We all have our vices I guess. The little Murdo Girl has chosen today to explain a few. When you identify someone’s flaws, is it gossiping? At first, I thought she was going down the wrong road with this subject, but at the end of her story, she summed it up pretty well.
Murdo might need to get some new teachers one of these days. Not because they’re bad teachers. All my teachers so far, have been good. I just think it’s not really fair that some of my teachers taught my parents, and most of my other relatives too. I don’t like science. Mrs. Lathrop said, “I don’t understand why you don’t excel in science. Your Dad was brilliant in science.” I wanted to say, “Oh yeah! Well my Mom flunked Algebra.” She really did. She told me she wasn’t supposed to sit with the seniors in assemblies, because she had to pass Algebra to be considered a senior. She sat with them anyway, and a couple of the others yelled, “Loretta isn’t a senior! She has to sit with the Juniors.” She ended up graduating with her class. I was curious about it, so I dug around and found her high school diploma.
We have a teacher in our school that eats chalk. (It is not Mrs. Lathrop.) I won’t say who it is, but the teacher I’m talking about, always has white chalky lips. It’s distracting to try to pay attention to someone who takes the chalk and writes on the board, then takes a bite, writes on the board, then takes a bite. Other than that peculiarity, the teacher is pretty good.
I know it’s not nice to gossip. Sometimes Mom and my Aunt Elna get together and talk about people. They don’t really run them down. They just like to tell funny stories. When they tell a story about someone, they get up and act it out. Mom will get up and say, “Look, Look, who’s this?” Then she acts out her story. They’re so good at it, sometimes even I can tell who they’re mimicking.
Mom makes up words too. Have you ever heard of alldumb? There isn’t such a word. She made it up. It’s a word she uses to describe someone who is not as dumb as you think. Let’s say you’ve always thought someone wasn’t all that “aware” of what’s going on, then all of a sudden, you find out they know a whole lot more than you thought they did. (“So and So isn’t alldumb.”)
When Mom talks on the phone with my Aunt Ella, she doesn’t like it if she doesn’t get her share of the time. If she thinks Aunt Ella talked too much, she complains when she gets off the phone. She says, “That Ella just wants to do all of the talking. She doesn’t want to hear any of my news!” I can hear Mom’s side of the conversation, and she talks plenty. I love to watch and listen to it all. You never know what Mom’s going to say next.
Mom smokes Salem cigarettes, but she doesn’t want Grandpa Sanderson to know it. Some of Mom’s friends smoke too. One day, they were all having coffee at Aunt Elna’s, and they looked out the window. There was Grandpa walking up to the door. All of the women but Aunt Elna, who doesn’t smoke, ran to the bathroom to flush their cigarettes. I saw Mom act it all out later. She said, “Here we all were, crammed into the bathroom, trying to keep Grandpa from finding out we smoke.” Elsa Peck piped up and said, “Why am I hiding? He’s not my Dad.” I felt sorry for Aunt Elna when I heard about it. Don’t you know Grandpa walked into a room full of smoke, and it was just her standing there?
Mom goes to a lot of trouble to keep Grandpa from knowing she smokes. We have a picture of Mom holding a cigarette. She loves that picture of herself, and didn’t really want to throw it out. She took the scissors and cut the hand holding the cigarette out of the picture. All that’s fine, but I thought she went too far when she threw a burning cigarette into her purse, when she saw Grandpa coming.
I’m not alldumb, and neither is Grandpa. He has to know Mom smokes. The lesson here is, don’t uncover an “Aunt” pile if you don’t have to. If someone wants to smoke or eat chalk, you just have to mind your own business.