“If You Really Want To Kill Her, I Know a Guy”…. Huh? What?

Been a while since I’ve told a story, and this one popped into my head today. It’s a story about misunderstanding another person’s words or intentions. The confusion can happen quickly with …. let’s say…. lasting consequences. With everything going on in DC, I thought it might be time to bring it all back to a personal level and laugh a little bit. Cozy up with me. Here we go.

It was a regular day when Britt walked through the back door, sobbing, body shaking, full blown tears. It was a meltdown like no other. I was in the front of the house, heard someone come in the back door, came to look, and found her wailing away, sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor. She had collapsed in body and spirit. I sat down on the kitchen floor in front of her, “What is it?”

Between the sobs and catching her breath, she told me the story of her “once again, being-mean-and-wicked-for-no-good-reason” mother-in-law. Britt’s husband was out of town on business. The kids went to see “Grandma”, and now, the mother-in-law would not let them come home until Britt’s husband came home. Britt, was wounded to the core, “She thinks I’m a horrible mother and doesn’t trust me with my own children.” I growled… What a mean thing to do.

No, Britt was not a bad mother at all. Britt lived across the street, and I knew her schedule almost minute by minute. She was often up at 4:00am, doing laundry and getting kids ready for school. Our kids played together, daily. The idea Britt was a “bad mom” was as outlandish as me being a murderer. On the other hand, I knew Kate well, the mother-in-law. Kate and my grandmother tangled often, and Kate was a wealthy, smug, artist, control freak…. a temperamental B$tch.

I grabbed Britt by the hand and jerked her up off the kitchen floor. We rounded the corner to the small bathroom and I said, “Take off your clothes and get in the shower.” She wrinkled her nose as if to question, but I interrupted her thoughts, “You can’t do battle with the devil when you have puffy eyes.” and then, “Get yourself together….., we’re going to war.” Britt perked up immediately. I sat on the toilet and waited…. thinking.

Britt had this problem with her mother-in-law fairly often, but this was the worst episode yet. I loved Britt’s kids like they were my own and hated to see them torn and used as pawns. It was time to put an end to the drama, once and for all. I was ratcheting up my anger.

We hopped into the “bluebomb” minivan and took off for “Grandma’s” house. Britt was okay but chain smoking from three different packs of cigarettes, different brands, menthols and regulars. We have a kitchen drawer under the microwave where 13 different women kept their cigarettes because “their husbands didn’t know they smoked”. Thus, they would come to my house and smoke. Of course, they didn’t want to stink up my house, so they would lean way over, under the stove, and blow smoke up the exhaust fan….. while talking non-stop. It was fun, and I don’t judge. Britt had grabbed a handful of those packs and was practically eating cigarettes along the way.

We arrived at Kate’s house, unannounced. Miracle of miracles, everything was fine. Kate would never cross me. Status in our little town was unspoken but well known, and back then, I was a few rungs higher on the ladder than Kate. She was busted and knew it….. therefore, she decided to pretend nothing was wrong. Typical. Kate skillfully diverted the conversation to her garden. We obliged, awaiting the inevitable confrontation.

Britt went to help her daughter gather new clothes, new toys (showered with gifts in an attempt to buy affection), and Kate and I were alone in the music room. I fiddled with the keys on her gleaming baby grand Steinway. Kate remarked admirably about the times she heard me play (I was horrible, a false compliment). It made me mad and I shot her the “Medusa look”. I didn’t say anything but plunked out the first four notes of Beethoven’s 5th, as if circling for the kill. It made Kate skittish. I wanted to hurt her for hurting my friend, but in a flash, she wasn’t worth it anymore. The confrontation was over before it began. She was just…….. bitter.

Having backed out of the original planned speech, I took a softer tone. I said something like, “Don’t ever do it again…..shame on you for hurting people you’re supposed to love.” Words to that effect, I can’t remember. That part is a blur. Kate didn’t say a word, but her eyes spit at me. She spun around and left for the opposite wing of the house to hide. She didn’t even say goodbye to her granddaughter or the boys.

Britt was pleased the turnover of children went so well but still jumpy until we pulled out of the long driveway and were off the property. Tense. On the way home, we had a long talk with Katherine, the daughter, about family, loyalty, worldly goods, etc. Good conversation. Britt’s boys were too young, oblivious, and mostly ignored by Kate. It was the granddaughter over whom Kate obsessed.

