While I am a perfectly agreeable person and good at heart, I have an arch-nemesis who I believe deserves nothing short of being struck by lightning while simultaneously sucked into quicksand and ravaged by an earthquake.
Her name is Cheryl Kizzoni. She’s deceptively innocent-looking with perfectly highlighted blond hair, large hazel eyes, and a kind smile. She smells like roses and the pies Grandma used to bake. She buys Girl Scout cookies from every single Scout that comes to her doorstep, and that is not a cheap undertaking. Suspicious, right?
Her farce doesn’t end there.
At Halloween, she throws open her door with a beautiful, welcoming smile and a family-friendly yet very becoming costume. She gives out king-sized Hershey’s bars for the kids, and a beer for the parents.
Everyone always solicits her advice at the monthly HOA meeting, which she gives with much deference to others’ opinions. Nobody leaves unhappy.
Still fooled? Don’t be.
Cheryl is a monster, a voyeur of all things sad. She sniffs it out like a bloodhound. She is a leech on society and on emotional composure. She tears you apart so that she can put you back together again.
That’s right. She's the person that asks if you’re about to cry.
Even with five houses between us, Cheryl senses my sadness/frustration/anger/anything-cry-worthy-even-if-it’s-just-a-movie and will suddenly be on my doorstep with brownies in hand, wondering if I have time to “catch up.”
She might as well bring an empty, antiquated ruby-encrusted goblet in her other hand because I know what Cheryl really wants to do is drink my tears. I’m pretty sure it’s like her elixir of life. Or maybe it’s her fountain of youth because she looks way younger than the 48 that she always proudly announces she is.
My husband calls me crazy, and my 5-year old says I scare him, but I know who Cheryl really is. Or rather, what she is.
Again, a monster.
In the beginning, I thought it was just a coincidence. The first mortal combat took place the evening I was furiously preparing to host a wine night at my house. Stella Vanderbilt had told me that she would host it but bailed last minute. No surprise there. I tried scraping together a bruschetta with Roma tomatoes from my garden and a cold summer soup to salvage the evening. Somehow, I ended up burning both.
Like magic, Cheryl The She-Demon was at my door ready for some chitchat. With one look at my quivering lips, her voice dropped an octave and dripped venom honey as she pulled me into a hug and breathed into my hair.
“Oh Sweetie, are you about to cry?”
I collapsed. She had knocked the air out of me with her verbal throat punch. I helplessly gasped for air while she stroked my hair, happily kneading salt into a wound I didn’t know existed. Acid rain gushed forth from my blind eyes. Mucus dripped from my nostrils while dignity dripped away from my being. My face swelled in an allergic response to Cheryl’s malignant aura. She had defeated me.
She also ended up hosting the wine night because she had plenty of wine at home and said she had been slow-cooking a roast all day. She has hosted every wine night ever since. It’s never a problem or an inconvenience. I hate her.
It’s not enough for her to just see me cry. She has to break down my resolve and know the reason. Because of this, she has a frightening amount of knowledge and insight into my marital life, parenting insecurities, work-life balance, failed exercise binges, current financial situation, and my incessant desire to get Cool Sculpting without corrupting my son’s societal perception of women.
If Cheryl Kizzoni can remember every child’s birthday at the neighborhood pool, you can damn well expect she’s ingrained each of my secrets into the very fibers of her dark soul. Does she offer these secrets up each night to her demonic deity? Thad Rogers told me she’s been a party to not one but two Kundalini Yoga retreats.
She could end my family and me in one Facebook birthday post if she so chose. She knows too much. She has seen too much.
It’s gotten to the point where I feel myself tearing up when I see her in public. I can’t help it. She has positively reinforced my uncontrollable sobs with salted caramel brownies and warm embraces.
My promise to society and to my son, though he be too young to understand, is to not rest until Cheryl Kizzoni is dead—or at least living in a different school district.