Cosmetic surgery was out of the question. Too expensive. For that matter, so was a new bra.
If you could take out a mortgage to pay for something as mundane as shelter, you certainly could add to your Visa debt in order to turn your life around.
Or you could ask Mom.
Grace Dellaconta was a big woman with a big heart and a bigger mouth. She loved her daughter a lot. But listening was not her strong suit. Amy had learned to create situations where there were natural limits on any conversation, Otherwise, she could drown in her mother's words.
A lot was riding on this bra-buying expedition so Amy planned well in advance. The kids were central to the strategy. First, Amy told Grace about her insight, about being able to choose her direction in life. Then she revealed her first choice - the perkification of her boobs.
Mother approved. Buying new underwear was an important developmental milestone in life. It started at puberty and continued through gaining weight, losing weight, getting pregnant, nursing children, finishing nursing, et cetera, et cetera. At each stage of womanhood, new underwear was a new foundation. So to speak.
Grace could be pretty profound when it came to lace, elastic, foam and cotton. Amy had to interrupt to get to the point. It wasn't so much her need, but her neediness.
This was really a form of begging from a blood relative, but Amy preferred to think of it as a way her mother and she could feel closer without having to spend much time together.
In any case, Grace was more than happy to pay.
Then Amy asked for one more favor.
"Of course, darling," said Grace.
"Would you watch the kids while I go shopping?"
This was the trickiest bit because Grandma didn't like being Grandma while the kids were still kids. When Carmen was born, Grace promised to do lots of things with her as soon as she was a little older. How old? Amy asked. Eighteen, said Grace. Carmen was one and a half when Amy discovered that her grandmother meant 18 years not months.
Grace's reasoning was simple: kids were too childish. Short-attention spans. Poor listeners.
Grace had quit procreating after one kid. Not that Amy ruined her first marriage or anything. Or made it hard with husbands two and three. It was just easier now that Amy was grown up. Easier to talk.
Amy could hear the disappointment in her mother's voice as she finally agreed to look after the kids. The tone of voice was meant to engender guilt and then that guilt was meant to produce contrition and finally inspire Amy to call her back and tell her she didn't have to watch the kids after all.
Amy put down the telephone and smiled. She looked at her children. They seemed so happy. Carmen was trying to dress up Bartlette to match Space Shuttle Barbie by using aluminum foil, glitter glue and Amy's bathing cap. Meanwhile, Ferguson had taken off his shirt and was dancing to the CD of Latin music that Charlie/Adonis had left behind. Ferguson frowned with concentration while he gyrated his hips to the rhythm. The pre-school salsa stripper.
Amy shook her head. She loved her kids so very much. Almost as much as she loved the idea of an afternoon away from them.
You see, Amy had kept a little information from her mother.
She wasn't shopping alone.
(more to come)
For those who are new here, A is for Amy & Adonis is a comic story of romantic redemption. The aim is to provide a fun and fast read with characters you can connect to emotionally.
There are 26 short chapters. But it's easy to catch up. The chapters just take a few minutes to read. And here they are:
READ FIRST FIVE POSTS (just click on the one you want)--
Nota Bene -- All the chapters will be archived on Huffpost so people will be able to catch up with the story no matter how late they come to the novella.
I have decided to post two chapters a week. So, if you like what you read here, stay tuned with Huffpost email alerts or follow me on Twitter. --Steven
Follow Steven Crandell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stevencrandell