I must've been 14 by the time I got fed up with Tami. No, let me correct that. I was fed up with her for a long time. I was 14 when I finally snapped at her.
Tami used to be a friend of my mom's. She'd come over some evenings, sit down with my mom at the table on the porch and drink her dinner. She'd crack man jokes. She'd talk about random drunk middle-age woman shit that would interest her deeply, but everyone else, including my mom didn't seem to enjoy it.
About the man jokes. She would crack man jokes the way a KKK member would crack nigger jokes. Good ones, bad ones, funny ones, crappy ones, most of them in the middle. The fact that I was of the gender being denigrated did not endear her to me. Tami hated men because she had something like four ex-husbands. Tami hated men before that, but that was her excuse, and she would mercilessly bash these men who she had used and dumped like orange peels in the compost heap, after she had gotten to and extracted their juicy, money-engorged center. Tami would once in a while read a love letter written in Spanish that she had gotten from a future ex-husband she was collecting in Mexico.
That day, she must have told a real zinger, because I got pissier than normal at her. I started glaring in my usual way and neglecting to acknowledge her, which she usually responded to by doing the same. I went to retrieve a glass from the cupboard and fill it with soda, while she was up at the stove, talking to my mom. She immediately grabbed the glass as I turned away to go to the refrigerator and began to fill it with tonic water.
“What in the hell. I just got that out for myself,” I said as I gestured to the two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew I had retrieved from the fridge.
“Honey, I brought a child into this world and I can take one out just as easily,” was her response.
This was the last straw. I silently leaned over to the knife drawer and pulled out our 12-inch long stainless steel chopper. The one with the triangle-shaped blade that I religiously kept razor sharp.
“You’re more than welcome to try,” was my response as I gestured the knife toward her throat. “I have had quite enough of your shit. Do NOT call me ‘honey.’ Get the fuck out of here.”
Stunned admiration from my sister, shock from my mom, fear and awe from Tami. Thankfully, she followed the latter order of mine. Though I would have had, at that point, no qualms at all about slitting her throat (I was an angry teenager), the legal trouble involved, as well as desecrating my favorite knife made it almost a relief.
I have not heard from Tami since. I am very glad of this. It’s certainly not an experience I would like to repeat.
Name unchanged, 'cause she's a bitch.