This Side of the Door …
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter
Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … Facebook.com/GrannyGee
I would be devastated if I knew I was imposing in someone’s life not knowing it. My way of thinking is I stay in my life … others stay in their life … when we decide to meet in ‘the middle’ … it’s so much fun, joy when it happens. That’s why I do not … go visiting.
I love the unexpected … the honesty of really wanting to do things, be with people I want to be around. Real smiles, laughter … real connections.
Years ago, I remember as a young mom, woman of the house … uninvited guests would come. I … had to be nice … or else. I had to do this, I had to do that … and I’d better not say ‘no’. That angered me when I knew I was being taken advantage of. It wasn’t fair … knowing me … you would know that’s not going to work. There’s going to be a train wreck in the future … and I was going to be the one coming out of it.
I had to go here, there with people when I didn’t want to go with them. I had to go do things for others I didn’t want to do. I had to pretend to be happy when I was upset, angry at what I knew was happening in my life … but, had to pretend I didn’t know. How in the f___ was I supposed to do that? I had to give my books, my clothes to people who decided they liked them, asked for them. I had to draw things when I didn’t like to be forced into drawing … for others. I had to take them places when I didn’t want to … ‘I had to’…
I did it … but, sometimes I would … break bad. I would say the things I felt, knew … things I as a woman (very young woman) wasn’t suppose to say … because ‘we’ are suppose to pretend we don’t know. Pretend to not know I was being taken advantage of, playing like I was … dumb, so as not to hurt someone’s feelings. What about my feelings?
My whole f______ world was falling apart … I was supposed to smile, be happy. You know like those commercials on tv advertising medicines that can kill you, cause heart attacks, cause cancer while you get a damn erection on… the whole time you see a couple smiling, living life happy because they are taking that medicine. Death is creeping up on their asses … and they are grinning.
Can’t you look back into your childhood, remember ‘those people’ who came visiting unannounced … and everyone began groaning when seeing them pull up, walk up into the yard?
Oh no! It’s Aunt ____! She’ll stay all damn day long! She’ll eat up all our supper … then, fill a plateful to take home!
Damn her, why in the Hell did she have to come today of all days? We are having grilled chicken … she’ll eat it all up! You know how we love our grilled chicken! She always picks the ‘best’ pieces!
Oh no! It’s Uncle _____. He’ll talk all damn day! I can’t stand it! Quick, lock the door so, he won’t come in! Sh-hhhh! Be quiet, he won’t know we are here! Whew! He’s backing out of the driveway.
You get the picture. I grew up seeing, listening as a young child at how everyone acted on ‘this’ side of the door … the inside of a home (even if it was dysfunctional, it was a … home). So many ‘unwanted’ people always came to the … other side of the door. Sometimes, the adults would open the door, put a fake smile on their faces, invite someone … unwanted … in.
I would watch as the … unwanted person … would begin smiling, be happy that … everyone … wanted them … to be there! Damn bastards … dishonest bastards. As a little girl … it would make me angry. It’s not fair to be that damn … two-faced! As a woman today … I could see no one wanted to be honest … hurt someone’s feelings. So … which is worse?
My way is to never get on such … close terms … with someone who wants to come visit you, eat your meals with you … oh! Take a loaded plate home with them when leaving your table! You do know … that’s why … they came in the first place. They aren’t all that … innocent.
I’m a private person … that way I don’t bother others and I don’t let them bother me. This way we can all stay honest, not hurt feelings or … pretend to like someone when we really don’t. Yes, I know there are those times … one does have to pretend to … like. I … know that game, too. Oh … I hate to cook so, I don’t have to worry about someone wanting my cooking!
Phone is the same way … you are lucky to get me to talk on a phone with you. Rarely do I take time to do so. Working on a hospital switchboard for years broke me … I’m just not going to sit and talk on a phone with you. Text me, email me … I’ll text, email you back all day long. Very few people do I enjoy on the phone … very few can hold my attention that long.
Getting back to that unwanted guest everyone dreaded to see coming … that unwanted guest took note in the past, filed it back in their minds … of those special days you’d be grilling chicken, steak. As they sat thinking about visiting … they hoped no one would realize they only came when there was good food being served… they blinded their eyes, ears to the things that told them … they weren’t wanted at those special times in someone’s home.
