Rating: PG-13 and R
Summary: It's 1975 and Micky Dolenz is divorced and living the party life. Rita is a young woman on the L.A. scene. When the two meet, their lives are forever changed...
Warnings: Implied Sexual Content (Het)
Notes: The title of the story is from a song by Tori Amos called "Playboy Mommy," in case any were wondering. There may be some historical inaccuracies in this work of fiction in either general, or in Micky Dolenz history. I apologize for them.
Clouds passed by the window like cotton candy in the sky. I leaned back in my seat again. Looking over to my left, I noticed Micky was sleeping soundly. I smiled; he had every reason to be tired.
The day after Micky asked me to marry him a month ago, I decided it was finally time to call my parents. Not only did I want them present at my wedding, which we’d want to take place quickly, but I also needed to tell them many things, not least of which was my failed pregnancy. So I telephoned one evening and ended up on with my mom for two hours- she was both thrilled and terrified at the same time. For one of her precious daughters to have found love was wonderful, but it also worried her given my young age and the age difference between Micky and I; I was ten years his junior. I didn’t even get to mention the pregnancy, afraid it would give her a heart attack, so when she invited us to come home to Pennsylvania to get married, I jumped at the chance to spill the beans and see my family in one trip.
“We are over Philadelphia International now and will be landing shortly. Please fasten your seatbelts,” the captain said over the airplane’s intercom.
I felt the butterflies in my stomach as I sat up straight and looked out the window again, now seeing land. I turned and looked at Micky and than reached over and firmly shook his arm on the armrest.
His eyelids fluttered as he woke, “What’s going on?”
“We’re landing soon,” I replied. He yawned and sat up, and I contagiously yawned after him. I put my hands in my lap, still looking out the window, and then moved them to my armrests.
Micky reached out and took my left hand, “You don’t have to be nervous.”
I nodded, “I know. But I am.”
The airplane landed within five minutes and we taxied on the runway for a gate another ten. The whole time my grip on Micky’s hand got tighter and tighter. I was more nervous than I had expected. When we did finally stop, Micky and I waited for everyone else to grab their bags from the overhead compartments before standing. My legs were shaky but I stood and waited for Micky to get our two small carry-ons. That was indeed all we’d brought; planning the wedding dress, something simple and not lavish, and such was to be done with my mother by her insistence.
“Come on,” Micky said with a soft smile and taking my hand we carefully maneuvered down the aisle towards the door.
Walking the enclosed corridor of the terminal, I could feel my heart beating in my chest. But Micky was being a life-saver, somehow knowing how I was feeling he laced his fingers in mine and pulled me closer to him when we reached the end and entered the gate and the airport; there was activity everywhere. I turned my head left to right searching for my family. And than I saw them standing near the edge of the gate entrance from the main traffic area, all looking our way; but it was as if we were invisible because they didn’t see us. I didn’t think I had changed too much over the past few years, but maybe I was wrong.
I took a deep breath, “Will you wait while I go say hi?”
“Sure go!” Micky exclaimed letting go of my hand. I turned back in their direction and started towards them. I was a few feet away before my mother gasped loudly and ran for me.
“Rita!!” she cried hugging me tightly. I dropped my bag and put my arms around her, head on shoulder and closed my eyes as tears welled up, “Oh baby, it’s good to see you!”
“You too mom,” I replied as she looked in my face.
She frowned slightly, “My God, you’ve gotten thin! When we get home I’m going to make you a nice hot meal.”
I chuckled, “Ok…” I looked over to my dad who was standing next to my sister behind mom. I walked to him and hugged him, “Hi daddy.” He touched my cheek lightly but didn’t say anything.
My sister Angie suddenly flung herself on me with a gut-busting hug, “I’ve missed you Rita!”
“I’ve missed you too Ang. But dear, you’re choking me.” She let go but still hugged me, jumping up and down in excitement. She was only a few years younger than me but certainly full of energy.
When Angie finally let me go, I looked at each of them individually, smiling. Mom looked behind me, “Where’s this man of yours?” In all the commotion I’d nearly forgotten about Micky! I turned and caught his eyes, motioning him to come over. He quickly appeared at my side and held me tightly by the waist.
He put his hand to my father first, “Micky Dolenz, pleased to meet you sir.” My dad shook it apprehensively; I could tell he was a bit taken aback by Micky’s outrageous clothes and curly hair. I did say he was a rock star didn’t I?
