Just don’t ever give me a flaky pie crust

Sharon Kennedy

An old acquaintance from high school called me last week to say he was bored and wanted to chat with someone other than his dog. I wasn’t sure how to take his comment, but I laughed and said I knew what he meant. I get tired of talking to my empty rooms. At least Larry has a dog, but since Little T went to kitty heaven two Decembers ago it’s just me and the dust in this trailer.

One subject led to another and eventually we ended up discussing pie crust. Maybe I mentioned I was peeling Granny Smith apples for a pie or maybe I said my brother’s favorite is pumpkin. No matter how it started, I said there’s nothing better than a flaky crust encircling whatever’s in it. Larry disagreed so vehemently I worried about his blood pressure and suggested he calm down.

“I want pie crust that’s able to withstand a tornado,” was the comment I remember most. He explained his grandmother made the best crust and it was rock hard. When he was a youngster and losing his baby teeth, granny baked a pie as a sure way to free a tooth from its resting place. He fondly recalled biting into the crust and leaving a little tooth behind. “That’s the way pie crust should be,” he continued. “Sturdy and sound, just like a Yooper.”

I’ve lived long enough to know when to clam up especially when it comes to arguing with a fellow. Larry’s a few years up on me. Am I going to change his mind now? Of course not, not anymore than he can change mine. If he wants to chip a permanent tooth on a piece of stone, go ahead is what I say. I’ll even drive him to the dentist. I’ll wait for an hour as the tooth is repaired. I’ll even look through the tooth implant brochure in case his tooth is too far gone and needs to be pulled.

That’s what friends do, right? Even when we disagree, we either nod our head or change the subject. I’ve known some stubborn folks in my life and I suppose some would call me opinionated to the extreme, but are we willing to sacrifice our friendship over opinions? I don’t think so. Take one of my lady friends for example. When I told her my 17 year affair with Flash was over she merely shrugged her shoulders and said I wasn’t the right woman for him.

Let’s get something straight. The man is four times divorced, had dozens of girlfriends before meeting me, and I stuck with him all those years yet in her opinion I wasn’t the right gal. I’ll admit I’m no prize. I’ve lived alone so long I’m set in my ways like a clothesline pole is set in cement. I’m rooted in this trailer. I usually forget to think before I speak. I didn’t even realize I had a temper until I met Flash. You might say he brought out the worst in me, but that’s beside the point.

When one of your best friends tells you something as ridiculous as “you’re not the right woman for him” the most logical thing to say is nothing. Keep drinking your coffee and don’t say one word because you know you’ll regret it. When you do open your mouth, compliment something, anything. Say what a pretty blouse she’s wearing or how nice and clean her kitchen is. Pet the cat. Throw a bone to the dog. Then head for the door as soon as you can get away without arousing suspicion. Wait until you’re in your car before yelling a few choice words.

Sometimes people don’t understand your situation because they only see what you show them. We’re all guilty of faking something. In my case it was a loving relationship. Lots of couples fake that. Nobody wants to air their grievances in front of others, but when we reach a boiling point, it’s time to move on. As you know by now, I’m 70. I keep harping on that because I can’t believe I’ve reached an age when I should be surrounded by grandchildren and loving nieces and nephews yet here I am in an empty trailer surrounded only by dust.

That’s why it was easy to understand why Larry said he called just to hear the sound of another human’s voice. Perhaps I was his fourth choice. I don’t know and I don’t care because when my sister was alive, I did the same thing. If I was bored with my own company, I called Jude. She loved to talk. All I had to do was put down the receiver and occasionally say a few words to let her know I was still there. She was happy to talk and I was happy to wash dishes and listen.

When everything is boiled down to basics, we’re all the same in one way or another. If Larry swears by pie crust as hard as wood who am I to contradict him? If he says the best pie is an open face one whether it’s apple, cherry, rhubarb, or blueberry who am I to correct him? If my friend says I’m not the right woman for a womanizer, fine. In the end, nobody really cares.

We’re all a little flaky in our own way. Don’t you agree?

Editor’s note: Sharon M. Kennedy of Brimley is a humorist who infuses her musings with a hardy dose of matriarchal common sense. She writes about everyday experiences most of us have encountered at one time or another on our journey through life. Her articles are a combination of present day observations and nostalgic glances of the past. She can be reached via email at sharonkennedy1947@gmail.com. In addition, Sharon has compiled a collection of stories from her various newspaper columns. The title of her book is “Life in a Tin Can.” Copies are available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle format