Too Much Weight to Carry – Published in Flora Fiction Review – March 22, 2022
Wearing twenty unwanted pounds and bearing the weight of a critical mother, Eleanor was determined to free herself of both. But today, she had to find a mother-approved, Saks Fifth Avenue labelled, black dress required for walking down the aisle at her baby sister’s wedding.
Her handgrip tightened on the steering wheel as she trolled the aisles of cars in the Saks lot. When finding no sign of her mother’s white Jag, her shoulders slipped away from her ears, and she resigned herself to the task.
“Ugh! These doors are so damn heavy. Must have been designed to keep the weak out,” she muttered to herself stepping into the perfume scented vestibule.
The shopping experience was far less painful than imagined, and in less than an hour, she was prancing back toward the exit swinging a tissue stuffed shopping bag. That’s when she heard the grating sound of every syllable in her name stretched out in song. Eleanor bit the inside of her cheek and froze in place. You can do this, she told herself.
“Eleanor,” her mother said again as she sashayed closer. “Tell me you finally got a dress for the wedding.”
“Yes, I did.” Eleanor stretched herself a bit taller, stiffening her backbone.
“Well, let me see. Take it out,” her mother said helping herself.
“Oh honey, this is the same dress Julie’s wearing, and she’s already had hers shortened and taken in at the waist. You’ll have to return this.”
A tight-lipped smile traveled up to Eleanor’s eyes, and she nodded while pushing the shopping bag into her mother’s arms.
“You know, Mother, I’ll just have to wear that backup dress I have from Target,” she said employing the affected French pronunciation. “Now, be a dear, and return this for me. I’ve really gotta run.”
Eleanor blew an air kiss in her mother’s direction before letting the heavy door ease shut between them.