our village (9)

Did I ever tell you about the time I had the Smarmouths over for dinner? I guess I was feeling lonely, my own daughter having moved away and little Lilly-Anne — she really was little back then — kinda reminded me of Gretchen, or at least the closest I could get around here. Her mom and dad and Lilly-Anne, but I would have just invited Lilly-Anne if I could have, but that would have seemed weird, right? And I don’t want to be the weird lady in the village. So I don’t just invite the little girl who could keep me company since my little girl has gone away, no, I invite the whole family, but I make sure they know to bring Lilly-Anne along, I say I’ve got something special for her. And I do: I had been at a fundraiser at the school, a bake sale for something, and one of the high school cheerleaders — she was kinda chubby, and I felt kinda sorry for her — she was selling caramel-candied apples, and I thought they looked so precious all bundled up in cellophane with hearts on ’em, so I bought one, and that’s the special treat I had for Lilly-Anne. I thought, “that little girl needs something sweet.”

It was an interesting evening with the Smarmouths. The kid was nothing close to a smart-mouth, not like we joked when they moved in. No, that girl was so sweet, all “yes ma’ams” and “no thank yous.” At the time, I thought, “well they sure have taught this girl some manners.”

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