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Lucy's been kidnapped!

Two Saturdays ago, during a wedding in Spartanburg, my husband leaned over, as the bride said, "I-do," and whispered, "When we leave here, we're driving to Lynchburg."

"Yeah, right," I murmured. He had twisted my arm, only moments before, to make me promise to help him clean out the garage upon our return home, later that day.

"I called Chris and Katherine," he assured me. "They said if we get out of here after the kiss, we'll make it in time for a dinner party."

"We don't have any clothes, toothbrushes, underwear, or comfortable shoes," I pointed out, calling his bluff. "Not to mention that I have something on the calendar that I urgently need to take care of, and don't forget the garage."

"Oh, we're going. I'll take you and the kids to Wal-Mart to get some clothes," he generously offered.

I didn't have this spur of the moment adventure on my to-do list. And, although I am destined to someday self-combust, it certainly won't result spontaneously. I char at a slow burn.

Silently, I imagined myself sarcastically performing a Pee Wee Herman heel click and yelling "Yippee!" Louder than I should have, I seethed, through clenched teeth, "Are you insane?"

He serenaded me with You may be right/ I may be crazy/ But it just might be a lunatic you're looking for ...

"Pipe down Billy."

Back in the car, he took off down I-26 at 85 miles an hour. Children chanted, "Road trip, road trip ...," from the backseat.

Eventually, he put me out at Belk's, for a 30 minute shopping spree. The clerk checked her FBI Most Wanted list when I approached her, wringing my hands and looking over my shoulder, and asked her to find two outfits and undergarments in my size, a pair of shoes, and some make-up. She double checked the list when I nervously hurried her and said I didn't have time to try anything on.

Five hours later, we pulled into a driveway in Lynchburg, Virginia, threw the children out to a babysitter we never met, and sped through the neighborhood to a fabulous dinner party.

Our reputation preceded us to the gathering. My heart had stopped its violent palpitations and I numbly introduced myself to our welcoming host and hostess, who set a table filled with people eager to gawk at the traveling freaks from Georgia.

The freely flowing river of red wine enabled me to field questions like, "How did he talk you into this?" I replied, "I don't know this man. Please call 911. I've been kidnapped." Everyone laughed.

Admittedly, I secretly enjoyed our new celebrity amongst these strangers.

The next morning I awoke in an unfamiliar bed next to a man I hadn't recognized for 24 hours. He turned and looked at me. "Hey, did you have fun last night?" His breath was homicidal.

"Sure. Were people playing penny-ante grab-ass?"

"Yeah," he said. "They were fun."

"Did I touch those pennies," I inquired.

"Lucy, relax."

"I'm going to wash my hands, just in case."

A one day, round trip turned into a thousand mile, three day odyssey.

We returned home to find, converse to my expectations, that the house still stood, the grass still grew, and the mailman still came and went.

Although a half cup of curdled milk sat on the kitchen counter, and a bowl of oatmeal had turned to stone in the sink, my worst fears weren't confirmed.

Everything having come out okay, I plan to brag about this wild abandonment for years to come.



Web posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2005











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