Butterflies were fluttering in the pit of her stomach as the clock struck seven.
She looked into the dining to make sure the dinner table was set and then did a mental check of the different dishes she planned to serve.
Dan’s parents were bringing their pastor, who had married them, for dinner - for the first time. He apparently wanted to check that “they were still on the right track” (Dan’s mother Sheila’s words)!
She now had one hour to get herself ready and was still undecided about what to wear. What was the correct attire to wear around a pastor? Dan’s parents were liberal and never commented about what she wore. But a pastor was surely different.
She was also rounder and wider in certain areas after giving birth to their second child Aisha seven months ago. She should have gone shopping for a free flowing dress, but Sheila had only told her about the dinner plans yesterday afternoon.
Dan was getting their three-year-old son Omari dressed and it was no easy task. The little rascal did not like wearing clothes, so you would have to chase him around then somehow hold him down as you forced the clothes on him.
He enjoyed squirming and wiggling about as you tried to get the clothes on him. Most days, he and Lucy let him stay naked in the house. But, today they were having guests, having clothes on was not an option.
Dan was actually sweating and trying his hardest to remain calm. How could a small child have so much energy and will power?
“Babe, I need your help,” Lucy called out to Dan.
The only free flowing dress she had needed to be zipped up and she had used all her energy to get into the full body spanx. She also still needed to put on her makeup, which was another 15-20 minutes. She was cutting it close, as it was now 7:20pm.
“What is this you’re wearing?” Dan asked, confused by the tent his wife had put on. He had never seen her dressed so badly, not even when she was heavily pregnant.
Lucy gave him a killer look, but then took a deep breath to calm herself. There was no time to start a fight.
“Listen, your parent’s pastor is coming over for the first time, so this is the only decent thing I have. Now come and zip me up. Is Omari dressed?”
Dan walked over to where Lucy was standing and fought the urge to argue. She looked ridiculous, but he was already exhausted from getting their son ready.
“Alright, it’s your call. But, I don’t think you realise how bad you look,” even before the words came out of his mouth he knew he had stuck his foot in it.
Lucy gave him a dirty look and yanked his hands off the zip.
“Babe, sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s the dress, not you,” he said trying to look as apologetic as possible.
“Don’t bother. Just leave my ugly self alone. I’m sorry that you’ll be stuck with me during dinner!” Lucy said, trying to sound as vengeful as possible.
Dan could be so insensitive sometimes. He probably didn’t even realise how much effort she had put into this dinner, just for him and his parents.
She could have been like those wives who did the bare minimum, but no, not her. She had to go all out. Why was she even trying to impress a pastor she had actually never met.
She should just wear whatever she wanted. Dan’s parents didn’t care what she wore so why was she trying to impress a stranger? A pastor was different though, right? They were rigid and strict, right? Then a sinister idea popped into her head. She’d show Dan, she smiled to herself.
Dan was in a tickling match with Omari when Lucy walked into the living room wearing the sexiest dinner dress he’d ever seen her in. She looked stunning and he only stopped staring because Omari punched him in the most painful area, and knocked the wind out of him.
“Dada, tickle me, tickle me,” Omari said, oblivious to his father’s pain.
Lucy tried to hide her smile as Dan writhed in pain. He deserved it for his stupid comment. She was also gloating because he’d reacted the way she had wanted him to. The black, off-the-shoulder dinner dress was tighter than she’d prefer, but she did own it.
She went into the kitchen to make sure everything was still on track.
The guests arrived at 8pm on the dot. Dan’s parents were sticklers for punctuality. Lucy welcomed them into the living room and offered them beverages.
The pastor asked for some black tea while Dan’s parents had their usual glass of dry red wine. Dan served them while Lucy went to the kitchen to ask the nanny to warm the food.
Omari was lapping up all the attention back there. He was currently trying to get his grandfather to chase him around while also pretending to not like the kisses his grandmother would give him each time he ran past her.
Lucy was dreading trying to get Omari to sleep so that they could have their dinner in peace. The baby was already asleep. She had adopted the sleeping schedule without much fuss. Lucy thought about how Aisha was in that nice age, before all the hyper energy.
By the time they sat down at the dinner table, Omari was even more hyper and was singing gibberish at the top of his voice.
Lucy and Dan looked at each other helplessly because there was nothing they could do when the grandparents were around and Omari knew it. They managed to negotiate with their three-year-old and he grudgingly agreed to sit between his grandparents.
Lucy could see the look of disapproval on the pastor’s face. She and Dan knew they needed to do more to control Omari, but he was a feisty child.
Omari did not sit for more than 10 minutes and Lucy was thankful to see him go off to his room. She called out to the nanny to keep him busy so they could finish eating.
“You have a beautiful home, Dan,” the pastor said.
Dan thanked him and smiled at Lucy. He knew she was the one who kept their home running. She had also cooked his favourite foods. He remembered why he had picked her to be his wife.
Lucy looked at Dan trying to hide her exasperation. How come he was getting all the credit for their “nice” home? She wondered if he even noticed how much effort she had put into this dinner, just to impress his family’s pastor. Plus, she could barely breathe through the excruciatingly tight spanx. Why had she even bothered wearing them?
Just as she was considering going to change, Omari ran into the dining room dressed in only his underwear.
“Grandma, look at my spider,” the little boy shouted to his grandmother, while pointing to his underwear.
“Oh no!” Lucy called out while standing up to grab her son.
Omari then bolted off and excitedly waited for his mother to chase him.
Lucy cornered him in his room and tried to grab him.
Dan was left explaining to the pastor that his son was pointing to the spiderman picture on his underwear. However, the grandparents and pastor were busy dying of laughter. It was great culmination to a great evening.