Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 56byrpsuch©
“I’m a little sleepy,” I said. “I was in line at Best Buy at 4:00 in the morning so I could get some really great bargains.”
“You did not,” said Sandy, in challenging disbelief.
“Of course not. Nobody in my family has ever looked for a bargain in their lives.”
We went to the King of Prussia Mall, so many choices.
“You’re doing a good job on your makeup,” I told her.
“I know. Guys have started noticing me.” The way she said it seemed to have extra meaning.
“Anybody special?” I asked.
“I don’t know him.”
“He’s our quarterback. We’re not very good, but he’s very popular and he is a hottie.”
“What’s he like?” I asked.
“I don’t know him very well. But he smiles at me and he follows me with his eyes and I see him looking at me all the time.”
“Is he with other girls when he does any of this?”
“Yeah, some of the time. Sometimes he’s with the guys.”
“But he hasn’t come over and talked to you?” I asked.
“Not yet. But it’s just a matter of time.”
“Has Sunny talked to you about this?”
“Please. I haven’t told her. Not everybody babbles like Jeff. When he babbles,” she tried to correct herself. “He doesn’t babble, he’s just, too open. You really can’t be that open with your Mom.”
That wasn’t the issue I wanted to argue.
“Did Sunny ever talk to you about jocks, hotties, the popular crowd, quarterbacks?”
“As if,” she said. “The only quarterbacks Mom met were the ones she tutored.”
I took a deep breath.
“You know how I feel about you, Sandy. I think you’re beautiful, brilliant, funny and a sweet soul. I love having you in my life. Some day those kids may too, if you have any interest in hanging out with them.
“I was one of them. Don’t forget how I treated Jeff back then. The only thing important to me was me. If I was thinking about associating with you, I would look at it in terms of what it did for me.
“This guy may think you’re hot. He may really like you in his mind, even though he hasn’t met you so he couldn’t possibly have any idea how terrific you are.
“He may grow up to be a wonderful guy some day. But, considering the genetic good fortune he’s had, the athletic success, the friends he’s made, the people who suck up to him, the odds are when he’s gotten all the me stuff he can out of you, he’ll have no further use for you and he’ll dump you without a thought.
“I’m not saying this because I think there’s anything wrong with you. I’m saying it because I’m betting there’s something wrong with him.”
I paused to assess her reaction. She didn’t seem too receptive.
“You don’t have to listen to what I’m telling you, Sandy, but I like you too much to let you go out there without at least a warning.”
She wasn’t taking it well. I could see she wasn’t far from tears. I closed the gap and took her in my arms. We rocked.
I spoke very softly. “Sandy, if your friend isn’t willing to tell you you’ve got a booger hanging out of your nose, she isn’t worth having as a friend. You have to be willing to say something that may seem harsh to protect your friends.”
She took a moment.
“You’re right. We’re not always enthusiastic about telling each other the truth in this family, but we’re not afraid either.”
“I seem to recall you’re not exactly shy about being forthright yourself.”
“I have my moments,” she said, smiling.
“I know you’re probably not going to take my advice. Nobody seems to want to take advantage of somebody else’s terrible experiences to avoid their own suffering. But I feel better having warned you.”
“You’re forgiven,” she said.
I gave her a remonstrative look.
“Sorry, thank you for your brutal honesty.” She giggled.
“And now I’m going to give aid and comfort to the enemy. Let’s buy you some clothes to make you look irresistible.”
We got her a basic black dress, the keystone of any wardrobe. Her body looked sensational wearing it. Along with her flawless skin and skillful makeup I informed her of the image she presented.
“Hot,” I said, but it took around two seconds to get that “sentence“ out.
I bought her a few more dazzling items before she started to complain I was spending too much.
“You’ve never been to my house,” I said.
It was a cross between a question and an explanation.
She shook her head.
“It’s time to correct that.”
I wanted her to see my closet. I kind of expected an, “Oh, my God,” but she just walked around with her mouth open. She was so overwhelmed by the magnitude of my wardrobe she couldn’t come up with a single word.
She pawed through dresses, skirts and blouses. She lovingly fondled shoes. She carefully picked up pocketbooks as if they were sacred objects.
When she was finally ready, albeit reluctantly, to leave the temple of my closet, I asked, “We good?”
Sandy nodded, her mouth still open.
When I dropped her off we shared a meaningful hug.
The meaning it had to me led me to start calling to talk to Sandy on a regular basis.