Whenever Mother believed she had been mistreated, snubbed, or suffered some other form injustice (whether true or imagined, and in her case it was more often imagined) her favorite refrain was:
You couldn’t pay me to attend.
You couldn’t pay me to talk to them
or one of her favorites:
You couldn’t pay me to care.
This mantra was used quite often as she thought there were individuals who’s only goal in life was to bother her. Sick? We know.
Being delusional about everyday life did not serve mother well. Her friendships were almost always fleeting and her long term relationships were few and far between.
One of her favorite people in the whole world has always been her cousin, Billy Taylor. Mother remembered many happenings from their past. Billy claims they never occurred.Big surprise there! The fact she never got mad at him speaks volumes about her relationship with him. He was her anchor to the past that she envisioned as an idyllic one filled with falsehoods and fabrications. According to one of her tales they were going on a family picnic and their grandmother had prepared so much food that it could barely fit on the large wagon. There were baskets of buttermilk fried chicken, biscuits, homemade jellies and jams, every pie conceivable and cakes and cookies of every sort.
The problem with this scenario was it happened during the depression and this part of her family was dirt poor. I’m not sure they even had a wagon to load up with all the goodies.
Once again, Mother was remembering something that she either read about or wished had happened. Sure sounded good. And if you ever dared to question her version you were on the wrong side of just about everything.
Her oft repeated phrase:
You couldn’t pay me to…
often meant that she was unwilling to bend to or otherwise accept reality. It also meant that she would spend her life with regrets instead of living life fully. Her loss but our lesson.