Dear Maeve Binchy,
Upon reading the first couple of chapters of Minding Frankie, I feel compelled to stage a a dialogue intervention.
Americans do not “take posts.” We “get jobs.”
Also we do not “fancy” anyone. We might “like” someone, or “like like” someone, or one of us might be “in love with” someone, or be “hot for” someone. But we don’t send emails talking about “fancying” another person.
You’re great at the relationship between characters stuff, but perhaps you should get some help for your American dialect problem.
That’s all for now.
One of my most memorable events in mothering happened when my daughter was around four months old. It was one of those fall days where people whose internal thermostats run hot are still wearing shorts and t’s, while those who run cold are wrapped up in their woolens. And I had errands to do, including one to the post office.
I dressed my baby in pants, long sleeves and an adorable little sun hat that she kept snatching from her head and I kept putting back on because she was bald and pale and needed protecting from the sun. I set out on my jaunt around town, ready to bask in the adoring looks directed at the most beautiful child in the world, who happened to be with me.
Here comes the part at the post office. I parked, removed my daughter from her car seat, and turned around to find myself face-to-face with an older woman, all bundled up, who met me with a scold “That baby’s going to freeze on a day like this. You should have it in a blanket.” I muttered something about how she usually let me know if she was uncomfortable and made my way into the building.
Stamps bought, mail mailed, baby riding on my hip, I made my way back out of the building. Only to encounter a man who felt compelled to instruct me on the dangers of overdressing a baby on such a warm day.
Thanks for the message Universe. As a mother, anything and everything I do is open to criticism from everyone I encounter. Therefore, my best bet is to use my own judgment and develop a case of selective hearing loss.
It has been my observation that mothers in general receive a lot of criticism. But most of the ones I see are doing their best, despite the slings and arrows. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers who are soldiering on: from the mom soothing her crying infant in the grocery store, to the mom struggling with how much and how best to support her grown child who lives 1,000 miles away.