©2012, Mirror Image Presentations
“You are such an excellent writer” said Mummy. “Not one mistake, no errors what-so-ever, what do you call it?”
“Editing, Mom — proofreading.”
“NO! — Not editor. Proofreader, that’s it! You are excellent, ex-cel-lent!”
“Mom, I’m talking about content here, not neatness. It’s not my dream to be a good proofreader. Yes, being a good proofreader helps in becoming a good writer, but a good proofreader doesn’t necessarily have anything interesting to contribute beyond correct grammar and spel–”
“What I want to say is…” she interrupts, and continues.
“May I finish my sentence?” I ask.
She continues talking, so I repeat myself — a bit more quietly, again, three times, more slowly each time in succession.
“May I speak now?” she asks.
I breathe and ask myself, what would Helen Keller do? “I thought you were speaking” I say, “I’ve been listening.”
I thanked her for having contributed the title to one of my upcoming books, Please Don’t Interrupt Me — While I Interrupt you. We spoke for a while, I listened mostly, and I had to finally ask my talkative mother to please disengage her tongue, plug in her ears, and listen to me.
She finally did, and I spoke for two minutes about my initial inquiry, the reason I had called in the first place; interest bearing accounts. I finished by saying, “now I am going to shut up. You have the stage.”
For a good minute, the line was silent. Finally I say, “Well then, if you’ve nothing to say, I would like to tell you what my research into your previous question turned up.”
“Un-be-lie-ve-a-ble!” she says, “You never said you were through talking!”
“Mo-ther — yes, I did!” Evidently you were too busy with the pots and pans I’ve been listening to you clanging in the background–
“No, you didn’t!” she says.
I repeated one of her step-mother’s favorite phrases —
Case closed. The discussion is over.”
God bless Mummy, her step-mother, and her governess.
best wishes to live my life,