Sunday, May 15, 2005
Iris: Goddess of Naughtiness
My sister Iris is three years younger than me. She's tall and slender with strawberry blonde hair and a strong southern accent that she will deny to her last breath. Her eyes are bright baby blue and slanted like a cat's, a feature that never fails to startle those who first meet her. She's not much on polite how-are-yous but always jumps right into whatever random thought is on her mind at the moment.

"Do you ever dream about making love to a guy that's dressed in a teddy bear costume who turns you over his knee and spanks you because you forgot it was his birthday and ended up sticking a birthday candle in moon pie while you sang 'La Cucharacha' to him at the top of your lungs?"

There is a moment of stunned silence as you try to figure out how to deal with that one.

Then she shrugs and smiles brightly saying, "Me neither."

That is my sister.

Iris is very good at setting boundaries--one of my worst things. She had a boyfriend once who made the unforgivable mistake of fooling around on her. She caught him at a bar in Grundy county("You know who the richest man in Grundy county is?" Iris asked me. "The tooth fairy.")

Of course she didn't make a scene. Always the lady, she sashayed out of the bar, chin held high, drove home, and promptly began tossing his clothes out on the lawn. When everything was in a tidy pile, she lit up her Hibachi grill and proceeded to barbecue his things one at a time.

When the guy finally squealed into her driveway, spitting gravel, Iris was calmly smoking a cigarette and poking at the last pair of jeans with a set of tongs.

Her boyfriend jumped out of his car and immediately started in with excuses. "Aww baby, I'm sorry. It didn't mean anything. Honest. I love you honey. You're the only woman for me."

"You know what?" Iris took a drag on her cigarette and blew a ring of smoke into the air. "I don't believe you. Besides, you're just a little too late. I already barbecued your things."

"What?! Aww man." He ran a hand through his hair and stared at his pants smoking on the grill. "You burned everything?"

Iris nodded solemnly. "I'm afraid so."

"Dammit Iris!" He kicked at the grass and swore under his breath. Then he looked up at her again. "I still love you, you know. I do want to be with you."

"Right. That's why you decided to fool around with some 18-year-old slut in a bar." She tossed her cigarette to the dirt, grimly grinding it out with the toe of her high heeled shoe. "Nope. I'm done."

Iris turned around and walked into the house.

And that was that. ("It was completely ridiculous," she confided to me later over a glass of iced tea. "A Grundy county chick for God's sake!")

Men tend to be fascinated by Iris--probably because they are never quite sure what she is capable of. She's this kaleidoscope blend of polite southern lady, ditzy redhead, practical businesswoman, raving lunatic, clever jester and fragile waif. She loves makeup, dresses, scarves and pretty trinkets and thinks flannel pajamas are incredibly sexy. She hates to be alone and can be dangerously creative when she's bored.

Her ex-husband Rick found this out the hard way. At one point during their marriage, he was working as a sanitation engineer. Basically this meant he had to get to sleep very early at night in order to wake up at four in the morning to get to work. Like me, Iris tends to be more of a night owl, so this left her with a lot of free time on her hands.

Never a good thing with my sister.

Now Rick happens to be a very sound sleeper--you could literally run a vacuum around the man and he wouldn't so much as crack an eye open. Iris was straightening up the bathroom, feeling very antsy and not sure what to do with herself, when she happened to glance at the nail polish that was sitting in the medicine cabinet.

She thought for a moment, then picked out a jar of pink pearl polish and another of scarlet red. She crept into the bedroom and carefully pulled back the sheets from the bottom of the bed so that Rick's feet were exposed. Quickly and expertly, she brushed polish onto each of his toenails until they shone with a soft pink sheen. Then, as a finishing touch, she painted tiny red hearts on each one. The contrast between those huge, hairy, tan feet and the delicate little nails was almost too much for her, and she had to hold her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing out loud.

The next morning, Rick got up for work and, as usual, pulled his socks on and dressed in the dark so as not to wake his wife. Iris went about her daily routine and forgot about her prank until her husband came home that night and greeted her with a "Dammit Iris!"

You see, it was Wednesday.

On Wednesdays all the guys at work always took their lunch break out by a creek near the office. They would pull off their shoes and socks, soak their feet in the water and talk together over sandwiches. Only this time when Rick went to pull off his socks, the boys got a good look at his delicately painted pearly pink love toes and ragged on him mercilessly the entire day.

Iris just laughed till she cried.
Memories and musings shared by Juno
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I'm a 40-something writer, artist, and Jill-of-All-Trades. For me, magic is looking at the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary. My writing tends to take me to unexpected places--not so surprising when I think about it. I had an unusual growing up and have always chosen the offbeat over the "safe". I prefer interesting people over beautiful ones, and I am fascinated by people's stories. What I love most about life is its glorious imperfections and fantastic plot twists.

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