A Story that didn’t make it into my memoir, The End
Now that Lorna’s future plant-loving in-laws know her to be a tree-slaughter, is there anything else she could do to further alienate them?
Of course! I had only just begun! And they didn’t even know that I was a drunken hussy. But, to be fair, neither did my future husband. A girl has to keep some mystery for after the wedding, right?
Corn season was something of an “event” when I was growing up. Without bioengineering making sweet corn available longer, corn season back then was brief and precious I loved the mechanics of eating corn on the cob as much as the corn itself. Pretending that it was a manual typewriter roll, I would bite my way across the cob from left to right. Ding! Scroll and return to attack another row. We bought our corn from farm stands, not knowing exactly when it was picked even though every sign boasted “Fresh-Picked Corn!” My mom wrapped any leftover ears in aluminum foil and reheated them in the oven for the next evening’s dinner. The corn was starchy and tough the second night, but all corn when attached to a cob was good corn.
The VPs grew their own corn, thus the freshness-factor was predictable. One summer evening I was invited over for dinner for the first corn of the season. The water was already boiling when the men-folk went out to pick the ears. Two minutes in the boiling water and out came the cobs, piled high and steaming. For them, this was the only way to have corn—fresh from the garden and within minutes of being picked. I was in awe, never having had corn that fresh before in my life. I saw this as opportunity to weave my way into their hearts. I thought, I will rave about the special treat of having such delicious, fresh corn, which, fortunately, I had not mown over.
Ever eager (to please and to eat), I grabbed an ear, buttered and salted it and took a bite. It was great. At least I thought so. I told them with enthusiasm how exquisite the corn tasted. Before I had a chance to finish my accolades, however, Victor and his dad took a bite and spit it out, shaking their heads in utter disappointment with the dismal quality of the corn. They just tossed the virtually uneaten cob aside and picked another hoping for a better experience.
Again, I was awestruck. I concluded that I must be a corn dolt. Here I was extolling the scrumptious-factor of this corn they thought was only fit for pigs. I was just a corn dolt who lived in a trailer with my corn dolt kin.
Of course, I immediately labeled them “corn snobs.”
To fit in as their future daughter-in-law, I had to refine my corn buds. It’s hard to school your way out of corn-doltdom. The best I could manage was to reserve judgement on any ear of corn until one of the corn snobs had spoken.
They forgave the tree-slaughterer. They tolerated the corn dolt. But one thing they never quite got over was my reluctance to join their cults.
Perhaps I should explain. Victor and his father were members of a Masonic Lodge. As far as I could tell, being a Mason had more to do with secret religious-based brotherhood shenanigans and less to do with building anything with stones or bricks. As a woman, I wasn’t permitted to know more details, or they would have to kill me and, frankly, I wasn’t that curious.
The Masons, as luck would have it, has a sister organization called the Eastern Star made up of the wives of these Murky Masons. Their main function was to be proud of the Masons doing who-knows-what at the meetings, cook for them when they hosted dinners, and get all chatty about religion and domestic stuff…I guess. My future mother-in-law really wanted me to become an Eastern Starlet because she was one.
But I’m not a joiner. I didn’t even stick with AA because it was too groupy-groupy for me.
I’m pretty sure at least my mother-in-law saw me as a heathen. I know that because she called a heathen. But she was drinking and was a little riled up about godless people. I happened to be there: a perfect example of someone who didn’t go to church and rejected religious cults. So she had a valid point.
But the VP’s prided themselves on not interfering and on appearances. I looked good on their son’s arm and he wanted me. The rest, is, as they say, history.
~ by Lorna's Voice on February 12, 2013.