I can't tell you exactly what made me remember this just now, but I want us to know all about each other's individual histories so as to build this relationship on a solid foundation so I think I should share it with you today, k? When I was 5 years old my two best friends were my parent's next door neighbors Mary Lou and her husband Ralph. Mary Lou and Ralph were nothing short of the most awesome people I knew at that time in my life. As an example of how utterly amazing they were, Mary Lou always saved her cereal box toys for me when she opened a new box. She quickly earned the category of Angelic Superhero in my book after that. Her kid was grown up, like 20! So she always saved certain things just for me to cherish.
At the time I had approximately 34 brothers and sisters, so I usually got lost in the jumbly circusry that was my parents own home. But every time I went to Mary Lou and Ralph's it was like I was the only kid in the world. They were about 50-ish years old and Ralph worked as an electrician out of his home while Mary Lou planted a giant garden in their backyard every summer. She would always take me up and down the rows scooping out little holes for the seeds and covering them up delicately before sprinkling water on each little pile. I loved every minute of it. All summer we'd pick our red ripe tomatoes, slice them up with salt and pepper, and gobble them up still warm from the sun's rays. And in the fall we would harvest our beautiful green peppers and laugh at how big the zucchini and pumpkins had grown.
I loved to ride on the tractor with Ralph as he zipped around the backyard mowing the horse field. I would totally forget I didn't live there until darkness fell and my mom would yell out for me to get home from next door.
Every so often Ralph and Lou-Lou's son would drop in for a visit. Needless to say, this did not go over very well with me. They were my friends, and I didn't want to share my cereal box toys or tractor rides with anyone. This animosity absolutely delighted the son, Kevin, to no end. He lived to see me get so worked up every time he showed up. He took to teasing me about anything he could think of just to get me riled up. It was all in good fun, of course, but he and Ralph and Mary Lou would just laugh and laugh at my retorts.
One time he came home and yelled out to me, "Hey Little Lady!" This was not my idea of a proper greeting for someone as sophisticated as myself so I refused to answer him back. "Hey there, Little Lady," Kevin tried again. Still nothing from me. "Well, what's wrong with you?" he asked. "Nothing," I replied, "but my name is not 'Little Lady'. It's...It's Mrs. Wilson".
There! I sure showed him. He better treat me like a grown woman now that my name is Mrs. Wilson. Well, I didn't know a Mrs. Wilson. I've never known a Mrs. Wilson. She was a complete fabrication of my own unwillingness to be teased anymore. But all my plans and strategy crumpled before my eyes. The three of them turned to make eye contact with each other, and it started. They laughed like there was no tomorrow. Big whooping laughs with tears streaming down their faces. I stared in disbelief. Well, if they were going to be nasty then I was going home! And in a flurry of soil and dirty sneakers I stalked back to my own yard. To this day, Kevin still calls me Mrs. Wilson.