People Like You

I’ve always dreaded that term. It means me. whether I offend people by being tolerant of others and work for their rights, or am just old and arthritic, or just a woman, I do not know.

It is not in my bailiwick or arsenal. Heck, I used to be fined 10% of my fifty cent weekly allowance for calling my little sister dumb. We never came to fisticuffs. We did enough work around the “hobby farm” to make us tired and go to bed early. Unless we asked to go skinny-dipping in the pool in the dark in the few weeks they called “summer.” Parents would watch and allow us to dive and swim for 15 minutes then we’d shower and go to bed. We had our means of coercion, and they had a vested interest in us sleeping through the night. It was a good trade.

When folks say “people like you” it is always a negative. I do not like to think of people in that realm. People like you always————————————–. I call these GG’s, for gross generalizations. I’m northern, my husband is southern. Generations ago his folks may have fought the good folks. Mine were in Europe, with his, some in close towns with the soon-to-be Allies years after our civil war. Now his Dad keeps telling me I was the cause of the War of Northern Aggression. He’s kidding, of course, and we’ve turned to family stories rather than political discourse at dinner, perhaps as I help prepare and serve it.

We lived way out in the country and someone had built a “bus hut” of plywood, painted yellow, so the school bus could find us and the two boys next door out there early in the morning. We had to get up early because there was a long road and we were 1/4 mile from the hut by the road. There were more kids to take to school. When we arrived, in a half-bus with all the full buses unloading kids, older kids would tell us we were on the “retard bus.” We just had farms or lands or creeks and views better than their parents. In first grade I was reading at a sixth grade level and visiting the library every week.

It became the “tard bus” at school. It was small but local miscreants taunted me on it by ripping my winter hat in half, middle of winter. I was sent to the Principal, crying, thinking I was in trouble but only identifying photos. People like me, indeed. Two families owned a dairy down the road. Between them they had 12 kids. They approached the miscreants who stole the mail from their mother and never had a phone, and the offenders never spoke to me or touched me or stole my belongings ever again. No violence or injuries, just 12 vs. 3 and no-one has ever talked to me about it for 50 years.

People like me, another permutation. They actually do like me, husband and dog. That’s the kind of like I can deal with. I approach every person with the knowledge that this is someone I want to get to know. Let them prove otherwise. Must take Zoe out and breakfast. Then her beauty sleep. She’s a herder. It’s routine. Here’s to you from a dog mom, Dee



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