Boots and the Three Faces of Eve

BootsWhenever my mother came to visit me in Arizona, I knew something unusual would happen. On one particular occasion, Mary drove over with her friend Bernie. Bernie was actually normal. She had normal hair, normal weight, and a normal personality.  It was shocking how normal she was.

Anyway, once I got over asking myself what Bernie was doing with my mother for a friend, I decided to let it go and just have a normal conversation with her. Bernie was easy to talk to. She wanted to know how Boots was doing. I smiled and informed her that I didn’t know who she was talking about.  “Boots,” she insisted.

Boots, you know

Bernie said.

“No, I don’t,” I replied.

Finally, in exasperation, she said,

Everyone called your Aunt Marty ‘Boots’.

She said it like I was some kind of very slow individual who had happened to wander into her conversation.

You know they called her Boots!

Cover of "The Three Faces of Eve"

Cover of The Three Faces of Eve

Well, no, I didn’t know they called her Boots.  In fact, I had never heard of Aunt Marty being called anything but Aunt Marty.  Unfortunately, Mary had created a fabulous story about a pair of cowboy boots supposedly purchased for Aunt Marty at age four.  This gift made such an impression that it followed her throughout the rest of her life as a special family nickname.

Never mind that Lindy and I had never heard this story before.  Never mind that I was not prepared to handle Mary’s friend and her version of the truth.  Mary lived in such a Far From Normal world and it never occurred to her to share her made-up world with others.  She was The Three Faces of Eve way before Eve, and she was all the personalities of Sybil way before there was a Sybil.  Boots was just one more step over to the Wild Side with Mary.

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