Three Ladies and a Man

Driving to work this morning a very old song came to mind which was Monday, Monday by the Mamas and Papas. I could hear the melody and some of the lyrics playing in my mind and it sort of hung around off and on the rest of the day. Perhaps I should have a few more of the oldies pop in my mind in the morning every so often just to keep me turbo charged and on the upbeat. Thinking back to the time when I was a child and that song being popular, it just re-affirmed how more complicated life is now versus back in those years. There were standards set within families and most times they were adhered to for fear of the wrath of our parents discipline. Yes, all children can me mischievous, but only a fraction of the decree we often find today. I can’t ever remember stealing anything or destroying someone else’s property. Some of the naughty boys and girls of the time would either soap someone’s windows, or do the toilet papering of a home and landscaping of likely a boy or girl they secretly admired.

When you think about it, life here in Mason City was something like Garrison Keeler’s fictitious town of Lake Woebegone. Chewing gum and secretly smoking in the restrooms was usually the extent of being on the wild side in school. Of course there were always those secret fights between students that were occasionally arranged off the school grounds. I just happened upon one once several blocks from school and found it not to my liking and ran home to a more peaceable and familiar kingdom. I know the world changes and we must adapt, but in thinking about those days now, I’m really glad I had the opportunity to experience a different way of life.

Returning back to my office from an appointment later this afternoon I happened to notice two of my clients sitting at the picnic table across the street from the Manor. I thought it time to go pay them a visit. As I walked up, the one I’ve known the longest didn’t recognize me at first because the sun was in her eyes. The other lady whom I also have known for some time, was found to be her normal peppery self. Since the last time I visited with her she spoke about how her mother never really paid her a true compliment. If she was dressed smartly one day, her mother would say, “You look pretty good today” which would cause her to believe her mother thought her not attractive the rest of the time. The other lady said, “I can’t ever remember my parents telling me they loved me.” I simply listened while the other said, “My mother never kissed us.” while the other said, “We had to kiss our parents before going to bed, but they never kissed us.” During the conversation, another lady from the Manor arrived which caused me to be introduced along with her being brought up to speed with the subjects of our conversation. I finally decided to speak. I said, “Back in those days it was considered sinful to be overly proud and when it came to speaking of love and showing affection, it again was the time where much was to be simply understood rather than said.” They agreed and went on to tell more about how hard their parents and their families had it during the difficult years before and during the Second World War. I added, “Keep in mind your parents were of the group now called the Children of the Depression and their struggles even during later and better years continued.” Those words created more debate until I found the time was coming quickly for my next appointment and waved them all good-bye.

Well over an hour later when I left the office, I noticed them still seated at the picnic table with several more ladies in attendance. Looks like we started some real healthy debate earlier as it continued on after my exit from the table. I’ll remember that gathering as the chance meeting of “Three Ladies and a Man”. Sometimes it’s good to get a heated debate started and then leave the hashing over for those remaining.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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