30 May 2017
When I was a teenager, full of morose and moronic but perfectly normal teenage angst, there was one thing I completely loved.
Not the in-the-ground Jimmy Carter kind. (Although I did love them and still do.)
The comic strip.
I had books and books of Peanuts strips, and often clipped the big Sunday color edition to save.
There was something about Charlie Brown and Lucy and Schroeder and Linus and Snoopy that just made me feel that all those guys really understood me. Charlie Brown understood my awkwardness and fear of failure. Lucy understood my uncontrollable know-it-all-ness. Schroeder my artistic passion. Linus my insecurity and the sweeter side of my nature. And Snoopy of course caught my shameless imagination and desire to write great novels.
To my family, though, I was Lucy.
One morning, I woke up and found that this cartoon had been taped to my bedroom door:
You’d think that being such a crabby person, I would have been livid at the anonymous prank, but I was not insulted. I was delighted. I WAS Lucy.
And no one understands us crabby people.
I left the cartoon on my door for years.
But it did not reside there alone.
About a year later, this Peanuts strip was added. I added it myself:
I did have a little brother. And he did love me.
And with all my adolescent misery, I needed to remind myself. That Life was not so bad. And that my family loved me. They knew I was a crabby person and they loved me anyway.
And I was reminded of this cartoon this week. not just because my family loves me – though they still do.
No, it was the last line.
Every now and then I say the right thing.
Several years ago my husband faced a dilemma. A close friend had called him to ask for a favor. It was a pretty big favor – it entailed a lot of difficult work. The dilemma was that my husband had asked this same friend for some help not that long before. And the friend had refused.
The guy didn’t have some great reason for saying no; he just said, “Sorry, I’m busy.”
So my husband was conflicted.
“Why should I help the guy when he didn’t help me when I needed him?” he asked.
I thought it over for quite a while. And that evening I said,
“Maybe this is not about what kind of friend that guy is. Maybe this is about what kind of friend YOU are.”
My husband got up from the table and phoned his friend and offered his help.
And I was reminded of this a few days ago because someone posted the following image on Facebook:
I’m happy for the reminder.
I don’t always say the right thing…
but once in while….
Nancy Roman is the author of:
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Nancy lives in Connecticut with her husband, her adorable pest of a dog, and two well-behaved cats.