De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


Ode To Mary Jo

(With apologies to Bobby Gentry.)

To say that Mary Jo was "plain" would almost be a compliment. Let's face it: she was a tad on the homely side. Not "make a train take a dirt road" homely, just not a candidate for prom queen.

One of my great failings in life is that I never befriended Mary Jo. My life might have been the richer for it. I only knew her for one school year. We had just moved across town and I went to a new school for the 8th grade, and then on to high school and I have no idea of what happened to her. From what little I can recollect, though, she was practically a straight-A student. Very smart.

Unfortunately, in those unenlightened days (are we really any better today?), physical appearance was everything. I recall being smitten by the class beauty queen (a condition I recovered from very quickly, TYVM) who turned out to be *ahem* a tad less than a paragon of virtue. As I look back, I regret that I wasted so many hours on an Easter Egg when I might have profited far more from associating with a Little Brown Wren. Who knows what we might have had in common? Who can say how both our lives might have been richer by virtue of friendship and mutual support?

Unfortunately, our society does not seem to have progressed very far. We still treat the Easter Eggs like they're All That And A Bag Of Chips, while leaving the LBWs to while away their time in loneliness.

Over the years, I've had several opportunities to participate in conversations revolving around the topic of "Who would you like to meet when you die?".

I'd like to meet Mary Jo.

I'd like to say "I'm sorry". I'd like to ask her forgiveness for not having been mature enough to rise above social pressures. For not having reached out to someone who I knew could have used some friends (not that I was Mr. Popularity myself). Maybe it would help if I told her that I learned from my mistakes; that I've tried over the years to reach out to the LBWs I meet. (And tried to take a few Easter Eggs down a peg or two.)

I have no idea what happened to Mary Jo. Or what could have happened. Maybe -- with the right encouragement -- she could have found a cure for cancer. Maybe she could have invented something that benefits mankind. Maybe she found some decent guy who was able to look inside her and see who she really is and didn't care what the package looked like. Then again, maybe all she's done is prove Thoreau right: the masses of (wo)men lead lives of quiet desperation.

Though the odds be against it, I hope her life turned out well and she found happiness. Somewhere, there's a Law of Compensations thru which all these wrongs get put to right.

At least, I hope so. For all the Mary Jos out there.


At 18:18, Blogger T. F. Stern said...


I’ve nominated you for the Nice Matters Award. Come visit my site and see how that came about.

At 09:23, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Hopefully Mary Jo's parents helped her with her self esteem and she came out on top.... I always try to look for the true prize instead of the glitter and gold.... I think of the scripture of the virtuous woman.


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