Our Lives (As Told By Reader’s Digest)

Mother was never one to worry about the actual truth in most cases of her life.  She fancied herself quite the intellect since she was always reading (never mind that most of what she read consisted of tawdry dime store novels that bordered on soft-core porn) . She also was never concerned about our egos. She used to always yell to anyone in listening range

I swear that Lindy Sue doesn’t have a lick of sense!

I can only tell you how nurturing and encouraging words like this were to me as a child! She also said that I was such a follower that I would jump off a bridge or play in traffic if one of my friends told me to. Now, you might think I was really hurt by these comments, but the truth is I just didn’t pay much attention to her. Reader's Digest

My sister and I suspected that she got some of her tales from a magazine such as Reader’s Digest, and that she she interjected her own characters to make it “her story.” Mother told her fictions so often that you began to think they were real. I’ve read of an actual psychological phenomenon where if a person tells the same fiction enough times, that person actually begins to believe it; the fiction then becomes even more convincing when told to others. So after awhile you never could be sure if she knew fact from fiction.

One of her tales was about me when I was in high school. She claims the teacher asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up and I wrote down math teacher. She thought this was such a hoot since, as she reminded me almost daily, she believed my math skills were very poor.

She re-told this fiction on a regular basis. In her version of the tale, when she asked me why I wrote down math teacher, supposedly I said because I didn’t know how to spell “psychiatrist.” Mother shared this made up tale with any available audience and laughed until she cried. The really weird thing about this little tale is it did not happen, at least not to me. Maybe someone submitted it to Reader’s Digest.

The truly ironic end to this tale is that I found myself teaching math in junior high later in life. And, yes, I can actually add two plus two!

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