Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not all bad

I'm still pretty angry with the Old Man for some of his just bizarre decisions he made during the last few years of the Old Woman's life.  I cannot be convinced that a major motivation for his thought process was anything more than pure selfishness.  And, I will always believe that his selfishness led to the very bad ending.  I can't help but think that if he'd accepted the help that was offered in many and different ways, the progression would have been slower, better controlled, and the end more comfortable.

But, all of this stewing is pretty unproductive.  He's a stubborn old coot, and it's not like we should be surprised at this point.

But, I found myself fondly recalling some of the more charming aspects of our history together to one of my students the other day.

When I was first taken into their home, braces on my teeth were one of the first corrections made to allow me a future of fitting in better.  But, I was the only "child" in the community with braces.  I became something of a novelty.  Add in a vicious, competitive mother, and it was a ripe scene.

We were in church one day, and this mother of a child in my class turned around and made some snide, vicious but coated in sweet comment to me and the Old Man.  He leaned forward, and dripping with just as much poisonous sweetness as her comment, he said "yes, I notice your child has something of an overbite too, perhaps you'd like us to give you the name of our orthodontist?"  The mother twisted her mouth, and replied "we thought about getting her braces, but we decided we didn't want her to be ugly for two years and not have a boyfriend."  (Add in insincere smile.)  The Old Man patted her elbow (which was propped on the pew back between us) and said "yes, that is important, that 12 year old have boyfriends."

Later, that summer, when my classmate was absent from church for illness, the Old Man (having heard from several sources of gossip in town, that she had caught mono from some boy she met and made out with the same day at a local park) leaned forward to the mother and said brightly "I hope ________ is feeling well enough to join us at church next week."  The mother frowned and said "she has mono, so I don't know when she'll be better."  Without missing a beat, the Old Man said, sympathetically, "if only you'd gotten her those braces."

It was a classic move and made me feel so much better about my status as local oddity.  Mean, but I needed to see someone stand up for me.

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