Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Glad Game

Remember that Disney movie where the little girl was always looking on the bright side of things until you wanted to hold her head in the toilet and flush? You know the girl with “the stubby little nose.” That’s what the mean old lady in the movie told her, “You have a stubby little nose.”  

My mother tortured me with that girl. “Why can’t you be more like Pollyanna?” she would say. I didn’t need an older sister to resent. I had Pollyanna.

For a kid whose first spoken language was sarcasm and whose second language was smart mouth, Pollyanna was my overly cheerful nemesis.

Then I gave birth to several grouch monger children of my own, and I realized that there were worse things then being excessively positive.

My youngest daughter’s first full sentence might have been, “I hates woods-peckers.” She was two.

I tried to set a good example. I tried to teach my children that game Pollyanna used to play—the “Glad Game.” For example:

Hey kids . . .

I hate math in all its many formulas, but I like playing with an abacus. I’m glad the beads are pretty.

I hate that the fluorescent light in my utility room is blinking fast enough to give me seizures when I try to do laundry, but I’m glad because if I squint my eyes I can pretend that I’m at a disco.

My tub faucet exploded and shoots water out like a fire hydrant. It takes an extra long time to fill up my tub. But I’m glad water spurts out and not lava.

When the crows eat all my Japanese plums I’m glad I can shoot straight.

I have a lot of scars from various biopsies and operations, but I’m glad. When people ask about them I get to make up stories about pirates, sword fighting, and yeti attacks. It’s fun.

When my youngest son—our family’s version of Pollyanna—used to run to the window in the morning and declare, “It’s back, Mother! It’s back again. The sun has come back,” I’m glad no one killed him.  He was only three.

Now when my kids complain about their kids being unreasonable, unpredictable, or un-trainable I’m . . . well . . . glad. Fair is fair.

There you have it—the Glad Game. Pollyanna and I did have one thing in common; we both had stubby little noses, which makes me glad, because noses continue to grow as we age. And now I have a normal sized nose with minimal nose hair.

Linda (Happy Day) Zern 





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