Last night after Mutual I took a few girls home. This is not so unusual, but a few things happened last night that were.
One of the 14 year old girls to whom I normally play chauffeur (chaufesse? Just kidding.) had made friends with a couple of Beehives over the course of the evening. They wanted to ride together, so I said I'd take them all, even though I hadn't brought my purse or cell phone. I live two blocks from the church building and hadn't known I'd be driving. The Beehives live in the next town over. All three girls in my car came from the Spanish branch closely associated with our ward. (We have our auxiliaries together.)
We got in the car, which my husband just bought last week. I told the Mia Maid she could work the radio. She ejected my husband's REM cd, found a hip hop station and cranked up the bass. (I still can't even figure out how to turn the darn thing on and off. Too many years of factory stereos, I guess.)
The girls proceeded to roll down their windows and yell and wave at every car we passed, especially low-riders full of guys. "Those are my brother's friends," one Beehive explained to me in a rare English-speaking moment. Then they all launched into rapid-fire Spanish again. It wasn't the last time in the evening's exploits that I regretted my insistence on studying French in school. (I did it just to spite my mother, an alumna of an Ecuadorian mission. Sorry, Mom. You were right.)
We made it to the next town just fine and dropped off the first Beehive in her trailer park. She begged me to wait while she got a pen so she could write down the other girls' phone numbers. As soon as she disappeared into her home, the Mia Maid said, "That girl just farted in your new car."
She returned and wrote the numbers on her hand. We waited to make sure she got back in okay. Just as we were pulling out, a young guy walked toward my car. "Who are you ladies?" he asked loudly. By this time we were already pulling away.
As we pulled out of the trailer park the remaining girls told me he was following us. I looked. No one was there, either in a car or on foot. I told them so. Yet they insisted that he was following us until we pulled off the main street into a neighborhood. I think they thrive on drama.
Once the imaginary stalker was forgotten, we began taking crazy turns. "Left!" Maria, the other Beehive, would call out, when there was no left turn in sight. "Right!" After a while I began to think she was just directing me at random and enjoying the ride.
I stopped the car. "Do you know where we are?" I asked.
"Sort of. Yes," she replied. Meantime, the Mia Maid was tearing into her in Spanish.
"What's the name of the street you live on?"
"I don't know."
Eventually, I saw the freeway. At least I'll be able to get out, if I ever get her home, I thought. The radio by this time was playing something vaguely obscene. I turned it off. Maria shouted "RIGHT! AY YI, you missed it!" We turned around and came back. Another trailer park. She got out.
As we watched her go inside, the Mia Maid said, "I don't think this is where she lives. She said something about her boyfriend."
After a lot of questioning about whether she was serious, she admitted she wasn't sure if that was what Maria had said. I took her home, in our town. Not to where she actually lives, but to another relative's house -- one I knew this time, at least. In her home, she said, her uncle was shot last week. He's in the hospital, and her mom wants her out of the area until things cool down. "For the rest of the week," she said.
Her key to the gate of the apartment was confiscated because she messes around with it too much. So we waited for someone to drive up and open the gate.
I got home from Mutual at 9:40 and called to make sure I had dropped Maria off at the right place. I did. What a relief. And I think she was just lost trying to get there from the other girl's house. (I don't know the other girl's name. How bad is that?)
So here's what I think. My two little boys give me a lot of grief. But it has to do with big messes, breaking stuff, throwing tantrums. I hope and pray that's as bad as it gets. I don't think I could take this kind of girl-drama as a parent. It would kill me.