“Where are you?” Natasha demanded, then added, “I know you’re at some waxing place, but are you on Fleming Island? How far are you from Ruby Tuesday’s? Mallory and I are en route there, and you’re joining us.”
How had I ever missed just how pushy Natasha could be? I kept that to myself and answered, “I’m probably fifteen minutes from the restaurant.”
“Good. We should be there at the same time then.”
She hung up on me and I realized that was a big part of why I didn’t like pushiness. It often bordered on rudeness. While I was thinking of it, I called Ashley.
“What up, home slice?” she greeted.
“I’d say my hair follicles, but really they’re just gone, not up.”
“Oh! So, you finally went.”
I pressed the start button on my vehicle. “Yes, yes. It’s done, so your discount should be in their system now. Anyway, what are you and the kids up to?”
“The kids are both at parties now until this evening. I should study, but, well, you know how that shit goes.”
“Wanna do lunch? Natasha and Mallory have insisted I meet them at Ruby Tuesday’s on the island. You can be my wing-woman.”
Ashley mulled it over for a moment. “Sure, I’ll do lunch with you. Just lunch though, because then I’ll have to get back here and hit the damn books.”
“What do you mean sometime in the next few weeks? They’re the government, surely they know when a huge-ass ship is going to come into Mayport,” Mallory groused at my sister.
Ashley’s face took on the same patient look she gave me when I didn’t understand something that only military families understood. “First, even if they did have a specific date, Uncle Sam isn’t going to allow the sailors to share that with their families. One, because you never know when somebody could say something to the wrong person and then…well, the old adage could feasibly become true. ‘Loose lips sink ships.’ Two, because navigating the ocean is dependent on the weather even if the ship has motors and doesn’t rely on wind and all that shit like in the old days. They aren’t bringing one of those behemoths into port if conditions are foggy or whatever.”
“Yeah, yeah. Mallory has diverted this conversation terribly,” Natasha said. “Did your husband really say you needed to use a weed whacker on your business? You need to set that sailor straight without delay.”
Ashley looked at Natasha. “That’s why I needed Justine to head over to the spa too. Now, I can see to things and not break the bank.”
“That ain’t what I meant.”
I weighed in. “Natasha, I don’t think you realize this, but one doesn’t just set a Navy bad-ass straight.”
She pursed her lips at me. “Oh, yes I do, Justine. When I met Leon, I was in college and he was finishing out his four-year term with the Navy. I know plenty about getting that sort of alpha male in line. Now seriously, Ashley, are you going to let him get away with that sort of thing?”
Ashley smirked. “Believe me. Jason’s going to be surprised when he sees the measures I’ve taken.”
“Will he be waxing poetic?” I asked.
Mallory suddenly snapped her fingers at me. “You did yours for James, didn’t you? That’s oddly sweet.”
Shaking my head, I said, “No, I did this because Jane of the Jungle, here, needed her discount.”
Ashley shoved me in the arm. “Do not make me get into a knock-down drag-out with you in the middle of Ruby Tuesday’s, Justine.”