Micky next put a hand to my mother who promptly pushed past it for a hug, “We’ll have none of that from my future son-in-law!” Micky and I laughed; me from pure relieved joy, and he from surprise.
My sister looked him up and down and then turned to me, hand to her mouth, “It really is him Rita!”
I nodded grinning, “Yes it is!” Micky had to go and hug her because Angie was flabbergasted. I had forgotten how obsessive she’d been about the Monkees when she was younger; Peter had also been her favorite. Oh the stories I had to tell!
When we were all introduced and reintroduced, Micky put out his hand, “Let me take your bag for you.” I didn’t argue and handed it to him. All five of us started for the exit.
Mom looked back as we walked, “Where’s Jacqueline? Didn’t she come with you?”
“No, she’s coming in later tonight. It was the only time her boyfriend could get to come too. He’s the best man.”
“Oh how adorable! When do they get in?”
“She’s supposed to call me and they’re getting a bus into town.” Mom nodded and we continued in silence.
When we reached the parking garage, I stopped dead at seeing my father’s barely four-seat commuter car, “How are we all supposed to fit?”
Dad reached in his pocket and threw me some car keys, “We brought the old Ford too. Ang, you coming?” My parents began to get in the car.
“I’m gonna go with Rita!” she replied and followed us.
I found the good old 1957 Ford that could fit seven people easy a few parking spaces down and unlocked it. We all piled in. I took a breath and turned the ignition hoping I’d remember how to drive it.
When we got out of the busy parking garage and onto the road, I looked over at Micky in the passenger seat, “So what do you think?”
“The car’s an antique, it’s great!” he joked. I widened my eyes, “Oh your family? They remind me of mine strangely.”
“I suppose that’s good…” I trailed off slightly disappointed by his answer.
“Baby, I’m very happy to be here. Really.” He put his arm around my shoulders and sat closer.
I looked in the rearview mirror and observed Angie, who was only staring at the back of Micky’s head, obviously wanting to say something but too afraid in the silence. She caught my eye and opened her mouth as if it was her duty, “How’d you guys meet?”
Micky and I looked at each other he spoke, “We met at a party. It was love at first sight.” Or lust, I thought, pure animalistic lust.
I tried not to blush as I continued out edited love story, “We’ve been together almost six months. Didn’t mom tell you anything?”
“Well yeah, but I thought you might have some juicy details for me,” she replied. I laughed; this was still my sister for sure!
“I’ll tell you later,” I said. I turned on the radio.
It was another half an hour before we reached the outer edge of the city and rural areas. Cows grazed in fields, green grasses met the roads.
“This is different from California,” Micky remarked.
“Very. It’s quiet around here anyway. Obviously the cities are busy. But this is my home,” I said. I was feeling nostalgic, seeing familiar sights and places. When we got into the town I grew up in, I felt warmth in my heart.
We pulled up to the house right after my parents. It was your standard modest two-story home built in the 1950’s and decorated in the 1960’s. Micky grabbed our bags and all of us headed towards the house.
Mom automatically went into hostess mode, checking the food she already started preparing earlier and cooking more, ordering my sister to set the table. She insisted Micky and I sit in the living room and make ourselves at home. We sat a few minutes, than I suggested showing him my old bedroom.
“Wow,” was all Micky said on entering. It still looked the same, untouched, and the Beatles posters I had accumulated were on the walls.
“I was a tiny bit obsessed,” I stated shutting the door behind us.
Micky walked to a giant John Lennon poster and pointed, “Now tell me how this guy is better looking than me!”
I laughed walking to him and putting my arms around his neck, “I love you. I like him.” Micky kissed me and held me close. He moved us toward the bed and I landed on it with him on me, “You know, I’ve never had a boy in his bed.”
“Well than let’s christen it,” Micky replied moving towards my neck. We straightened out and continued making out on the bed.
Just as my shirt was almost unbuttoned to be discarded, Angie opened the door. She saw what was happening and covered her eyes, inching back out of the door a little, “Oh sorry guys. Mom said dinner’s ready.” She closed the door quickly.
Micky looked at the door, and than back at me. He kissed me again, his hand moving for my exposed bra.
“Micky!” I exclaimed and gave him a look.
He sighed, “Fine. Let’s eat.” He humped off the bed and fixed his hair while I redid my shirt. We walked downstairs hand in hand but him obviously frustrated, at which I tried not to laugh.
