Excerpt from "Jaws." 2014 Anne Kroeger
Although my dad was not interested in seeing his sister, my mom enlisted my Aunt Millie to look after us while she and my dad went shopping for furniture. Millie showed up in her dark green Chevy Nova, while we grabbed sweaters and put on our shoes. Millie chatted away with my mom in the entryway of our house. My dad sat in the car grimacing, as he was ready to go. But Millie always had to catch up when she saw my mom.
“I don’t know how you handle the hard life of raising four children this day and age. You must feel overwhelmed within today’s world-gone-mad,” she said to my mom, as if chaos was breaking out in all corners of society. Millie always looked feminine and “put together,” like she was ready to go to a dance. She was already almost fifty, wearing her usual tight-fitting dress and low heels. Her red braid was stacked up on top of her head to ensure that she wouldn’t have to adjust it while she tried keeping up with four kids for the afternoon.
“Come on,” my dad hollered out the window of the car, “Millie, don’t bother with all that talk, we’re in a hurry.” My mom ignored my dad and let Millie keep going.
“You must recall a more pleasant time twenty years ago when the world wasn’t so jam-packed with a surplus of people.” Millie smiled at me as I struggled to tie my shoelaces. My mom bent down to help me. “You know,” she continued, “I love Elizabeth Taylor’s line in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, when she refers to Jack Carson’s children as ‘no-neck monsters.’ I have twice sat at the entrance to Disneyland waiting to meet friends or family and marveled in horror at all the fugitives from a genetic-horror flick that had the chutzpah to reproduce in such multitudinous numbers!”