When we got home, there were at least a dozen kids and various adults at our house. The kids jumped out and ran to play. Amazing how resilient kids can be. It was a little awkward for Britt to be thrust back into a social setting, like nothing was wrong, after all the drama. So, Britt and I decided we needed to make a run to the liquor store……… cuz, supplies.

Another 10-15 minutes in the opposite direction, we drove through farmland, big blue sky, and wide open fields to the liquor store. We turned the radio up and started singing. We rode with the windows open. She was calming down. Good. She was frustrated and beaten and hated that Kate could get to her so effectively. She felt foolish, and hey, we can all remember similar times in our own lives.

And then, it hit me. I turned and said to her, “You know, you will get to pick out her nursing home when she gets old.” Britt cocked her jaw and gave me the side-eye. I continued, “Better yet, when she dies, you get to pick out what she will wear in the casket……” And there it was, the corners of Britt’s mouth couldn’t hide the grin.

I was driving, but Britt shifted in her seat to turn toward me, 100% embracing the idea of Kate’s death, letting it roll through her mind. Britt said, “She has that God-awful Christmas green suit she wears……. it would be perfect.” Britt was nodding, wide-eyed, enjoying the moment.

Shaking my head, “No, no, no, that’s too good, we would need a lavender polyester from the 70’s, you know, a kiana blouse with a big bow at her neck” Britt howled with laughter and said, “Yeah, and her pearls…” Kate always wore opera length pearls, a beautiful strand. I shook my head again, “No, no, I have some Mardi Gras beads that are FAKE pearls.” Britt slapped her knee and laughed, “Dahuumm”, she said, “fake pearls would make Kate rise from HELL.” It was a delicious moment for Britt.

By the time we pulled into the liquor store parking lot, we were talking about the funeral itself, specifically the flowers, and the pall for Kate’s fictious casket. We decided on the cheapest possible greenery, with the florist foam still showing, and only 7 carnations, cheapest possible flowers, with long stems, hanging in the air…… like naked flowers….. maybe we could dye them lavender to make them match Kate’s polyester suit. We were laughing to where we couldn’t catch our breath, making the funeral worse and worse with every comment.

Inside the liquor store a few other people were in front of us, but Britt and I kept talking, chirping away. By then, we were onto Kate’s hair and makeup. Kate always prided herself in her looks but was cursed with a stocky German hausfrau body-type, whereas Britt was long and lean, a naturally beautiful blue-eyed blond, who looked like a ballerina from the Amazon tribe (…… probably why Kate was jealous….. ya’ think?) We decided “whore red” lipstick and nails, with her hands folded around a golden plastic cross, with big red paste gems, would be perfectly appropriate with lavender, bulletproof, double knit, polyester. On and on, we went. Finally, we placed our liquor order with Mark behind the counter. I was restocking so it took a few minutes as Mark gathered cases and bottles. We’ve both known Mark since we were kids.

Straight out of the 70’s

With the bill paid, Mark helped us carry boxes and cases to the car. I opened the back of the minivan and helped. Britt was still talking. Mark stood up to hug us goodbye and said………

“If you really want to kill her, I know a guy,………. $500”

Britt stopped talking and her lips disappeared. Her eyes popped out of her head. I gasped so hard I must have sucked in a cubic yard of air. And on the exhale I said, “Noooooooooooo, we don’t really want to kill her.” Britt was flapping her forearms like she was trying to put out a forest fire, “Nooooo”. Mark said, “Oh, oh well.” He was confused. Whoops! We explained the mother-in-law problem and cued him in. He laughed along with us, but he didn’t really understand us. Crisis averted.

The whole way home, we snorted and giggled about the time we came close to ordering a hit on Britt’s mother-in-law. “He really thought I wanted to kill her?????!!!!”, Britt said. “I don’t know, Britt, but I think he did!”, I said. We rode in silence for a while, but would break into laughter. We imagined ourselves as the enforcers of the soccer league, the PTA at school, the grocery store lines, or riverboat gamblers. We didn’t want people to think we have a hit squad going on with a bunch of housewives, but I guess mild crimes were okay. We couldn’t get over it. Surreal.

