For starters: I suddenly bonded with Mackenzie yesterday. We were initiating her and then there was talking...and as I write this I realize that I should probably let you in on our initiation routine.
I did some research on this and decided that I wanted significantly less pomp and circumstance than the Skull and Bones have...but still it needed to be something significant. (Also - we won't refer to ourselves as "matriarchs" or "elders" or anything naffy like that. We'll be Cohorts...and maybe Esteemed, Revered, Goddess-like Founders.)
So we all went for a walk: Bec, Madi, Mackenzie, and myself. Down the still-chipper elevators to the 7-11, where we fortified ourselves with Slurpees and Twix. Yum. Then we piled into Mackenzie's car and headed to Fair Park.
Bec, Madi, and I were in what I like to refer to as "Daisy Buchanan" dresses: long, flowing, white. Perfect for the weather and for dressing comfortably over our respective accutrements. I was carrying a bag with Mackenzie's outfit in it: similar dress, white veil. Also we had three cans of spray-chalk: black, pink, and white. The glorious bit about the spray chalk: behaves like spray paint, washes away with a hose or a rainstorm.
Fair Park - I don't know if you know so I'll just tell you - is the largest collection of Art Deco buildings in one place in the country. It's wicked. We picked the Esplanade for the most visibility. And don't go thinking that Fair Park is deserted when the State Fair isn't going on - it's always got people there. The Mounted Police Headquarters is there. A Ton of museums. The DAR house...rehearsal halls...The Hall Of State....you get my point. And we were going in broad daylight. None of this chicken-shit "under the cover of darkness" crap. We're getting in everyone's little faces. We're here. Get used to it. Lighten up because is nothing else, we'll make you laugh.
Except for this. This was serious. It was relatively quick, especially since we'd already given her a lot of information. So when we got there I handed her the bag and told her to change in the car and put on the veil and bring the cans when she came. The rest of us trooped over to the Esplanade and spread out a picnic blanket: Madi had the basket of food. We settled down with cheese and crackers and Coke and chatted while we waited.
"Oh. I came up with a new name for you," I said to Bec. She looked visibly relieved but also a little trepidatious, understandably.
"Really? When?" Madi asked around a cube of cheddar. That girl likes her cheese.
"Last night. I was watching the History Channel and it just came to me." I smiled and took a deliberately long drag of my drink. Bec just stared at me. I smiled back at her.
"Stop looking smug and tell me!"
"Kaiser." I was rewarded with two slow blinks.
"Kaiser? As in Wilhelm?" Madi, but I didn't answer because as she was speaking, Bec was saying: "I'm to be named after a dictator?" I just nodded. This clearly needed to sink in a moment. As luck would have it, Mackenzie walked up at that moment.
She looked great in white, I must say. It's a little unfair, since I love wearing white. My Shirley Manson complexion makes it not so flattering, though. (I get Shirley Manson a lot. Except that I'm IRISH.) Mackenzie, however, is native Hawaiian...with just enough Japanese to give her eyes that cat-like quality the boys love. White was so natural on her. The veil was corny, but as Rite-Of-Passage garb goes, it could be worse. I pulled out my camera, snapped a couple of shots of the rest and then handed it to Bec, who took over in her role as "secretary."
"Mackenzie Sapphire," I said, standing and trying to hide my 5-year-old snicker. I cleared my throat and continued: "You have been chosen to join the Society Tuesday. The goal of our Society is to bring laughter and light to a world full of dullness and drudgery. By joining us, you welcome the bonds of a Sisterhood that will never break. By joining us, you become an accomplice." I paused and smiled. "Do you wish to join?"
"Yes, please." It was sweet, the way she said it as thought I'd offered her dessert.
"Your Society name - the name you will be called when in the presence of other Society members - and ONLY other society members - is Smack." She snickered and nodded. "In your hands are three cans of paint. Pick a column, and tag it with your new name." She nodded once, marched over to one of the middle columns, and painted out an almost professional looking grafitti. The 's' twirled out and encompassed the other letters. Pink outline, black interior, and white to make the letters 3d. It took her less than five minutes and she was sitting on the blanket snacking with us before anyone in any of the surrounding buildings had any idea what was going on. Naturally. we shoved the veil into the picnic basket the minute she came back. Well, we wrapped the cans in it and then shoved it into the basket.
"Can we go back to "Kaiser", please?" Bec said after we'd settled in.
"Sure. I think it's perfect. Unless you'd rather be "Kaiserin," which is the feminine." I popped some cheese and watched her.
"I'm not the empress. I'm not the leader. I'm just along for the ride."
"Hardly." Smack snorted. "You've been incapacitated the majority of the time I've known you, and even I can tell you're never just along for the ride. You've got more of a plan than Pam does." She hooked her thumb at me. I chose not to take offense because she was right.
"The leadership is a trio. It's perfect. Lala brings the fun and the plan. I - Hazmat - bring the action and the strategy. Not always in that order. And Kaiser keeps the initiates in line. Hell, Kaiser keeps everyone in line. And sane. And makes Lala's plans make sense. You take her abstraction and make it applicable. It's perfect."
"I rescind my objections. I'm not tagging anything, though." We fell into a few minutes of silence, which was broken by the sound of horse hoofs. Bec stiffened but the rest of us managed to remain calm.
"Yes, officer?" Madi asked.
"Hi ladies. Having a picnic?"
"Yes, sir. I just read The Great Gatsby for a summer class that I'm taking and I thought it would be fun to come out and see the period architecture and have a little snack. I'm going to write a paper on design eras. Is that alright?" Madi lied so smoothly it scared me.
"Just be sure to pick up after yourselves." He nodded, we said "good afternoon" and he left.
And then Bec/Kaiser dropped her bomb:
"Lars and I broke up." Then she popped a pain pill and refused to talk about it.
The problems there: that was her 3rd pain pill in as many hours. And she Broke Up With Lars. There will be conversations about that. I need details. And I'm not very patient.