You can’t make good decisions without thinking things through. Learning this lesson is all part of growing up. It all turned out pretty well for the little Murdo Girl this time, but she was lucky. It could have been far more embarrassing. If you live in a small town, stories can sometimes take on a life of their own. People can also be very tolerant and forgiving.
______________________________________________________________________I’ve had a few embarrassing things happen in my 12 years, and this paper is about one of them. It all started about a year ago. I was at a basketball game with Mom and I began to get bored. Sitting a few feet from me, were three kids I didn’t know, so I figured they must be from another town. I decided to scoot over by them and strike up a conversation. They told me their names, and that they were from Ohio. I said, “My name is Judy.” You’re probably wondering why I lied about my name. Well, I’ve been thinking about that too. It just came out of my mouth. Sometimes, I wish I had a cuter name like my cousins. Here are the names of all the girl cousins on the Sanderson side… Andrea, Stephanie, Valerie, Suanne, Patrice, and then there’s me.. Mary. See what I mean? My Francis girl cousins have cute names too. They are…Cathy, Laurellen, Abby, and Nadine. I guess I like my name okay, but for just one night, I wanted a cute name. It was between Judy and Pamela.
Anyway, I had a good time visiting with the kids from Ohio. One thing led to another, and I ended up telling them about the time Mom tricked me by putting a pan of store bought cookies in the oven, so I would think she made them from scratch. They were for a PTA meeting, so I wanted them to be homemade.
One of the kids, (Jerry), told about the time he had to bring a cake to a school function. His Mom isn’t a very good cook, so he was worried the cake would be pretty pitiful, and it was. He said it was a layer cake held together by so many toothpicks, that if it had been a birthday cake, they wouldn’t have been able to light the candles. If the candles had ignited all the wood toothpicks, it would have burned the whole house down.
When it came time to take the pitiful cake to the event, Jerry’s Mom sent him off with it, telling him she would be there soon. Jerry was kind of embarrassed to take the sad looking cake in there, so he accidentally on purpose fell down, and dropped the pitiful cake. You can imagine the look on his face when he walked through the door and saw his Mom was already there. She looked very serious as he told her he fell right outside the door and messed up the cake. He even ripped a hole in his jeans. Well, his Mom held up another cake that she must have had someone else make for her because it looked good. His own Mom had tricked him. I guess our Moms are two of a kind.
Well, I kind of forgot about those kids. Then a little over a week ago, Mom and I were walking into the Auditorium, and I heard someone yell, “JUDY!” At first I didn’t realize they were yelling at me. I turned around and there they were. The boy hollered, “It’s me, Jerry!” “Oh, geez,” I thought. All three of those kids were standing there. Right behind them was Mrs. Lange, who lives across the highway from us. “Hi Helen,” Mom said. Jerry spoke up and said, “Grandma Helen, this is that girl Judy we were telling you about.” His two sisters both said, “Hi Judy.”
I just stood there looking like a dumb head. I could see Mrs. Lange was confused, and didn’t really know what was going on. Mom’s a little quicker than I am, she said, “Oh no, her name is Mary CONTENT!” The only thing that came to my mind was, maybe later, I could tell them I had a twin sister named Judy, or Judy was my nickname, but that would probably dig me into a deeper hole.
You want to know what else? Those kids stayed a week, and Mrs.Lange asked if I would help her find things for them to do. Mom said “Of course ! MARY would love to keep them company. “The kids never did say anything about my name not being Judy, but I felt kind of funny about it so, I finally told them the truth. They didn’t like their names either, so we all picked cute names.
One other good thing came of it. The Langes have a whole bunch of strawberry plants in a field behind their house. Mrs. Lange said since I was so nice to their grandkids, I could go pick some anytime I want to. Wait til I tell Suzanne Bork! Free fruit for us, and we can pick it in broad daylight.
I started thinking about what could be worse than having a plain name, and I finally came up with something. Grandma Francis’s birth name was Content. It was sometime later that she changed it to Constance. You could hardly blame her, especially since her maiden name was Bottum. If my name would have been Content Bottum, what do you think Mom would have called me when she got mad? Yup, Happy Butt.
I want to add one more thing to my story. I was confirmed into the United Methodist Church on Sunday. I was a little nervous, because we all had to answer a question. We studied everything in our classes, but we didn’t know which question we were going to get.They asked me if I could get into Heaven by doing good works alone. I said, “No, I have to believe in God and Jesus.”
I guess my answer was okay, because I was confirmed. Mom couldn’t come, but Grandpa and Grandma were both there. If I hadn’t been in the Church to see it, I wouldn’t have believed who else was there. My Dad came too. I already knew that he was happy about my confirmation, because the week before, he bought me a pretty red jumper and a beautiful white blouse to go with it. He said he had noticed I didn’t have very many pretty dresses, and he wanted me to look nice. (Dad’s not a church goer.) Anyway, I don’t think I will ever forget that he was there.
Dad, the ladies who cook in the Church basement, and Grandpa and Grandma Sanderson