A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || September 14, 2012 || 3:08 am

I once knew a girl named Laura whose mother wouldn’t let her watch the show ‘Square Pegs’ so I taught her the theme song. Laura used it like a weapon without even realizing it; she drove her mother crazy by singing it incessantly. I’d made sure she had Patty Donahue’s bored, slightly hostile whine down pat before I unleashed Laura on the world.

“If she complains,” I thought to myself one day, “Laura should just point to the poster above her bed.” It depicted a fat blue cartoon bird in the throes of soulful (constipated?) warbling. It was peppered with pregnant, drunken music notes and bore the caption ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.’

In short, I’ve always been this way.

Later on Laura’s mother would figure out we were Without and find subtle ways to feed me and my sister a hefty meal once a week. We got a long afternoon of play on Sundays after church; we were largely unsupervised for hours at a time in the massive playroom over the garage. Laura’s mom always baked us a pile of cookies to snack on warm out of the oven then tucked a foil packet of them into each of our pockets. I made my sister ration them: If we made it home with three apiece, then we’d split one between us per day.

One time my sister gorged the second day and ate all but one herself; I wanted to pound her in half. We couldn’t afford a doctor’s visit, though, and I knew if I whaled on her I would hurt her terribly, so great was my sense of want and loss and frustration with our circumstances. It had nothing at all to do with cookies and everything to do with the dignity of having something more than what we were usually afforded.

I need to send Laura’s mother a thank you letter, I think. I never thought she liked me overmuch. I’ve figured out that liking is irrelevant though, really, as long as you are acting out of care and love.

You don’t have to like someone at all to do that.

7 worked it out »

  1. Those people who love us and love others and love in general without having an excuse or reason to other than to love…they’re keeping the world afloat. Sounds like Laura’s Mama kept your world afloat for a tiny season by way of cookies and acceptance. You most definitely should drop her a line. She might be needing some soul cookies right now. And this time you can return the favor.

  2. Cheryl 9.14.2012

    Yes, Ms. Jayett, you do. You’ll be so glad you did.

    I sent a few of those thank yous out into the world about 4 years ago. Last year when one of the recipients died, her daughter sent my card back to me. My old friend told me her mother never saved anything and when she found this, knew it had to have held a special place in her mom’s heart.

  3. the muskrat 9.14.2012

    Square pegs are funner than round ones!

  4. pgoodness 9.14.2012

    You’re right. Kindness isn’t always intertwined with love. She did good by you and your sis. (I’m glad you learned that people can be kind when you were young).

  5. Summer 9.14.2012

    This is what we were talking about the other day-at least, this was my point in that conversation.

    love this piece.

  6. barb 9.14.2012

    kindness is so underrated, underutilized, and often just ignored. she may not have adored you, but she cared. caring & kindness are half the battle.

    i sound like a goddamn CareBear.

    i love this piece.

  7. Apryl's Antics 9.14.2012

    I bet she did like you just fine. She may have only known how to show it in terms of cookies.


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