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Dear Snarky Readers,

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything new in quite some time.  The reason for this – I’m on the last week of finishing my book.  Finally, right?  I’ve only been talking about for two freaking years.  Here’s the deal, writing a blog – super easy.  Writing a 60,000 word book – not so easy, at least for me.  To keep my spirits up I decided to post a portion of Chapter Six. (Of course some of it won’t make sense because you’re coming in mid scheme.) Please note this is a rough draft the grammar fairy hasn’t visited yet.  I’m hoping if you enjoy reading this it will be the fuel that will keep me going!  Cheers, Snarky

Chapter 6 

It was no problem getting a clean recording of the principal’s voice.  On the school website Mr. Parrish posted videos of his weekly “Spring Creek Update.”  Getting Jacardi talking in a quiet atmosphere would be a challenge.  Add in me holding my phone up to her mouth to get a recording that met my son’s audio parameters and we’re talking weird.  This all meant I was forced to resort to doing something I swore I would never do again – write an “Closet Confidential” feature story.

Earlier, I mentioned that I was a freelance-writer.  What this means is that I write everything from corporate newsletters (snoozer) to magazine articles.  A year or so ago I wrote a monthly feature for a local lifestyle magazine called “Closet Confidential.”  Yes, it was as bad as it sounds.  I would go interview woman who had closets bigger than my first home.  I would be gifted with a guided tour of their closet (always with a crystal chandelier and always with some sort of animal print carpet, usually leopard or cheetah, sometimes someone would step outside the box and be daring by going, “OMG” zebra) as the shopaholic of the month proselytized about earth shattering things like having a denim bar and glass cabinets to store their collection of vintage Chanel handbags.

After writing three years worth of Closet Confidentials, I snapped.  It was interview number thirty-seven with Charity Turner, (Think brunette version of Jacardi with sub standard veeners. Why, I ask you do woman spend a fortune on getting enormous boobs and then skimp on their dental work?) when I acted less than professional.  Although, I would argue in my defense, that I was performing a much-needed addiction intervention.  After seeing Charity’s, “I don’t think of it as a closet, I think of this as more as my personal boutique” denim bar with seventy-eight different pairs of jeans separated into cubbies by slim cut, boot cut, cropped, capri, tooth pick, flared, boyfriend, low-rise, trouser, dark and light wash categories, that I shared with her she was quite possibly Insane with a capital I.

I was on a roll so I didn’t stop there.  I ventured on to explain that I was super certain any mental health advocate, primary care physician or even a Walgreen’s pharmacy tech would diagnose her as a well-organized hoarder with psychotic shopping tendencies that are probably manifested by king size daddy issues where the lack of paternal love she felt as a child is reflected in her retail expenditures. I also felt sure that her huge denim bar was how she compensated for what was most likely a less than satisfying sex life. You know what they say, “The bigger the closet, the smaller, the . . .  Instead of thanking me for what, I felt, was an insightful and spot on diagnosis, she freaked and threw me out of her house.  After that she called the editor of the magazine and said I had “verbally abused her.”  Yeah, I told the editor, Abby Rios, I “abused” Charity Turner by deeply caring about her mental health.”  As you can probably guess, I was banned for life from ever writing another Closet Confidential again.

Now, due to my need to get up close and personal with Jacardi, I’m going to attempt to get my Closet Confidential credentials reinstated.  That meant a phone call to Abby where I plan on telling her that I’m a changed woman and would love, love, love, to do more hard-hitting journalism from the front lines of lifestyle reporting – a spoiled woman’s closet.

Abby picked up her phone on the first ring.  She seemed glad to hear from me and we talked about our kids for the first five minutes.  I have a lot of respect for Abby.  She bought a failing magazine and in eight years has turned into the local “must read.”  She’s also gorgeous in a not in your face kind of way.  You now, one of those woman who look prettier every time you see them. Besides the inane closet feature the magazine does a great job of covering the community.  Before I even had a chance to ask for my favor, Abby says, “So, why are you really calling me?”

“Ouch, Abby that hurts. I call you all the time and not just when I want something.”

“Alright, I’ll give you that, but it’s the sound of your voice.  It’s too nice, sweet even, that means you want something.”

“What?  I can’t be sweet?  I can be sweet.  I’ll have you know I’m sweet. I’m a very sweet person.”

“No you’re not, but that’s part of your charm.  So, what’s up?”

This is when I decide to just go for it.  I was going to hem and haw for a while longer, but she’s on to me so what’s the point?  “I need a favor.”

“Here we go.  I knew you wanted something. What kind of favor.”

“A big one.  I need you to let me write a Closet Confidential on Jacardi Monroe.”

Abby starts laughing so hard I’m hoping she’s not driving. It sounds like she’s having problems catching her breath or choking on a Starbuck’s Vanilla Almond Biscotti. “Abby, Abby,” I say, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine and no you can’t write another Closet Confidential.  That Charity What’s Her Name, threaten to sue the magazine.  I had to send her flowers AND increase her Closet Confidential spread to six pages to calm her down.  Six pages on a closet!  Her denim bar photo spread alone took up two pages.  There must something about you that ignites the fuse on all the crazies.”

I took that as a compliment that Abby consider Charity crazy and not me.  So, I forged ahead.

“What if I promise to be on my best behavior.  Did you know I’m a graduate of the Central Texas Chapter of the White Glove Protocol Society for Southern Belles?”

“One, no, I did not.  Two, you’re not in Texas anymore and three, what is something called the White Glove Protocol Society?”

“It’s something all Connally County Texas mothers force their thirteen year old daughters to do in hopes that by attending they’ll magically become less moody, not confuse their shrimp fork with a salad fork and, fingers really crossed here, become Queen of the Mohair Palace Pageant material.”

“Mohair Pageant?  You’re making that up. Is it a beauty contest or something?”

“Oh, it’s a contest all right,” I say, in my best Southern Belle voice, “Built around whose mother kisses enough ass so her daughter can be deemed possessing the correct amount of decorum and family social standing to be crowned Queen of the Mohair.”

I switch back to my normal voice with of an undercurrent of begging, “But, let’s get back to me – present day.  Think about it.  Is it really fair to judge my whole writing career on one very brief lapse of judgement?  To this day, I still feel like I was doing a public service by trying to get Charity to seek medical attention and because I respect you so much I’ll write the article for free.”

I knew I had a good chance of getting my way when she got quiet.  Abby didn’t turn around a failing magazine by being a bad business woman.  She was all about the free.

“Alright,” she sighs.  You can do it, but you have to behave and I need it by next week.”

Yippee, I’m thinking and then I go in for one more favor.  “Just one more thing, Abby. Can someone besides me call Jacardi and set up a time for the interview? It would also be great if whoever calls could keep it on the down low that I’m going to be the reporter.”

“Your killing me Wynn,” Abby says sounding slightly ticked off. “Yeah, I can get my assistant to make the call.  I don’t know what you’ve got up your sleeve, but whatever it is it better not come back to haunt me.  Got it?”

“Totally.  Now don’t worry and just sit back in that comfy editor’s chair of yours and wait for a scintillating FREE piece on a freaking closet.”

Abby huffed and puffed a little while longer about “having a bad feeling” about the interview and then we got off the phone.  I treated myself to a fresh Diet Coke and begun imagining what Jacardi’s face would look like when I showed up at her door.