Well, I keep hearing that confession is good for the soul.
My soul needs a whole lot of good, so I'm going to start confessin'.
Let me start by saying that the sister you read about in What Had Happened Was, was me--Mae Bea Yew.
Don’t even start. I know. I know. My name is unique. So am I.
I'm not proud of my past, but it is my past, so don't hold it against me.
I'm a different person now…somewhat. Okay, I'm a work-in-progress.
What I tell you has to remain between you and me. Please, please don't tell Justine--my best friend--anything I share with you. I love Just to pieces, but I can't stand her. She's been a Christian for a long time and has a "You know the Word says" remark for almost everything. Sometimes, you just don't want to hear that. You know what I mean?
Anyway, my first confession is about something that happened between my mom and me. My mom is another Justine. She always has a scripture. She's always tellin' me what to do, and what I’m not doing.
Yesterday, my mom started in on me about my attitude.
Most times...okay, occasionally, I hold my peace and let her talk until she’s ready to rest her jaws. That day was not one of those days. I'd been stuck in traffic for over an hour on I-4. You know, folk can be so nasty. I lost count of the number of people I saw sending spit bombs out of their car windows onto the road. Yuck!
I digress. So, I finally make it to momma's house--hot, sweaty, and tired--to pick up a letter she wanted me to mail for her. I walk into the house, and momma’s sittin' in a chair like she's the Queen of Sheba, looking all cool and rested, and reading a book. I'm thinkin' to myself, now why couldn't she have mailed her own letter? She’s sittin’ there like my sole purpose in life is to cater to her needs.
The first thing she says to me is, "You're late." No hello. No how are you? No you look tired, baby. My irritation level went click-click, right up the scale. I knew I was late. I didn't need her to tell me that I was late.
I didn't think, y'all. Words left my brain and shot straight out my mouth. I said, "No, I'm not. I planned to inch along I-4 for an hour and watch people spit."
Mom looked at me for a long second, then slowly closed her book. "Your attitude smells like you had a bad day." She settled back on her throne with her sharp eyes fixed on me. "That remark was your freebie, Mae Bea. The next one will cost ya."
I huffed and sucked my teeth. "Look, momma, I'm tired. I don't want to go there with you, today." My neck did a smooth roll. "Where's the letter you want me to mail?"
Momma tilted her head down and looked at me over the top of her eyeglasses. "Child, don't make me get up out of this chair."
Now, when I'm well-rested, my mouth has a mind of its own. When I'm in a mood like the one I was in on yesterday, it's all go.
Momma's hand sliced through the air and my words. "I'll remind you, again. If you coat your words with kindness, they'll go down a lot smoother."
I completely lost my mind. That’s the only explanation I have for what happened next.
I rolled my eyes. Yes, I did. At my momma. "I'm grown.” My hand found its way to my hip. “I say what I want to say, when I want to say it, and how I want to say it."
Listen, I didn't even see it comin'. One second the book was in her lap. The next it was connecting with my head. I didn't know the old girl could still move so fast or had so much strength in her right arm.
So now, here I am--a grown woman of…some years--walking around with a goose egg on my forehead because my mom beaned me with a book.
I want to do the right thing, not because I'm told it’s the right thing to do, but because I believe it’s the right thing to do.
Yeah, I'm a Christian and all of that, but I'm still human. Was I wrong to speak my mind? Was it such a horrible thing? The bible doesn't say I can't speak my mind…or does it?
Would somebody out there please leave me a comment and help me out?
Don't forget: Don’t breathe a word of this to Just. She doesn't know about my new “feature”, and I intend to keep it that way.
Until next time…
Written by Toni V. Lee