“It’s utterly bizarre!” said Suzanna Willoughby of The Fords. “This is a perfectly good, $14 pinot grigio but it’s like the Rapture around here.”
After sitting on the driveway alone for 45 minutes in a folding chair featuring FSU’s logo, Willoughby acknowledged it was starting to feel a little awkward. “At first I thought it was the pandemic.” She waved her hand. “But only the Democrats and people over 60 are taking that seriously anymore.”
She got up and repositioned the extra, empty chair across from her so it was a few inches more socially distant.
“It’s not like I can put up a sign,” she said. “That would look too desperate.”
Willoughby’s husband, Will, wasn’t available because, she said, he was bathing the kids or “maybe shouting at his favorite cable news show.” She added, “You see, this is my special mommy time. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely want to be alone in terms of family.” She took a drink. “But not empty-driveway alone. That’s a whole new level of lonely.”
Willoughby paused to wave wildly at a passing SUV. She even raised her glass to indicate she was drinking. “Look, there’s Heather!” she said excitedly.
Her friend, however, just waved back and kept driving, prompting a look of incredulity and some muttering from Willoughby. “Look at Miss Snooty, pretending she still has soccer or cello lessons.” She shook her head. “For God’s sake, it’s Thursday evening,” she added. “It’s not like it’s Tuesday at 3 p.m. or Monday morning. In college we’d all be really drunk by now.”
The mosquitoes, Willoughby acknowledge, can occasionally pose a challenge to filling driveway gatherings. “At times they’re thirstier than I am.” She laughed loudly. “But only at times.”
Willoughby poured herself a second glass and looked up and down the street. “Maybe they’re all protesting.” She took a sip. “I hear a lot of people are protesting these days.”
She held up her hand. “Please don’t misunderstand. Some of my best friends are protesters, but some things are sacred. Like mommy’s Thursday night driveway happy hour.”
With a laugh, Willoughby took another drink.
Willoughby pulled her phone out of her chair’s cupholder. “This is crazy. I even texted Ashley, Jessica and Nicole.” She waved her phone. “They’re totally ghosting me. They’re forgetting the number one rule of driveway happy hour. The best way not to get talked about is to be here to talk about everyone else.”
Willoughby shot a frustrated frown down the street, downed her glass, poured a bit more and downed that. She finally stood, dragged the two folding chairs back into her open garage and gestured with her nose across the street. “That’s it. I’m done. I refuse to give that snot Emily over there the satisfaction of spying on me with her Ring doorbell camera sitting alone over here.”
With that, Willoughby’s garage door closed.
By Emily Whitmore
This fictional story is satire and is intended solely for entertainment.