When I was growing up, I had one sister four years older and the other one twelve years younger, therefore I looked to my neighborhood for a suitable sister-friend. I found one in my neighborhood playmate, Karen. She and I were closest during the “dress-up” years. We loved it.
Karen had a “dress-up” box containing all sorts of fancy clothes her mother and older sisters no longer wanted. Best of all, of course, were the high heels. We put on anything and everything found in the box, added hats and gloves, and then the grand finale – the high heels. Now, our feet were small and the shoes were far too large so we stuffed socks in the toes in order to keep them on. Then we would stuff socks in our shirts so we could have boobs. Sometimes, she’d have a tube of lipstick from one of her sisters and we’d put it all around our mouths and smile, getting it on our teeth.
Now, we didn’t want to let this all go to waste, so we’d wobble around the neighborhood to be noticed. One day we had an idea. We decided to call on a particular neighbor who was rumored to have a painting of a naked lady in her entry. The woman and her husband didn’t have little girls, so there was no reason for us to go knocking on her door. Yet, Karen and I reasoned we probably looked like grown-ups, dressed up the way we were, and maybe she’d invite us in for a visit. That way we could see if there was any truth to the naked lady rumor.
As we approached the door, I felt nervous. What if she knew we were only there to see if she really did have a naked lady picture in her entry? Would she call our moms and tell on us? Karen said to be brave. She would do the talking while I looked into the entry. Then I’d have to do the talking while she took a turn. The lady would never know what we were looking for. We rang the bell. It went like this:
The door opens and the neighbor lady checks us out with wide eyes, arched brows, and a grin.
“Well, hello girls. Don’t you look nice.” Was that a snicker she was trying to hide?
“What can I do for you?” I wanted to tell her she could open the door a bit wider and step aside.
“Oh, we’re just out for a walk,” Karen explained. “We just thought we’d stop by and say hello.”
“Well,” the neighbor smirked without laughing. “That’s very nice of you and I must say you girls look so grown up.”
“Thank you,” we replied in unison, pleased that our costuming was so believable.
“Actually, we are grown up,” I quipped. “Would you like us to come in?” I was craning my neck to see past her as I spoke. Karen, it seemed, had forgotten to do the talking and was staring past her as well. Our neighbor took a quick glance behind her as if trying to figure out what we were looking at, then turned her attention back to us.
“Well ladies, as much as I’d like to visit with you, I’m really busy today.” She said this while I attempted to lock eyes with her so Karen could continue craning her neck and see if she could spot the naked lady.
“Oh, well, okay then,” I hesitated. “Maybe another time.” I smiled as she stepped to the side to close the door.
“Yes, that would be nice,” she nodded. “You two have fun.” And that’s when we saw it! For the few seconds it took her to politely close the door in our faces, we caught a glimpse of the naked lady painting.
“That’s it?” we asked each other, truly disappointed. “That’s what our brother’s are always laughing about? It was just the back of a lady!”
“I know, I know.” I acknowledged. “And you could hardly even tell she was naked! And…she was sitting down. You couldn’t even see her bottom. Our brothers are so stupid.”
“Yeah,” Karen agreed, looking thoroughly depressed as she and I teetered in our high heels while struggling to walk back up the hill to her yard. “And you know what else? I don’t think she really believes we’re all grown up.”