Saturday, August 6, 2011


Gentle Readers,

Favorite Young Man was but a babe in arms, undergoing the inspection of two older women. They admired his tiny blue terry cloth shorts and top.

The shorts are getting too small, I said. He won't be able to wear them much longer.

They felt the waist band of the shorts and replied, Why, all you have to do is take out the elastic and blahblahblah make them bigger.

I don't know how, I said.

YOU DON'T KNOW HOW? they screeched.

No, I don't know how. I don't know how to sew.

I thought they were going to have heart attacks and die on the spot and rather than be responsible for calling the paramedics and have to clean up the damn mess because most people barf when they have heart attacks so I bade them a fond farewell and prayed to God I would never have to look at their stupid faces or hear their screechy voices again  for them to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Yes, there's a lot I don't know. It's really easy to say that something is easy when you already know how to do it. But what's easy for me, like writing a blog post or creating a Web site, maybe somebody else wouldn't think it's so easy.

My skills are pretty limited, and I blame it on my mother, as we all must blame our mothers for something that's wrong with us, but don't go getting any ideas Favorite Young Man and Someone I Love.

Mother made my older sisters cook and clean, but in general, as the youngest, I was not allowed to do anything. I would not do it right.

I did not glory in my place of honor as Mother's baby who did not have to do the work. I knew my sisters hated me for it. I actually tried to step in and help at times. Once when I was home alone, I --GASP! -- washed the dishes. Mother yelled at me for not getting all the dish soap out of the cups and I was told to never do it again.

If I tried to wipe off the kitchen counter, I got it too wet -- as if it would never dry. I was not allowed to add an ornament to the Christmas tree because I would not do it right. I couldn't even put on a single fucking strand of fucking tinsel.

So, here I sit at my computer. I don't know how to sew. I don't know how to can corn. I don't know how to do this, that, and the other thing because Mother wouldn't let me and I'm still afraid I won't do it right.

BUT . . .

You want your Chaucer read in Middle English?  I'm your woman.

You need some great quotations from poetry or Shakespeare or want an original poem for a special occasion? I'm your woman.

You need a 14-inch article? Give me the facts and in 20 minutes it's yours and will require little to no editing.

You need a wound cleaned and bandaged? I can do it as well as any doctor and I won't get grossed out and barf.

I have my talents. They just don't involve sewing machines or putting food in jars. It's not a problem. There are people you can pay to alter clothes. It's their job. And -- I know this one is hard to believe but I swear to GOD it's true -- you can buy food already in jars at a store that's meant especially for selling food in jars and cans.

I think Mother was proud of me for a couple of reasons when I was young: She loved it that I was very thin --didn't know I was anorexically thin -- and people quite often commented on how cute I was. Mother would whisper to me with delight about how someone behind her had been whispering about me, Oh she always looks so cute.

And if Mother were here today, I don't think it would bother her that I can't sew or can food or do a lot of the things she did. She would be thrilled that I finished college and that my writing has been published in magazines and newspapers. She would show strangers on the street my byline.

She would go on and on about how hard working and good looking Favorite Young Man is and what a cutie Little Chick is and how sweet LL, RL, AR, and NL are and how talented and beautiful Someone I Love Is and oi! she would love Brilliant Buff British Boyfriend.

And she would still think I'm cute, especially since Sam cut my hair in a wedge recently and it's absolutely the most adorable hair cut I've ever had.

Yes, there's a lot I don't know.

But I managed to jump in and learn how to do a few things and then teach my children how to do those things and then they learned even more on their own.

Best of all, I know how to love, and I love God, my children, my friends, and my dogs. And I know that the more I love, the more love there is. The supply of love is never depleted because you've shared it. Love expands constantly. It's a law of physics.

That's why I have . . .

Infinities of love,



  1. I'm just the opposite. I was the youngest of 5 but all boys till me. My mother taught me to cook and clean and I learned how to sew in Home Ec in Jr. High. However, just because I know how doesn't mean I do it. I hate cooking with a passion, and I absolutely will never clean like my mother. I like my home lived in. And I have 0 patience for sewing. By hand or machine. I just have no patience. So don't feel bad. We're just the kind of women who do great at what we "enjoy" doing.

  2. Beatifully said, Lola. :)

    I don't know how to sew, either. My stepmom (who has the patience of a saint) tried to teach me, but I was all thumbs. I can stitch a torn seam or replace a button, but that's about it for me.

    But I agree with you, and instead of dwelling on what I don't do well, I choose to enjoy other things in life, including my kids.

    I'm glad to know that at least your mom would appreciate who you are instead of berating you for not learning things she didn't teach you. :)

  3. Dear Barb and LegalMist,

    I'm so happy you don't sew. A young woman at a Bible study I attended long, long ago talked about how if we're going to serve we should serve in ways that give us joy. So, she said, if you hate to work in the church kitchen, then don't work in the church kitchen. That philosopy has always stuck with me.



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