There was a plentiful meal set before us; two kinds of pasta, salad, bread and glasses of wine. Micky and I sat next to each other while my family filled out the rest of the table. After dad started, we followed. The meal was fantastic; I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed my mother’s home cooking. We got into chatting about pleasantries and more wine was passed. By the time early evening rolled around, I was glad I didn’t have to pick Jackie up at the airport because I was feeling tipsy. I realized I had been avoiding any questions my mom had asked about Micky and I. This would not do, and somehow in my uninhibited state I got the courage to tell the truth, right there at the table.
“Mom, dad, there’s something you don’t know,” I said looking up and trying not to want to throw up. I knew it was the right time, or there would be no right time for this news.
“Oh? What is it?” my dad asked putting his wine down.
I looked at Micky and took his hand firmly. He frankly looked terrified, “This isn’t easy for me to tell you, but I wanted you to know before Micky and I get married. I… I found out I was pregnant about five months ago.” I looked up from my lap; mom had her fork halfway to her mouth, dad was just sitting with a frown, and Angie was trying not to choke on the water she almost spit across the room. Because of their silence, I continued my explanation, “Micky and I were really happy about it… but I ended up miscarrying the baby and-“ I couldn’t speak anymore, but put my head on Micky’s shoulder with my face away from them all.
“Why didn’t you tell us sooner?” my father finally spoke up firmly. I could tell by the tone of his voice he was somewhat angry and disgusted.
“We didn’t know how. And Rita wanted to tell you in person,” Micky spoke for me still holding me as I tried not to sob. When I got my composure I turned back to all of them, wiping my eyes.
Dad got up and started to leave the room. Mom tried to stop him, “Richard, we have to deal with this!”
“Well what am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to say?” he replied throwing his hands in the air, “She’s an adult who’s making adult decisions, but I don’t have to be happy about it.” He left the room and we heard the front door slam. I again took to looking down at my lap, trying not to start crying again.
Mom stood up and started clearing the table, not saying a word. Micky still clung to my hand almost defensively as we sat uncomfortably. When all the dishes were in the kitchen and I could hear my mother washing them, I looked across the table at my sister for some, any kind of reaction. Angie had tears in her eyes, “I’m so sorry Rita. I feel terrible for you.”
I walked around the table as she stood and wrapped my arms around her, “It’s ok. Thanks.”
Mom came back in the room then as Angie let me go. She touched my cheek, “Oh baby, why didn’t you tell me? I could have helped you… I could have… You poor thing!” She enveloped me in a hug and I could hear her crying. Angie latched on too and we all hugged each other.
Unexpectedly, the doorbell rang while I was still hugging my mom and sister. I went to get it but Micky jumped from his chair at the table, “Don’t worry, I’ll get it!” I could hear him in the next room open the door and than the loud voices; it could only mean that Harry and Jackie had arrived. I walked over to see them.
“Hey you!” Jackie exclaimed hugging me. She looked in my face and noticed my red eyes, “What happened? What’s wrong?”
“I’ll tell you later,” I replied softly. Mom and Angie entered the room, freshly cleaned of their tears, and said their hellos to Jackie and met Harry. I also gave Harry a hug. But after only a few moments, it was awkward again.
Micky turned to me, “Hey babe, is it alright with you if I go to the hotel with Harry and we hang out? He said he wanted to talk to me about some things. Man stuff.”
I laughed, “Of course, go ahead. Just call me later.” I kissed him goodbye, right in front of my mother to show what he meant to me, and he and Harry headed out.
“Well, I’ve got to finish the dishes,” Mom announced.
“Mom, will dad be ok?” I asked before she left the room.
“He’s in shock, which I’m sure you can understand. All of this is happening a little fast for us. But he’ll take it in stride. You’re still his little girl, you’re just grown up!” she said and hugged me, “Don’t worry. Tomorrow everything will be alright.” I nodded and she walked away. This left Angie, Jackie and I alone.
“We need to sit and talk, I can tell,” Jackie said and took my hand, forcing me into the living room. She set her bag down and took off her coat, before the three of us sat on the couch together, “Now, what happened?”
“I told my family about the baby,” I said, “Dad walked out.”
“Oh. Well, like your mom said I’m sure he’ll be ok.” I nodded again. I was waiting for Angie to say something.
