Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I Don't Suck.

Today I sat in the waiting room of a doctor's office, waiting for something I expected to be enormously unpleasant, and talking with one of my bestest ever friends. I noticed the woman across the room.

She looked uncannily like someone I've heard a little about and don't think I'd want to meet.

She looked like someone a thousand times more photogenic, sexy, and alluring than I am.

But for all of that, she sure didn't look very happy.

I don't know who it was, and I don't remember if she was there when I came out, met my friend, and split. I reckon I'd forgotten about her by the time I'd endured my little ordeal.

Sometimes I put myself through all the wrong paces for the wrong reasons. When I stood in my kitchen tonight, doing one of my favorite things -- baking pie -- while another of my friends hung out with my kids, it occurred to me that it has to stop. No more slipping into whiny-ass mode. No more feeling sorry I don't have a big sexy pout to turn men inside out. No more hiding my potential, my power, my passion, my accent, my ability to go from Bach to the Beatles to Bill Monroe, my ability to keep up in conversations for which I shouldn't be "smart enough," or my relatively fearless outlook.

I don't suck. In fact, I damn near rock. I just have trouble remembering that. I'm grateful I have good friends, and two awesome kids, to remind me.

I wish I had met Ola Belle Reed. She just seemed so fearless, and lived her life so honestly. Apparently, when I was a small fry, she would hold fiddlin' contests at Bethany College, where I later spent many, many blissful days as a teenage theatre addict and foreign language student. Two of my early loves went to school there, and one of the professors there led me to my beloved alma mater, Denison University. She sounds like she was an incredible woman. This song has been recorded by many from Del McCoury to Tim O'Brien (a fellow Wheelingite who competed in those fiddle contests) to Joan and Pete Wernick.

When I grow up, I want to be Ola Belle. Maybe ten years from now I'll look back and sing this song and thank her properly for the inspiration to stop apologizing for my honesty, my courage, my life.

I've Endured

Born in the mountains fifty years ago

I've trod the hills and valleys through the rain and snow
I've seen the lightning flashing
Heard the thunder roll
I've Endured I've Endured
how long can one endure

Barefoot in the summer on into the fall
Too many mouths to feed they could not clothe us all
Sent to church on Sunday to learn the golden rule
I've Endured I've Endured how long can one endure

I've worked for the rich I've lived with the poor
I've see many a heartache and I'll see many more
Lived, loved, and sorrowed, been to success's door
I've Endured I've Endured how long can one endure


At November 24, 2005 12:05 AM, Blogger My Boring Best said...

You certainly do not suck (at least, not in that way!) and you are definitely one of the most capable and intelligent women I've known in my life. You should always be proud of the fact that you are pretty darn great, have two wonderful kids, and are pretty damn sexy.

Now bake me a pie, woman! (joke)

At November 24, 2005 8:40 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Why thanks, Jim. And you know I'd be happy to bake you any pie you like...except things with meringue. Meringue just makes me nervous.

This morning, my friend Lynne and I watched Martha bake a deep-dish, single crust pear cranberry pie -- she called it a "rustic country pie". It was a glorious thing. I hate that bitch.

Then again, she did spend some time in a WV prison and might have come to appreciate Ola Belle even more than I have. Whodathunkit.

At November 24, 2005 10:10 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

You invoke the great Martha, whom we love to hate.... the world falls into my deadly plot to overthrow as we bake...

Happy T-day Jen!!

At November 26, 2005 3:05 PM, Blogger Just Some Gal said...

You're beautiful, You're beyond kind, sweet... There is so much more to you than your words describe.


I think I love you ever so much... Please, bake me a pie... mmmm

At November 26, 2005 3:46 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hey Blondie,
Thanks for your sweet-as-pie message. ;-) If there's anything I've learned, is that men come and go, but pie is a constant. What's your favorite?


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