One Red Rose
Joanne Faries
That is why two eighty year old women, Ida Mae and Mabel Sue, wrestled on the dirt floor of the barn.
 
Let me back up and fill you in on the story. It started late January. Chrissy and I were bored when her mom said, “You girls straighten the attic.” We trudged up the narrow steps, careful to not bump heads on low slung rafters.
 
We surveyed the space and divided the room. I rifled through junk, made a throw away pile, and re-marked the stack.
 
“Hey, Lily, check this out.”
 
I scooted over to see Chrissy’s stash. “Ancient earth history. Look, my mom and dad in high school.” We giggled over clothes and hair. The cards were homemade – mushy love poems from her dad to her mom.
 
“This picture’s at a dance. The sign says Sadie Hawkins. Who was she?” I asked.
 
Chrissy shrugged. “Let’s go show mom. She’ll know.”
 
We clattered down the steep steps and met Mrs.Cera in the hallway. “Mom, who was Sadie Hawkins?”
 
Mrs.Cera frowned and then laughed. “It was a dance where girls could ask boys to attend. Role reversal. It countered Valentine’s Day.”
 
“Cool,” said Chrissy. “We should organize a Sadie Hawkins shindig.”
 
“I would totally ask Drew,” I declared.
 
“Sean O’Dowd, for sure.”
 
Fast forward a week. Despite Planet Betty tension over food prices and the feud between the two gun shops, the high school drill team organized a Sadie Hawkins community dance. Mr. Weaver donated his barn, folks signed up for pot luck, local radio agreed to lend Sunny Day to DJ the event, and after a lot of explanations, females of all ages were asking males to the dance.
 
Drew said yes. Sean said yes.
 
The night of the dance was gorgeous. Everyone came dressed in their best finery. Based on the old picture, we recreated the banner and used stuff called crepe paper as streamers (thanks to the art teacher). Punch bowl bubbled with ginger ale and cranberry juice. Mrs. Brown brought her famous chocolate cupcakes.
 
The ruckus began when our most senior citizen, Mr. Elmer P. Sparten, age ninety, arrived. Ida Mae beamed and welcomed him as her guest. Her best friend, Mabel Sue, loudly proclaimed, “Mr. Sparten is here on my behalf.”
One took his coat. The other offered him a chair. Both asked, “May I get you a glass of punch?”
 
Deaf as a stone, Elmer, held out the corsage he brought. Ida Mae and Mabel Sue pounced. Those women clutched the box with one hand, pulled hair with the other, and shrieked, “Mine.”
 
That is why two eighty year old women wrestled at the first ever and last Sadie Hawkins community dance.

First published: February, 2015
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