“You know Rita, you’ve changed so much since you’ve been gone,” Angie remarked, “And than one day you call and say you’re getting married to Micky Dolenz. And then you were having his baby! It’s a little unfair to us.”
“I know it is, I’m sorry I handled it all this way. There’s no excuse for it. But, it did all happen very fast, I mean, Micky and I only met half a year ago and, well, you know the rest…”
“Wait a second,” Angie said looking up and concentrating, “So you were pregnant really soon after your relationship started! How did that happen?”
I widened my eyes at her. But she was a big girl now, almost 18, I could tell her the truth, “We did it the first night we met.” I said it quickly, almost hoping she wouldn’t pick up on my words.
Jackie smiled wide as Angie rammed me with her shoulder, “You little! I’d have never thought my sister….”
“It REALLY was love at first sight,” I replied. We laughed, all a bit nervously.
“Wow, what other secrets have you been keeping from me?” Angie asked, now eager to delve into my skeleton closet.
I grinned, “Well, I made out with Peter Tork about a month ago….”
Angie gasped, “You say it so matter-of-fact! You know if you weren’t my sister I’d call you a-“
“Don’t say it! Micky and I were fighting at the time, and I went to stay at Peter’s! I’m innocent!”
“Sure you are!”
“Hey what can I say, he came on to me.”
“I’m so jealous,” Angie finally said.
I smiled and hugged her, “It’s ok darling, one day they’ll be lining up at your feet too.”
“Ugh, you sound just like dad,” Angie stated. I gave her a knowing look.
“I really love Micky Ang, I’ve never felt this way about anyone. He makes me feel wonderful all the time, he makes me feel special. I feel like I was missing a piece of me and now I’ve found it.”
“Aww! Jackie and Angie both said in unison. We all laughed even though they knew I meant every word.
Dad walked in the room just then, having come in the back door. He smiled down at me. I stood and hugged him, “Daddy, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you!”
“Rita, I heard what you said about Micky. I had no idea you cared so much for him,” he said. Than he took my chin in his hand and looked right at me, “I’m proud of you. No matter how uncomfortable I might be about my daughter getting married and having her own life, I love you. I’ll love you no matter what.”
I felt tears well up as I hugged him again, “Thanks dad.”
Suddenly, Micky rushed in the front door as if a wind was chasing him. I was surprised but not as much as everyone else, that was almost always how he entered a room, “Micky, I didn’t expect you back yet!”
“I figured I should come back and get some sleep. We have an early day tomorrow.”
“About that,” I said and looked at dad and then back at Micky, “I think it would be better if you stayed at a hotel tonight. My parents, well, they’d just appreciate it.”
Micky nodded his head, “Alright. I understand. But I’m going to need to call a taxi back cause that guy just left…”
“I’ll take you Micky,” my dad spoke up. I smiled as he approached my future husband, “We haven’t had a chance to talk man to man yet.”
They headed for the door. As they did, Jackie got up, “I guess I should stay here, but what about Harry?”
“I’ll let him know. Don’t worry, we’ll be ready tomorrow. 10 right?” I nodded and tried to stifle a laugh as I pictured the two friends running around the next morning at the last minute. Micky and my dad walked out the door.
The three of us girls went into the kitchen to inform my mom of what was going on and helped her finish cleaning up. We all chatted for about an hour before we decided to go up to my bedroom and talk all alone. It felt like the slumber parties Jackie and I used to have as teenagers, all the laughing and jokes!
“Oh, I almost forgot!” Jackie said suddenly getting up from her position on my bed. She went to her bag on the floor and pulled from the very bottom a large flat box. She set it on my lap, “It’s a gift from Harry and me. You said you liked it back in California.”
I opened the box carefully to reveal a white dress I had seen while shopping a few days ago with Jackie. In fact, it was a wedding dress vintage 1960- a sleeveless dress with a swoop neck, and pleated sequins across the shoulders and bodice. It was simple and lovely. I couldn’t believe I was staring at it, “Oh my word, Jackie how much did this cost you?” I got it out and held it up.
“It doesn’t matter. You’re my best friend and besides, you looked gorgeous in it at the store.”
I reached out a hugged her tightly, “Thank you so much! This is the sweetest thing anyone’s ever done for me!”
“Oh stop,” Jackie insisted laughing. She looked at the clock which said almost midnight, “Anyway I think we should get to sleep. You have a big day tomorrow.”
“The biggest day of my life,” I replied with a contented grin.