I’m busy showing you how much I love you.
See, like most children of the South, I was raised not to be bothersome to other people–outside of my own home. In public, I was taught not to trouble anybody by asking for anything (I could accept whatever might be offered–a drink, for example, but I was not to ask for something to drink). No, in public, I was to speak only when spoken to, and then I was to use my very best manners, as in, “Yes, ma’am, I’d love some water. Thank you.” Other than that, I was expected to sit still, quietly, and with my legs crossed, until it was time to go home. If I got bored, I was encouraged to read.
I was not encouraged to ask the thirty-two million burning questions I had at any given moment–because the answers were, no doubt, in a book somewhere that I could read. Fidgeting, making noise, or any kind of a mess, were also strictly prohibited.
Naturally, I’ve carried these lessons forward into my adult life. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that by not calling, not disturbing, not asking for anything, I am showing DEEP LOVE AND RESPECT. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I know!
Maybe you’re thinking my parents were too hard on me. I think not. A case in point: A few years ago, when I visited New Orleans for the first time with my best friend of nearly twenty years, I asked so many questions on the first day that she–MY BEST FRIEND!–finally turned to me and said something like, “Catherine, honey, I love you dearly, but we’re going to need to find somebody else for you to question . . . because if you ask me one more question, I’ll be forced to stab you. Violently and repeatedly. And I’ll miss you. Later. But not now.” So you can kind of see what my parents were up against. I think it’s fair to say that we all owe them. Especially my best friend. (I bought several books about New Orleans, which is probably the reason I’m still alive today.)
Bottom line: If I haven’t called you in a while–or ever–you should probably count your blessings, and you should definitely count my love and respect among them!
P.S. Happy birthday, Uncle Bob! I would call you, but I don’t want to interrupt the celebration. Because I love you. You get that, right?