Today when I was making pumpkin spice cookies, I felt sure that they needed another couple of minutes in the oven. But she was advising me that they needed to come out now. Since I detest cookies that sink in the middle and fall apart when you try to eat them, I let them stay in. When I took them out I could tell by the dark edges that they were overdone and would be crispy. “Now see what you did,” she said to me.
She has been with me for most of my life. I first heard her when I was about four and sneaked over to a glass-making company that had beautiful slivers of glass all mounded up in the back yard of the factory. I bent down and picked up a red shard shining in the sun, then a green one, and slipped a pink one into the pocket of my pinafore. She said, “Leave them there, you’ll cut yourself on them.” . But I ignored her and went home and somehow one of the pieces of glass slipped down behind the cushion of a chair I was sitting in and cut my thigh and Mom had to rush me to the hospital to get stitched up. I still have that scar and she thinks it’s a good reminder for me.
Another time when I was 13 I wanted desperately to get into a creek near our house, my two brothers were already in it and shouting and cool, it was about a hundred degrees outside, but she came along and said “Your Mom doesn’t want you to get in that creek because your dress will stick to your body and show your new breasts and you won’t be acting modestly.” But I got in anyway and had to pay for it by Mom being real mad at me and making me wear a blanket to cover myself while she got the dress washed and hanging on the clothesline next to my only other dress. I only had the two dresses so it was a stupid thing to do just to be cool. Still, I did enjoy it.
Anyway, when I went through my phase of online dating after my husband died, she was right by my side all the time. I would decide that I didn’t like a guy who came to meet me in a dirty jacket and she would say to me “Give him a chance, he just needs a woman to fix him up and make him presentable.” Then when I got home and he sent me an email she would say “Answer that, don’t hurt his feelings by ignoring him.” and I would be resentful as I wrote a nice email telling him I would be busy for the rest of my life. Because the truth is, I didn’t want a man I had to fix up.
This lady thinks she’s me, but she’s not. I’m much more cheerful than she is. She always has to show me the dark side of any bright ideas I’ve had.
© 2011 Just Lynne - 9/19/11