Sunday, October 11, 2009
I Want To Tell You All A Story About A Harper Valley Widowed Wife...
Remember the song Harper Valley PTA? You know the mom goes up to the school and tells everyone’s secrets and basically tells everyone to mind their own damn business. Well Gladys had her very own Harper Valley PTA moment.
Taddy was at that awkward age. She wasn’t yet a teenager and she wasn’t still a child, she was a tween. They lived in a small town in south Texas and she went to a small town school. Gladys was a divorced working mother back when being a divorced working mother still stirred a lot of gossip. Gladys commuted almost sixty miles one way to her job, which meant when she left in the morning Tadpole was getting on the bus and Tad was home long before Gladys arrived home. Tadpole called her mother every day when she arrived home from school.
One afternoon Gladys got a tearful telephone call from Tadpole. “Mawhama, sniff, the principal called me a hooker, sniff, sniff, and said I should be on a street corner somewhere” she said as she sniffed snot bubbles back into her nose. Gladys sat for a moment trying to process the words that had been sent through the telephone lines. She asked her daughter to repeat what the principal had said word for word because she knew that sometimes tweens can be very melodramatic. Sniff, sniff, schllliccpppp “he said that my shorts were too short, but mawhama they are as long as my fingertips, almost. He walked up to me in the cafeteria line. He made me hold my hands to my sides and then, then, sniff, sniff…” at this point she became incoherent. So Gladys waited for the flood to recede and prodded her daughter on “he said your shorts were too short and…” Tadpole went on in a very high whiney snot filled rush “sniff, sniff he told me that my outfit looked like something a hooker would wear. He said that I should be standing on a street corner. Then he made me put on a great big t-shirt and I had to wear it the rest of the day. Mahawma I wanted to die! Sniff, sniff.”
Gladys again processed the information. She felt the blood rise in her head and she found it difficult to breath “is that so” she asked her daughter. “Un-huh he sent a note home for you too. It says you are supposed to see him tomorrow.” Gladys took a deep breath and said “yeah, I bet he changes his mind once I get there.” Tadpole sat frozen for a second then said “Mawhama please don’t embarrass me. I was so embarrassed today that I wanted to crawl in a hole. I don’t think I ever want to go back to school.” Gladys sighed and said “don’t worry about it baby. I know it was embarrassing but it will be okay, I promise.” They talked little more then Gladys hung up the phone and sat and stewed.
She stewed for the rest of the afternoon, she had an hour commute home in which she sat and stewed. Then she stewed through dinner. She stewed while she waited for Tadpole to finish her ballet class and while she took her bath. Finally she went to her daughter’s room and sat down on the bed “Tad go get the shorts you wore today. Get the whole outfit and put it on. I want to see what it looks like.” Tadpole put on her cute blue jean shorts and her top and stood in front of Gladys. “Put your arms to your sides and stand up straight” Gladys instructed her daughter while she took pictures of her. Then she had Tadpole hold a ruler from her knee to the bottom of her shorts. It was just has she had thought. The shorts were not too short, they were not even short shorts they were barely 3 inches above her daughter’s knees. This added jet fuel to a chemical flame.
Gladys went to her closet she searched through her clothes and there in the back of her closet, she found it. She gathered together her outfit and then ran down to the local 24 hour Squal-mart. She dropped her film off to be developed with the promise they would be ready before her meeting. She returned home kissed her sleeping child and crawled into bed. She had her plan and her speech well rehearsed.
It was about that time that Gladys realized she could here her own voice echoing through the school. It was as if she was Lou Gehrig and she was giving that famous speech “today-ay-ay is-s-s-s the happiest-t-t-t da-ayaya…” you get the idea. The school secretary had hit the intercom button and the whole entire school was hearing Gladys’ diatribe. Well that was the day that Gladys socked it to the Cypress Valley Principal if not the PTA.
Thanks to V.E. Fantastical Nonesense for stirring this memory.