The Best Day Ever

800 words :: Big Bang Theory :: Sheldon, Meemaw :: 4/28/10
Staying the night at Meemaw’s house always means cereal for breakfast, even if it’s not cereal day. Today is extra special because it’s just Shelly and Meemaw. Erin Juarez is having a slumber party and all the girls in their class were invited, but Missy is just as happy that Shelly didn’t want to go as Shelly is not to be going.


Staying the night at Meemaw’s house always means cereal for breakfast, even if it’s not cereal day. Today is extra special because it’s just Shelly and Meemaw. Erin Juarez is having a slumber party and all the girls in their class were invited, but Missy is just as happy that Shelly didn’t want to go as Shelly is not to be going.

If they had cereal at Erin’s, it might not be the right kind. Meemaw knows just what Shelly likes, though, and there’s an unopened box of Count Chocula already on the table. Meemaw also knows that Shelly can only eat from the white-and-green striped bowl with the chip on the rim. She gets it down from the high cupboard before Shelly can ask.

She gets the measuring cups, too, and there’s no Missy to make fun of Shelly for using them. Missy calls Shelly a retard, but Missy is the dumb one for not using the right ratio of milk to cereal so it doesn’t get soggy.

Shelly crunches a mouthful of cereal and laughs at the thought of stupid Missy eating Count Sogula.

Erin and Missy and the other girls are going to Waterworld, but Shelly would rather go swimming in Meemaw’s pool. Shelly does not like Waterworld’s rules. They aren’t fair.

Meemaw doesn’t have any rules about the pool except wait half an hour after eating (sensible), wear sunblock (also sensible), and don’t pee in the pool (very sensible). No rules about what you can or can’t wear.

After breakfast it’s time for cartoons, and no Missy means not having to share the remote. It means curling up with Meemaw on the small sofa, Meemaw’s arm around Shelly and the soft brown blanket across their laps.

All the good cartoons are over by ten and it’s plenty warm enough for swimming by then. Meemaw rubs sunblock all over Shelly’s shoulders and back, getting everywhere Shelly can’t reach.

Shelly says, “I don’t have to wear a t-shirt, do I?” just to make sure, and Meemaw’s answer is the same as it always is: “Not if you don’t want to, Moon Pie.”

There’s one more thing, though, and Shelly stares down at the cement, shifting from one foot to the other until Meemaw says, “Aren’t you going to get in?”

“Meemaw?”

“What is it, sweetie?”

“Will you cut my hair?”

“I thought you just got a haircut,” Meemaw says, brushing Shelly’s bangs back. Her hand feels warm and nice on Shelly’s head.

“I don’t like it.”

Meemaw plants a kiss on Shelly’s forehead and says, “Well, then, let’s fix that.”

They bring out a kitchen chair and set it on the lawn and Meemaw’s scissors go snip, snip, snip as Shelly’s hair falls into the shaggy grass. She holds up the mirror for Shelly to see, and Shelly says, “Shorter, please.”

“How much shorter?”

Shelly hesitates. “A lot.”

More hair falls, and Shelly’s head gets lighter and lighter, and each time Meemaw asks, Shelly says, “Shorter, please.”

Eventually Meemaw stops. She brushes back Shelly’s bangs again and runs her fingers through the short-short hair that isn’t short enough. “How’s that?”

And Shelly says, “Shorter, please. No bangs.”

“The only way to get rid of the bangs is to cut them off,” Meemaw says, holding Shelly’s bangs between her fingers so Shelly can see. “I’d have to cut the rest to match. Is that what you want?”

Shelly looks at Meemaw’s fingers in the mirror, eyes wide. “Yes, please.”

“Your mama won’t like it.”

Shelly twists around to look up at Meemaw. “Will you like it?”

“Of course I will, Moon Pie.”

Shelly beams. “Then I want that.”

Hair tickles Shelly’s nose as the bangs are snipped away. The grass around them must be all brown with hair now. There are chunks on Shelly’s lap and shoulders, but soon Meemaw hands Shelly the scissors to hold as she brushes all the hair away and holds up the mirror one last time.

Shelly can only stare at the short-short hair that is finally short enough. Meemaw says, “How’s that? Do you like it?” and suddenly Shelly is sobbing.

“Shelly?” Meemaw squats down next to the chair and wraps her arms around Shelly, and she sounds so worried but Shelly can’t stop crying. “What’s the matter, sweetie?”

“It, it, it’s perfect,” Shelly says, gulping for air. “It’s wonderful.”

“Oh, sweetie.” Meemaw kisses Shelly’s just-right hair. “Oh, my little Moon Pie.”

Missy and the other girls are at Waterworld, having birthday cake and going on the waterslides. Shelly is at Meemaw’s, swimming in cut-off jeans and no shirt, and on the table by the pool there’s a polaroid of a little boy with puffy red eyes and short brown hair, smiling so hard his cheeks hurt.

It is the best day ever.