I’d like to make my mama proud. That’s one of my main goals in this world. If I’ve made her proud, well, then I’ve really done something.
My mother, you see, is the kind of woman who taught me how to be nice, and how to have manners.
Long ago, she would make me sit with my cousin Myrtle at covered dish socials, so Myrtle wouldn’t be sitting alone. Mama would say things like: “Be polite, and make sure you ask your cousin how her baton twirling is coming along.”
Admittedly, Myrtle was about as interesting as watching ditchwater evaporate. But like I said, I want my mama to be proud.
Maybe I should back up and tell you where all this is coming from.
Earlier this week, I spent some time with people who were—how do I put this— not very nice. Now, they weren’t MEAN people, per se, but you don’t have to be “mean” to be un-nice.
I hope I am never an un-nice person. What would Mama think?
Mama is a woman who says things like: “Don’t talk about yourself too much, it’s like passing gas in an elevator; people will smile, but they don’t mean it.
And: “Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble.”
I don’t aspire to much in this life, but I know that I want to be the kind of man who listens.
Also, I want to be the kind of man who dogs follow for no reason. I want to be the guy who does magic tricks for toddlers.
I want to go around reminding teenagers how important they are. I want to listen to the jokes old men tell when their wives aren’t around.
I want to hear long stories on porches, and I want to be the first to respond: “Well, I Suwannee.”
A good Suwannee…