The tantalizing thoughts of morsels of white chicken with bbq sauce with jalapeno peppers, eaten with the softest slices of white bread … couldn’t be resisted. Good-ass iced tea with lemon on top of it! Never-mind there was homemade ice-cream for dessert. Pride put in back of mind … happy face put on … pretense of not realizing they weren’t wanted … thoughts of that good food made the decision to go … visiting … a good one.
The sad thing is … sometimes the unwanted guest … heard a child say, “here comes old Aunt ____!” Heard the adult say, “Oh my God, why is she coming now? It’s like she knows we’re having bbq chicken today!” Face feeling hot, embarrassed … forgetting quickly as …
When the door opened … no traces of wishing old Aunt ______ hadn’t come … the unwanted guest ‘forgot’ …. smiled brightly, entered the home where she wished she lived. She didn’t have any family … she was very lonely. For now, she was damned hungry for that good-old bbq chicken! Your … good-old bbq chicken! Give me that damn chicken … I’m on your side of the door now!
She was going to take the ‘best’ pieces! Saliva dripping out of her mouth as she anticipated eating bbq chicken … eating the crisp, golden skin off it. The aroma of more chicken grilling … all she could eat! She was weak with hunger … desire to feel that chicken in her mouth while she swallowed its juices down her throat. Rinsing with cold, refreshing iced tea with lemon squeezed, stirred into it. Sunshine on a cloudy day!
So … who is at fault here? Children know what goes on ‘this side of the door’ … I know I don’t want to be on the other side of the door … be that unwanted guest everyone dreads to see coming. I don’t want anyone’s good bbq chicken even if I know when they are going to cook it!
The good thing here is … I do know how cook/grill my own bbq chicken! Make that good bbq sauce with jalapeno peppers … take those soft slices of white bread … ‘sop’ them in the sauce and close my eyes … drink my own tea with lemon to wash it all down.
Mmmm-mmm, I can see why someone would take note of when those special times are at someone’s house 🙂 I could be tempted though … I wouldn’t … it’s not me. I would go without before imposing on someone.
You all know what goes on … on this … side of the door! I know you do! Watch who you let know when you are going to barbecue chicken! Most people will do anything … to get some! I’m telling you … even I am … tempted, so don’t tell me either! 🙂 I don’t want to show up on the other side of your door.
Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … I love barbecue chicken as good as the next person! And … barbecue sauce with jalapeno peppers! 🙂 Give me some of that good, old bbq chicken!
Note from this Author:
You all know what I’m talking about … just take a stroll on Memory Lane back to your childhood. People will do anything for some good food … even children, to be truthful.
I did something one time as a little girl I’ve always been ashamed of. Looking back … I don’t make excuses for being very young … I knew I was doing wrong. I wouldn’t have let the memory of it make me feel embarrassed today … if I’d done right.
I’m almost too ashamed to tell you about it. In fact, for now … I won’t. I just can’t talk about it. I didn’t hurt anyone but, myself. The shame of just me knowing … has always been enough.
Anyway … getting off that subject for now. I may write about it later. It has to do with the best smelling stew beef and potatoes, onions I’ve ever smelled … or tasted. I will tell you this … it wasn’t on our side of the door! Bad, little girl … shame on her. She should have known better no matter if she was a child … she should know everything.
Gloria Faye Brown … at age 9 … my whole world went to Hell … I went to Hell … I was mean as the Devil … not really … but, trouble seemed to look for this little girl who tried to ‘be a good girl’. I saw things, heard things I shouldn’t have.
I was an innocent child … but, I wonder if that’s enough of an excuse? It just seems ‘I would have known better’ … regardless of how I could have. This is the age where I began to learn I wasn’t as good as other little girls … they could be in the Girl Scouts, have a Barbie Doll, have sleep-overs. My pretty clothes disappeared as I went to rags, hand-me-down shoes.
I wished for good food … and no one had a lot of money to get what everyone wanted to eat. When I went to Hell … no longer did I eat as I was growing up to eat. I only had memories of a pretty table set with silverware, plates, glasses … and of everyone going to sit down to a really nice meal, complete with dessert. I never knew that again as a child.
True account/photos are written, owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.