I Don't Want to Make a Difference

That picture right there is of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman who did a lot of good in the world, unlike me, and at my age I don't give a dam*n what anybody thinks about it either.

She wasn't on a fixed income like I am and she liked going around doing things that matter, whereas I'm happy just going to the store and reading the labels on the cans, not doing anybody any harm, but not doing anything they'd write up in the papers either, at least not anything I'm proud of or would even own up to, though I'm capable of a lot y'all would never guess.

Penny who fixes my hair told me one time, she said, "Trixie, you are too a giving person! I've never left your house when you didn't shove into my hands a jar of pickled pears or chow chow that you've made!"

But what she don't know is that half the time I'll give her the jar of chow chow with the worst date because I'm saving up my better stock for when the world ends and all my kids and their kids and half the neighborhood end up here and I've got a whole house of hungry mouths to feed.

Now one thing I will freely give out and that is advice.

You have heard the saying "Advice is cheap." Well, it is, and that's what I like about it.

I guess word of my wisdom is reaching into the far corners of these United States, because I’m starting to get emails from as far away as Florida asking me for advice.

I got an email just this past week: “Trixie," this young gal said, "my kids are in school, my nerves are bad, and I'm spending my days watching Oprah and running around pulling out my hair, and I don’t know what to do with myself, and I could use some extra money."

So I wrote her back and gave her a bit of advice that you'd think would've sprung up natural as a weed from her own head. I said, “Honey, why don’t you get yourself a job? I've heard they are hiring at J.C. Penney's in the catalog department."

And she wrote back, "But I want to do something meaningful, Trixie. I want to make a difference."

So I right quick emailed her back and said, "Honey, you might want to make a difference, but I just want to go the store. They’ve got chicken leg quarters on sale and every time they do I buy up a bunch and stock my deep freeze."

I think what I say and I say what I think, about which fact my daughter Lou Ann says, “that’s all right mama,”---which sounds like the start of an Elvis song and now that I’ve thought about it, I can’t get it out of my head--“you’re at that age where the front lobe of your brain is getting hard, the place in your brain that governs your judgment and your impulses, and the doctors say that’s why you're always doing and saying inappropriate things.”

And I gave her to know that I said and did what I wanted to way back when I was not yet twelve years old and I stumbled down the stairs trying to walk in one leg of big fat Effie's bloomers.

Now, I have, on occasion, tried to do the right thing. The last time I remember was back when I was on the committee at the church where the members were supposed to take supper to Lola Maude Harkey, who was housebound. Well, when it was my turn, I fussed over what I took her, taking care that she had a meat, a starch, two vegetables, and some bread. Sometimes I'd make a pie when I didn't even want it, just so I could take her a piece.

But it didn't take long to figure out that she hardly ate a mouthful and whenever the ladies brought her a plate of food, as soon as their back was turned, she laid it down on the floor for that old dog of hers to slurp up.

The next time the committee held a meeting, I marched myself right in there and said I didn't think we should keep taking food down to Lola Maude Harkey's. It was wasteful, I said. And they all chimed in about how she was housebound and if we didn't take her supper, she wouldn't get the right nourishment, and I said, "But EVERY DAY?" And they said, "Well, Trixie, don't YOU like to eat everyday?"

And I gave them to know they might as well just fix up a plate every evening and take it down to Lola Maude's, and just lay it straight down on the floor for that dam*n dog.

One thing nobody has ever accused me of is being good for goodness sake.

So I hope whoever that was that wrote me that email--I forgot the dear one's name already--will email Dr. Phil or somebody next time, and just leave me out of it.