I envied her. I wanted to be her. I wanted her house, her clothes and her car. I had a house, clothes and a car but hers were better. Even her name was better. Yolanda. The long sound of exotic promise. My name? A blah Pam. Like a cooking spray, over and done with so your eggs don’t stick.
I admired my new neighbor from afar but not in silence. “Isn’t she beautiful?” I said to my husband.
“Who?” He drove right past her on the street.
“Yolanda!” Pencil skirt and little booties, Cleopatra eyes, for the minimart yet! The fruit man dropped his peaches when she swanned in. Me in sweats—still two sizes away from my pre-partum jeans—breastmilk leaking through my nursing bra into my T-shirt, in such a funk when I drove home, I scarfed down a full sleeve of Mallomars before I even got my groceries out of the car.
“Oh her,” Burt said, eyes on the road. “Not my type. You’re fine for me.”
“Fine for you! What does that mean?! And stop patting my high like I’m some kind of puppy.”
“You used to like it when I patted your thigh. Used to like it a lot.” A quick side-eye.
Not that again. I know sweetie. But I’m still sore there. Sore and tired, taking care of the baby, and I don’t which end is up.”
“Maybe it’s that partim thing?”
“What partim thing?
“You know! When you get bummed out after you have a baby. That article you gave me to read.”
“You mean postpartum depression?”
“Yeah, that’s it. Get a sitter a few days a week. Call in the groceries and have them sent over.” I wouldn’t have to run into Yolanda then, and eat my heart out.“Give yourself some me time. Isn’t that what women want now, me time.”
“Well, yes,” I said. Burt was trying, even though he sounded more condescending than enlightened. “Time for me. That would be nice.”
He gave me a smile with a hug in it. I leaned my head on his shoulder. But I still wasn’t ready to get between the sheets.