My Photo

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

« Washer | Main | Bush Strokes »

April 23, 2013

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00e550913f368833017d43063f90970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dear Flanny April 2013:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Flannista

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Most of Flanny's responses to letters are comprised either of direct quotes or paraphrases of letters or essays written by Flannery O'Connor.

Miss Flanny is happy to try and answer any questions you might have.

Flannista

Dear Flanny,

Hand on heart, I woke up with a sty in my right eye. It's swollen shut. Fortunately, it's my bad eye, so I plan not to go back under the covers.

-- Your Miss Mid-Atlantic Chick

Miss Flanny

Thank goodness it wasn't a plank in your eye! (See Matthew 7:3)

Sista C

Dear Flanny,
I tend not to think too much of April, either, but do like it better than horrible March, (which is another story in itself). But, April does have it's days of redemption for me. April holds the anniversary of me n betterhalf, twenty two years it's been, the best years of my life. And in April four years ago I gave my friend Carole a kidney that she's taken exceptionally good care of, and it's returned the favor by giving her a full and healthy life. So, April ain't so bad, I guess, except for national disasters like tax day and those things you mentioned.

I however would like to break the stream of things for just one minute. I have a problem that has to do with food and kindness.

My next door neighbor is one of my, if not my best, friend. She lives alone, supports herself by a squeak by working long hours. All to say, that financially she has to be frugal. I told her to please put her trash in my bin to avoid her having to pay for trash pick up. She has like one piddlin' bag a week. I know that that's cheating the trash company, but I don't care, it's helping her.

Her pride insists that she return the favor in some way. The way that she's chosen is by bringing me whatever dishes she's cooked for the week, (she does her weekly cooking all on Sunday). ....sigh....The thing is....I cannot eat what she cooks so it is wasted food. Her culltural heritage is one that they use very heavy seasonings and a lot of garlic and sauces and such. So, essentially, it is food wasted, as I accept it every week and then end up throwing it away as I know no one to give it to.

I have tried telling her that I was doing Weight Watchers, but the food gifts continue. I know that this is very important to her, I see her face when she presents me with the meals every week. But it hurts me to know that, on her budget, she is buying extra food for me. I tell her she's getting the raw end of the deal, but she just laughs and says that she enjoys cooking for us so much.....

So, dear Flanny. Do I just continue to accept the food every week? Do I level with her?

What to do?

Miss Flanny

Sista C,

Thank you for your comment and question. That you donated a kidney to your friend, Carole, proves my point that charity always trumps cruelty, even in April. Congratulations are also in order for the 20th anniversary of you and your better half. I admire this deeply as I love a lot of people but understand none of them. Must take a good deal of understanding to remain committed to another person for two decades. I’ve heard that some folks can actually stay committed to another person for more than six decades. I chalk it up to grace, and well, more grace.

Now to your question about your neighbor and best friend who gifts you with a weekly meal in return for your kindnesses which, in my mind, aren’t piddlin’. She uses her meager income to prepare you a meal that brings her joy but it is food you cannot eat. You know of no one to give it to. Have you investigated local church soup kitchens or homeless shelters? Two-tenths of a mile away from where I now sit is an underpass where homeless folks often sit, smoke and drink. And I live in a small town, not a large city. Do you have a place like this within walking or driving distance of your home? Is it possible to pay forward your neighbor’s joy by giving this lovingly-prepared meal to someone who does need it?

All to say, my sweet cormorant, there’s something about this meal that seems sacred to her and to you. It seems sacred to me, too. A verse in Hebrews reminds us not to forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. When your neighbor looks at you, does she see an angel? Bet she does. Why not pass along her food to someone else who might also see an angel?

One more thing, a dish can never have too much garlic.

Thankful for your charity,
Miss Flanny

Matissta

Dear Flanny,

I will be losing my job in a couple of days. Although I'm confident I will find a new one, those around me feel the need to constantly tell me how difficult the job market is, especially for someone my age. I already have enough stress without these naysayers adding to it.

What should I say to these people who repeatedly bring up the negative side of this issue?

Searching for a job and a polite response.

Sista C

Dear Flanny,
Just wanted to thank you for your generous response. I had never thought of sharing the meal with others, but that is much more agreeable than just throwing the food away.
Hope the rest of your April is kinder.

Matissta

Sista C,

Flanny did forget to mention one important item. When sharing one of these meals, make sure to offer a toothbrush as well because of the heavy use of garlic.

Miss Flanny

Thank you, Sista C.

I would love to hear the story of who gets the gift of that meal if you ever have a hankerin' to tell it.

The toothbrush tip is a good one, Matissta. Most homeless folks I know sure wish they could take better care of their teeth.

