Common courtesy was anything but common when it came to Mary. She had a certain level of expectation and since she had such a high opinion of herself, she thought most people enjoyed waiting on her. This included her children as well as other relatives and family members.
She was always yelling at Abby or me to run and fetch her cigarettes. Kind of like you might yell at an old dog. Or maybe she needed her ashtray emptied because it was overflowing and might become a fire hazard. This was never done with a please or thank you from her. It was just expected.
When she went visiting, she expected people to wait on her and never offered to help out with the dishes or general cleaning up. She was like royalty and reminded us that she was their guest, which meant they would wait on her hand and foot. She loved to tell us how much everyone enjoyed her visits and how they couldn’t do enough for her.
Abby and I knew Mary’s infrequent use of manners was not normal. Although we enjoyed being waited on also, we soon figured out that being a guest meant helping out when able. We knew that although Mary thought of herself as royalty, we were much more grounded. She helped us with that by reminding us how much she had done for us and that we owed her. I think they called them indentured servants but without the uniforms.