Pearl was in an unusually jovial mood the other day. She, Gladys, and I were chatting when Pearl told us she used to be a teacher. I had only known that she was a nurse, not a teacher, so I asked her about it. "Well, I didn't teach for too long before I decided to be a nurse," she explained.
I asked her why she had decided to be a nurse when she already had a teaching job. "I'll tell you what made me decide. Archie did."
"Archie?" I asked.
She tells this story: Yeah, Archie. I sent him out back to bring in a bucket of water from the well. When he brought it back in, I dipped up a cup to get a drink. A little girl in the front starts saying "Teacher! Teacher! Don't drink that! Archie peed in the bucket!"
"What did you do?" I laughed.
"Ohhhh, I whacked him good and sent him home!" Pearl declared proudly.
We laughed and talked about how different things are now, and that today she probably would have gone to jail for "whacking him good." We were having fun and laughing! Which is why I thought I could get away with teasingly asking: "Pearl, what on earth do you have in that bag?" when she tried to lift her purse off her walker but couldn't because of the weight.
And just like using a light switch to turn off a light, the happy and laughing Pearl was gone and the normal, red-faced, vein-bulging, paranoid Pearl retorted (in a voice only comparable to Linda Blair's Regan), "I have everything in there I don't want STOLE!"
So much for jovial.
6 months ago