Short Story: The Brady Bunch

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Groggy from lack of sleep, trying to erase the images of gray-bearded men sitting on their new mid-life crisis Harleys, speedboats, and red sports cars from her mom’s dating sites, Mae filled her water bottles while strong coffee brewed.

She stared, mesmerized by the beautiful whiteness of the French vanilla creamer as it swirled to the surface in dreamy affection to her anticipated waking. She downed what she could, poured the rest into her travel mug and dashed out the door at the ungodly hour of 6 am. Since her mom needed the car today, she trekked the five blocks to Greg’s house on foot. He would just have to appreciate her “sporty” scent without complaints.

She turned into Greg’s walkway and headed to the door, preparing to make a silent
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She was eternally cheerful, patient and exceedingly kind. Just like a TV mom. In fact, they called her Mrs. B because of her obsession with the old 70s show, The Brady Bunch. As if that wasn’t weird enough, she insisted they name their first born, Greg, after the oldest Brady son on the show. They named their next son Peter, and the two girls, Marcia and Jan, like the Brady family. Greg’s Dad simply went along with it. “Why not?” he would shrug.

Greg wanted no part of this weird Brady Bunch cult. And especially to be named after a fictitious suck-up white boy. “If you notice, I’m black. My whole family is black. So why would we want to be like a candy-coated *white* family? Why not some cool black family? There were plenty of those on TV.”

All Mae could do was take his hand and pat it reassuringly. “They didn’t have cool black families on television in the early 70s when your mom was young.”

“Ha—What about Good Times, The Jeffersons, or What’s Happening—Dy-no-mite!” Acting it out as anyone who knew it would.

“Those came in the late 70s. Your mom was in high school by then and had better things to do than sit in front of the TV at home being verbally and physically abused by her strung-out
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Everyone, except Greg, was up as soon as the sun broke the horizon, then sat in front of the television where they ate all three meals—eyes glued to the set. It was like a Superbowl Sunday every Saturday. They sang all the show theme songs together with trained perfection and watched all the commercials, for the rare chance there might be a jingle to sing. Dinners were even special on TV day. Mrs. B. microwaved frozen meals and called them “TV dinners” which made them taste even more delicious. She didn’t like how they stopped making them in the sectioned foil trays. “It’s just not right,” she’d
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