Sista C

Yeah, Matissta, must admit that I don't share Miss Flanny's belief that there can never be too much garlic. A toothbrush or bottle of listerine would be appropriate in this case.
Is garlic good for arthritis or am I just......no. no...it's hot peppers I think.

Miss Flanny

Matissta,

I’m very sorry that you will be out of a job in a few days. I am also sorry that some of those around you are eroding your confidence about finding a new job by constantly bringing up the realities of the current job market. I come from a family where the only emotion respectable to show is irritation. In some this tendency produces hives, in others literature, in me both. I hope you don’t have hives.

I’m no economist, but neither are the folks in charge of the country who got so many folks like you into this mess. Calvin Coolidge once said, “When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.” It’s hard to believe that he was employed as President of the United States. A good President is hard to find.

But your question isn’t really a question about economics. It’s a question about hope. When naysayers bring up the weak job market, I would tell them that hearing their perspective is not alleviating your anxiety as much as it is attempting to alleviate theirs. I would tell them that more than anything right now, you need hope. You need people to believe in you and your abilities.

Hope is tough for some folks, I’m sorry to say, but not for God. Forgive me for bringing my religion into this, but there is a verse from Jeremiah that I’ve always clung to when my joint pain and swelling keeps me in bed all day: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” A future and a hope. That’s what the Lord says, and I’m more inclined to believe the Lord than any President or well-meaning but irritating loved one.

Go for it, confident one.

Your crusader,
Miss Flanny

Matissta

Sista C, garlic is for keeping away vampires. Cayenne, turmeric and cinnamon are known to help with arthritis.

Sista C

Yeah, I tend to confuse vampires with arthritis. Inconvenient, that.

PEACEsista

Matiss: There is NO one out there looking for a job (50 or under!) with your wonderful personality. Your sense of humor and storytelling ability are sure to get you hired. You are ONE OF A KIND!

To the dopes who insist on bringing you down, you might say, "I'm one of a kind. I don't anticipate having ANY problems getting a new and better job." If they are really butt heads, you might add, "But, I hope that you don't lose your job anytime soon, because ... well ... it COULD be a problem for you."

Miss Flanny

Miss Flanny's comments are showing up as spam and are only intermittently being published. Flannista has alerted Typepad.

Miss Flanny

The problem may be too much garlic. Inconvenient, that.

Sista C

How dare Typepad censure Miss Flanny!

I'm with PEACE on this, Matiss, I would think that your personality would win you huge interview points.

Flannista

Flannista here, trying to outwit the Typepad spam filter.

An example of Matissta's quick wit: On Sunday, while on a long walk, Matiss asked me how my left knee was feeling. I replied, "I've learned to walk with a dull pain."

Her voice ever-so-slightly veering toward sarcasm, Matissta looked at me and said, "Me, too."

Sista C

Forget Typepad, it's Matiss you've got to outwit.

Flannista

I am proud to say that I'll never outwit her, Sista C. She's the champ.

Sista C

Dear Flanny,

Just want to know what I should do---a friend of mine, a VERY DEAR friend of mine made a bet with me over a Super Bowl or playoff game, something...I can't remember, doesn't matter. She owes me a six pack of micro brew cause she lost, but I ain't seen the first of it. What should I do? Just let it go? Kid her about it? You gotta understand this is a stand-up gal who pays her bets, but she's got a few things going on, her partner called her a dull pain and her washing machine broke...stuff like that...and I don't wanna just pile on. What do you think, Flanny? Should I let it go til next Super Bowl?

Miss Flanny

Sista C,

This is stressful news. A good friend, like a good President, is hard to find. I bet when your VERY DEAR friend reads your comment/question, this stand-up gal is going to sit down right quick. Like you, I would be inclined to give her a little leeway because her partner called her a dull pain and her washing machine broke, but damn, a bet is a bet, for heaven's sake. I would NOT let it go in the least. In fact, I would up the ante. I would insist on TWO six packs of micro brew to cover your mental stress and strain. Pile it on, girlfriend! In fact, insist on Sno-Caps, too! Make damn sure that they're as fresh as you are!

Your drinkin' pardner,
Miss Flanny

Flannista

Dear Flanny:

Toilet paper: over or under?

Sista C

Dear Miss Flanny,

Thanking you for your prompt reply. I realize that this is dicey turf to tread, what with her being a VERY DEAR friend and all, but I think that you got it just right. We should have a meal together sometime. Since you like garlic, I got some VERY GOOD food here to share. Perhaps by then I'll have my micro brew and we can wash it down with some cool suds.

p.s. i hate sno caps. even fresh ones.

Flannista

Flann here, still troubleshooting Typepad. Sorry about this.

The comments to this entry are closed.