.”
“Isn’t that the point of Facebook?”
“No it’s not! Becky is at my house right now, crying her eyes out, completely ruining her makeup because of what you did to her.”
“Okay. And which post was it that she found offensive. Because I was busy that day. There was the Mother’s day video, the dancing monkeys, the naked—”
“The flowers! It was the flowers! How could you be so insensitive?”
“She doesn’t like flowers?”
“OF COURSE SHE LIKES FLOWERS!” Judy took a deep breath. “She’s in mourning. And we all made a pact not to post anything happy or celebatory on Mother’s day out of respect.”
“I’m very sorry to hear about Becky’s loss. Who was it that passed?”
“Eugene. And it’s been a very difficult time for her.”
“When did Eugene die?”
“12 years ago, on Mother’s day.”
“12 years ago? Who’s that guy I see bringing the mail inside everyday?”
“That’s her husband, Brian.”
“So who’s Eugene?”
“Eugene was her award-winning fern.”
“A fern? This whole conversation is about a fern?”
“Eugene wasn’t just any fern. He was a county, state, and national arboretum prize-winning fern. She grew him from a tiny little seedling. Nutured him. Sang to him. Kept him warm and dry.”
“Warm and dry? Sounds to me like we know what his cause of death was.”
“Will you be serious?!”
“About a fern who died 12 years ago? It’ll be a challenge but I’ll try. And FYI, I haven’t known you or Becky for 12 years. So there’s no way I could’ve known about your pact.”
“Clarissa and I posted subtle reminders all over Facebook as well as the HOA’s website. We even went door to door, passing out pamphlets announcing a celebration of life event that you didn’t bother attending.”
“Let me guess. Was the celebration of life event held on Mother’s day?”
“I had plans. With my family. Because it was Mother’s day.”
“I’m well aware that it was Mother’s day. And your post, showing the world pictures of the flowers your husband bought you, was cruel and thoughtless. Honestly, A. Marie. It’s not all about you.”
“Well, in my house, on that day, it was. My husband set his alarm to get up and make me breakfast. He fixed pancakes, bacon, and eggs. He put on a pot of coffee. Bought me coffee creamer, two cards, and a bottle of wine. And all day long he cleaned. He took care of the kids. He fixed all the meals. He was the designated adult that day.”
“How nice for you. Can we get back to Becky?”
“The fern has been dead for 12 years. Becky needs to get over it.”
“In all my life I’ve never encountered anyone so inconsiderate and rude!” Judy screamed into the phone. Her face was bright red. She turned toward Clarissa and Becky who sat huddled on the sofa. “This isn’t over, Ladies, not by a long shot. She is on my shit list. I will make that woman pay!”