how to live happily ever after.

3 Feb

Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away I was a chubby high school student with an after school job at my parents’ restaurant where I learned to develop crushes on guys who were far too old for me so luckily there were my immature classmates to bring me back to reality. Day in and day out, I would stare off into space longing for that feeling of a boyfriend who could legally buy Zimas and wine coolers for me and my friends, but wind up somberly making weekend plans with a cello player during orchestra rehearsals. Then one day, a handsome prince got his first job out of college and became my brother’s science teacher, and I quickly ditched the teens for a full blown crush on the tall, early 20s man who we can call Mr. Science for the sake of non-exploitation. I began to loiter unnecessarily in the dork wing of the school and steal my brother’s homework assignments so I would have to drop them off during class. But like all star-crossed lovers, I graduated without him ever knowing my name and life went on.


One magical day, many moons later, I was windexing the front doors at the restaurant and a ray of light practically blinded me. Only it wasn’t a ray of light, it was Mr. Science! His skin glistened like the sun! It was like not a day had gone by. Mr. Science brushed passed me like I was as invisible as I ever was and escorted his hottie girlfriend to the bar and drank and ran his hands through her hair. “Oh! To be that blonde hair,” I sighed, and put my head on Harry’s shoulder. “Shelby that is highly inappropriate to say to your boyfriend,” he replied but it only made me want Mr. Science more.

Time passed, and Mr. Science’s girlfriend began sporting a ring on her finger, and soon became Mrs. Science. I tried to say hello, because they returned so often it was really kind of awkward that I acted like I didn’t know who they were, but I always stumbled on my words and feared that he could somehow read the chubby high school girl thoughts running through my brain. They sat at the bar and ate appetizers and drank beers and laughed, and I sat in the corner, staring at them creepily. Sometimes they would look sad, or maybe like they were having communication issues or second thoughts about spending the rest of their lives together. “Perhaps she’s regretting marrying a nerd?” I posed to my now-husband Harry, and again he suggested that I find someone new to talk to about this subject matter.

Then I had a beautiful and perfect baby girl, and I brought her to work with me on a night that Mr. and Mrs. Science were having appetizers and beers. “What a cute baby!” cooed Mrs. Science. “She really is completely beautiful,” agreed Mr. Science. I stared into his eyes, wondering if he could hear my thoughts about how it could have been his baby if only he had risked the minor issue of statutory rape and dating one of his student’s siblings. But then I spotted Harry Husband across the restaurant, and I realized that Riley would not have been quite as cute without him. And I smiled at Harry, because even though he knew what I was thinking about Mr. Science, he still loved me. And I was happy.

The other day, Mr. and Mrs. Science walked through the door, but instead of heading to the bar they approached me. Was it happening? Was Mr. Science coming to tell me that he finally figured out who I am and he was preparing to make me choose between him and my hubby? What would I decide? I mean, that is like a really crazy decision to have to make.

“Two for dinner.”

I looked her up and down like usual, but stopped at her plump midsection.

I began to sob, but a thought stopped me.

One day, my daughter will be in high school, and she will meet a handsome prince who is a little younger than her, but she can get over it. And she will fall in love and become a Mrs. Science and I’ll get to hang out with Mr. Science at Thanksgiving and we’ll all live happily ever after.

The end.


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