Just seconds ago Garth, from the US Census Bureau, knocked on the door. He had come to fill out another report since ours got lost in the mail, or something like that. I gave my littlest homey a crusty for answering the door--that's a no-no in our house. Only adults are allowed to answer the door.
I swept the bitterness and my bangs to the side, and let southern hospitality gush from my lips.
"Can I help you?" I said smiling.
"Um, yes, this will take just 10 minutes of your ti..." I cut him off along with the artificial genteel and said, "We filled that baby out already. Mailed it out over a month ago."
"Oh. Well I'm so sorry to hear that. You can never count on the US mail system; it's a real shame...Anyway, the Census requires that I interview you again, so that we can update our records."
"Well I can't right now; I'm writing a research paper." (A TOTAL LIE, and I can't believe how easily the lie formed and came to save the day. I'm not proud.)
I continued, "Besides, we already spent hours filling the thing out, and now you're telling me it was lost in the mail?" He nodded and smiled. "You know what?" I said. "This Census reporting system is inefficient. I spent my time filling the thing out, and now you're here telling me it's lost. I just can't believe my tax dollars are paying for all this wasted time. Do you even know that our local schools are running out of paper? What's happening to this country?"
"When would be a better time to come back? It has to be filled out by Saturday," he said calmly.
"Well Friday and Saturday are busy, so is Sunday the Sabbath; it's Mother's Day. Then on Monday, it's my birthday."
"Happy birthday! " he said, resting his clipboard on his hip. "I understand you're so busy, but..."
I cut him off again, "You bet I'm busy. Then on Tuesday I have a dentist appointment, a presidency meeting, then I'm volunteering in the cafeteria, and going to two baseball games after that. Wednesday we have dance, Karate, piano practice. Then on Thursday I'm starting my period, and you'll want to steer clear, so looks likes you'll have to come back next month!"
"I'll let you decide when I can come back, but please remember that we really need to get this filled out. It's the law."
Just as I slammed the door on Garth, a little speck of doubt landed on my heart. Maybe I didn't actually mail it in, I thought. I ran back to my junk mail pile and flipped through months of old papers. Nothing. Then I slid open another drawer and rummaged through my note cards. Nothing. As I began closing the drawer, I heard something heavy slide down the backside of the cabinet. I opened the cupboard door and lo and behold, ding-ding-ding, there was the Census.
"You're a fat jerk," I said as I ran to catch Garth.
As he was pulling away he must of caught sight of my flailing arms in his rearview mirror. He stopped, then rolled backwards in his SUV, and before he could get his window down, I started, "I found it. Look right here. See it? I lied. I'm a big, fat jerk of a liar, and I'm so sorry. Do I still have to fill the report out with you?"
"Well I can't. You already know that. But I'm going to mail this right now. Then we'll see what happens. I know you're just doing your job, but you don't ever need to come back. I just came out to say sorry for being such a snot. Sorry."
"Apology accepted." And he drove away.
Sometimes I wish I were a little more civilized. I'm an embarrassment to this family of mine (and to mi Madre). I had better shape-up and fly right.
P.S. That's the face my homegurl will make when she hears about my latest shenanigans; she's embarrassed to be my daughter. I can't blame her.
P.P.S I really didn't tell Garth that I was starting my period; that's inappropriate.