Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The women in our family can be as sweet and
mild as milk through all kinds of adversity. But everyone has their breaking point..."
this guy, see, who marries a sweet innocent girl who is years his junior. He is
kind of a bucktoothed, stringy looking fellow with less chin than he might have
and she is as fresh and beautiful as a rosebud in May. We donít know why her parents
agreed to this marriage, but we might guess that for whatever reason the girl
was set on him, the way that young girls do get set on things sometimes. So they
marry and he pays her some attention for a year or two and they seem happy. Next
thing you know, she is left rattling around on her own at home while heís off
carrying on with a former lover. Former Lover is (in addition to being much older
and much less attractive than the bride) also married. This does not seem to faze
her a bit. Nor does it appear to faze her husband. Or the groom. Or the groomís
family. Nobody seems to think it is much of anything to worry about except the
bride. The young bride is criticized by her in-laws for wishing her husband would
pay better attention to his wedding vows. She is told that she is spoiled and
Now, I should tell you women of the American West that
this bride is not a pioneer daughter. You might have guessed this by the fact
that the bride moped and shopped rather than offering her errant groom a choice
between paying her the respect and attention she deserved or acquiring a seatful
of buckshot upon which to ponder. No friends, I am not rehashing some awful episode
of daytime television yuckiness. This is the British Royal family I am talking
about. Royalty. Folks who are supposedly brought up to know just how to behave
properly in any situation. In fact, this seems to be one of their main functions
in these modern days when they no longer crusade or protect the commoners from
marauding dragons, behaving properly. Yet Prince Charles conducted himself in
a way which might make even Jerry Springer wince. As my husband says, "Folks is
folks," and I guess it proves that growing up with privilege and education doesnít
grandpa told a story about one of his aunts and her husband. It was breakfast
time. The wife had just finished churning and had the fresh butter in a great
big bowl. The husband was at the table eating when a visitor came. The visitor
was invited in and sat down at the table. The wife brought him a plate and he
began to have some breakfast with the husband. The husband noticed that there
was no butter on the table.
"Woman!" he hollered, "bring us some butter!"
He must have known this was a bad idea. I donít know how long they had been married,
but if it was longer than fifteen minutes he must surely have known this was a
foolish, foolish display of reckless disregard for his own safety.
will probably have guessed that she brought him the butter. A whole great big
fresh bowl of butter. "Hereís your butter, " she said, and tumped the whole bowl
right on his head and left him there wearing a big pottery helmet. He pulled the
bowl off his head and threw it onto the table (not, you will note, taking a chance
on breaking it by throwing it on the floor. He wasnít a complete fool.), shook
the butter out of his eyes and headed for the door. He slammed out, leaving his
dignity melting on the floor with the blobs of fresh butter and stomped off behind
at high risk of getting buttered|
TE photo archive
in our family can be as sweet and mild as milk through all kinds of adversity.
But everyone has their breaking point, and that imperious demand for butter must
have been this womanís. Who knows what else had been going on. She had made a
point with the butter, but felt a need to punctuate it. This she did from the
back stoop by shooting her husbandís backside with a light sprinkling of birdshot,
giving him six or seven emphatic little lead points to consider in the future.|
I love to tell this story about their not too distant relatives to my children.
I think it gives us all something to think about. Gives the girls something to
think about and gives the boys something to think about. Too bad Prince Charles
never enjoyed a meal with us and too bad Princess Di wasnít a McAnally girl.