Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mrs. Lee and April Fool's

When my family lived in College Station, Texas, we had a very large, round, quirky next-door-neighbor-woman, about 60, who wore flowered muu-muus, thick black-rimmed glasses, and her nearly-white hair in a blunt page-boy. Mrs. Lee's personality was as large as she was, always a happy "hello" and a chat over the fence whenever we were outside, and the subject of conversation once we were indoors.

On April Fool's Day, oh, about 1972 or so, when I was 7, my mom came into my room and said breathlessly, "You're never going to believe this." "What, what?" "No, I can't tell you." "Mom!" "...Mrs. Lee is lying out in her yard getting a suntan...and she's NAKED!" "NO!"

The humongous Mrs. Lee naked! That I had to see. My eyes popped and I grinned and started to run for the window, but then remembered: It was April Fool's Day. And my mom was gooood at April Fool's jokes. I stopped dead in my tracks and locked eyes with her, completely torn. I soooooo wanted to see our wacky neighbor naked! But my mom was making it up. Or was she?! Do I act cool and say, "Oh, Mom, you can't fool me." Or do I run to the window out of pure wishfulness, knowing still that it wasn't going to be true... My mom and I stood staring at each other, me looking anxious and befuddled, her looking amused at my mental dilemma. I couldn't help it. I bolted for the window, hoping against hope...

"April Fool!" Mom laughed. Darnit! And then we both started wondering and chatting, in awe: "But what if she really HAD been naked? Can you imagine?!"

For some reason, that stands out to me as the best April Fool's trick I ever had played on me. The minor psychological torment at the decision I had to make! The emotional excitement the whole time! :)

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