The kids and I, despite being rotten sick all week, ventured out via wagon to mail an important letter (to Santa, natch!). I was hoping to make a swift (under 10 minute) trip to the mail-box and back, let all of us air out our sinuses and get some fresh air. Alas - it was not meant to be - as we ran into "drunk Jenny" (and yes, the name has been changed to protect, well, the drunk), stumbling along the sidewalk attempting to walk her dog. I should mention here, that the moniker "drunk Jenny" is actually a rather fond one - Jenny is very sweet and was very welcoming when we moved to the neighbourhood. The problem with 'drunk Jenny' (again, other than the constant drunkenness) is that it's really, really tough to find a segue in which to leave the conversation. And sometimes, you have to actually, well, leave when she's still talking. I know - it sounds terrible, but I've discovered that there actually often isn't another way to do it. Anyhow - one of the funny things about good old Jenny is that even though we've talked, oh probably more than twenty or thirty times, and even though she's met both kids repeatedly, she frequently has no idea what their names are. But the funny thing is, she just seems to pick some names out of the air and bestow them. She gets the adult names right, though L. and I are largely interchangeable, but the kids names - right outta thin air!
On this day, the kids were - wait for it - Dick and Mary. Yes indeedy. (You night ask yourself what self-respecting lezzie would name their kids after a highly popular slang for penis and Christ's virgin mother, respectively - I know I did.) She chatted away to us, exclaiming over had "Dick" was getting so grown up, and how she hardly recognized "Mary", and so on and so forth. Boy-o looked confused as hell, Girlio refused to make eye contact, and I spend a good chunk of time trying not to guffaw. As always, the conversation dragged on, so I made the mistake of trying to exit by saying that we were off to mail our Santa letter to the North Pole, which lead to, it appeared, drunk Jenny working up to letting it slip that there was no Santa Claus. Oh Jeez - social graces or not, I hightailed it outta there - Jenny still chatter/shouting after us, shouting something along the lines of it not mattering about our Santa letter, he probably wouldn't bring anything anyways. Sigh. Oh drunk Jenny.
As we made our escape and were safely out of earshot, Boy-o, who hasn't generally said anything about these run-ins with drunk Jenny, turned to me and said: "Mama? Who are Dick and Mary?"
Me: "That's a good question - buddy. I think Jenny gets a bit confused sometimes."
Boy-o: "Like that stuff about Santa?"
Me: "Yeah - she didn't seem to know Santa very well, did she?"
Boy-o "That's okay - she was a bit wobbly..."
Me: "Yes, she certainly was."
And so ended the debrief of our chance meeting with drunk Jenny; our belief in Santa's magic (and the need to take wobbly people with a big grain of salt) safely intact. Whew!