My Friend, Mary
According to my friend, Mary, the motto for 1992 will be: “They just don’t get it, do they?”
She is referring to the all-male Senate Committee that ruled in favor of Clarence Thomas over Anita Hill. Mary feels that a decision is not valid if it doesn’t represent all of the people and it can’t represent all of the people when there are no women in the Senate.
While she is expounding her theories on this national issue with great determination and conviction, she plops her 200 pounds down into my swivel chair—my personal chair, of all things—and reaches into my chocolate drawer behind her, helping herself repeatedly. (It was a dark day in my life when she discovered my secret drawer.)
In between bites, she is saying, “Chauvinism is still with us.” Chomp, Chomp. “Men are running everything and important decisions that affect all of us are being made by men.” Chomp, Chomp. “There is no balance of power and for a system to work there must be balance.”
Speaking of balance, Mary is a perfect candidate for breast reduction. She has such weight on her ribs, she leans forward a little when she stands. Concerned, I once asked her, “Mary, at what age did you start to develop?” She answered, “I don’t remember. All I know is, one morning when I was a teenager, I woke up, and my boobs were so big, I thought someone else was in the bed.”
My top heavy friend reaches for more chocolate, then pushes herself back into the chair. The weight of her upper torso causes the chair to fall backward but her fall is broken by the open candy drawer. The top of the swivel chair is caught on that drawer—justice, if there ever was any. She looks like she’s in a dental chair, only a foot off the floor.
I rush over to her, but what could I do? She is twice my size. I pull and tug on the chair, but it is solidly locked onto my candy drawer. Maybe if one of the men she is railing out against were here, we wouldn’t be in this predicament, but in light of her strong political opinions, I’m sure not going to mention that we could use the help of a man.
Strangely enough, her precarious situation does not quell the fervor of her diatribe—nor her appetite for my chocolate, for that matter.
“Just look under your nose,” Chomp, Chomp. I did, and all I could see under my nose was Mary on her back, hooked onto my secret candy drawer, the chocolate of which is rapidly vanishing.
“Just look under your nose in this town” she repeats. “Just because it’s a woman running for office, they resorted to vandalism. Look what happened to the 225 signs she had put up. And why? Because they just can’t stand to have a woman in power.”
Mary tries to lift herself up, but quickly falls back down again. She is like a beetle on its back. I was disgusted, mostly about my dwindling chocolate supply. Perhaps if I could shut that drawer . . . .
I took hold of the back of her chair, and with adrenalin power, tried to lift it as I worked the drawer shut with my foot an inch at a time. I eventually succeeded, and Mary dropped to the floor with a loud thud. This pleased me on a primitive level, her punishment for eating so much of my candy. Now lying flat on the floor, she is able to roll the chair sideways and crawl away.
She did not stop talking throughout this whole ordeal, nor did she stop chewing. “People are just not going to put up with endless inequities.” Chomp, Chomp. “There’s got to be change or we perish as a nation, as a state, and as a town.”
Mary has crawled away from the chair on all fours and pulls herself back onto her feet by taking hold of the desk top. Without so much as a pause, she lifts the swivel chair, puts it back in the same place, and plops back down into it. Again, she is reaching far into my candy drawer, and continues her harangue.
“They just don’t get it, do they?” and she is still chomping away.
“You haven’t said much, Lucille. What do YOU think?”
“Mary, I don’t know what the solution is to politics, religion, or life. All I know is that I’m moving my chocolate to a new secret place where you can’t find it.”