It was hilarious.

All was calm for a few months between Kate and Britt, but as the holidays approached, Kate began to revert back to her old ways. Britt was telling me about it in the kitchen one day, but she wasn’t upset. I asked her what she did about it. Britt said, “It’s funny, every time Kate starts in, I just imagine her wearing lavender polyester.” Britt shrugged her shoulders, “It’s over with. She doesn’t get to me anymore.” She added, “And it’s the damnedest thing, Daughn, when she starts, I start smiling…. and she has no idea what I’m thinking.”

Problem solved, right?

Almost 10 years later, Kate died. We were good and gave her a terrific sendoff. I was standing by the casket talking to extended relatives, when I noticed……. beautiful and extravagant white rose pall, with a mound of air fern, smilax, and heather…. with one lavender tipped carnation. I narrowed my eyes and smirked. Britt and I were the only ones who knew about that day, besides Mark at the liquor store. I hadn’t thought about it in years.

It was Britt’s send off, and payback. A wink and a nod to the demon Kate who tormented her for years. Strangely, only a few people at the funeral noticed the oddly placed flower. Some thought it might have come from one of the grandchildren. Nope.

It was us.

Girlfriends are good to have. We get each other through the rough times.

70 thoughts on ““If You Really Want To Kill Her, I Know a Guy”…. Huh? What?

  1. What a great read on a Friday night 🤓. Thanks, Daughn 💞💞.

    Am counting the days till I get to hear more about about Mississippi and that intriguing-sounding town Tupelo.
    For some reason that name Maine’s me think of that song about someone (Billy Joe??) jumping off the Tallehatchee Bridge.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. “Am counting the days till I get to hear more about about Mississippi and that intriguing-sounding town Tupelo.”

      __________________

      Makes me think of Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey (1971) 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

      1. When I’m no longer squashed into some BS tract home lot, I intend to raise bees. I’ve studied it, taken a beekeeping class, this is not a casual thing. Along the way, I’ve learned that the Nyssa genus of trees, known as “tupelo”, tend to tolerate wet environments well. They are so well known as honey producers that beekeepers will float their hives in Florida swamps to be near the trees.

        Liked by 9 people

        1. Tupelo honey is prized in the South.

          Florida also produces and sells a lot of Orange Blossom honey.

          But I love Gallberry honey – to me, it’s the best.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Gay/Fl you got me with the orange blossom honey,dang now I am really home sick lol. Some of the best honey in the world and you know the California orange blossom honey doesn’t even compare.
            I spoiled Kimi a few years back and took her to my ol stompin grounds along highway 41 and the thing she loved most was the orange blossom honey. Followed very close by Plant City strawberries.
            As for me the thing I enjoyed that trip was my smoked mullet and boiled peanuts and deep fried chicken livers.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. oh, daughn, what a story!
      I just laughed and laughed.
      riding home in the car, there were silences until one or the other of you would bust out laughing.
      that’s the way it was reading your little ditty!
      thanks for posting this.

      Liked by 7 people

    3. “Am counting the days till I get to hear more about about Mississippi and that intriguing-sounding town Tupelo.”

      _______________

      I’m still looking forward to the story about Tony Orlando.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. “You have to knock three times on the ceiling, first.”

          ________________

          You got it… I’ll meet you in the hallway 😁

          What a perfect reply, well played.

          I haven’t heard that song in so long, I didn’t even remember it until I found the video:

          Liked by 1 person

  2. “Mark stood up to hug us goodbye and said………

    “If you really want to kill her, I know a guy,………. $500” ”

    ______________

    Am I the only one who wondered how ‘Mark’ the liquor store owner (name and type of store no doubt changed to protect his identity 😉 ) not only knew a hitman, but for some strange and completely innocent reason, happened to know exactly how much he charged — to the dollar?

    Seems like we just skipped right past that part 🤣

    [I’m thinking ‘Mark’ was just joking… it’s definitely the kind of thing I would have said, if I had overheard the two of you talking about the mother-in-law… and I don’t know any hitmen!]

    Liked by 7 people

        1. When my dad was dying we discussed with him his clothes. The funeral director was there and he wanted things to be as easy as possible for us. He suggested a nice jacket etc and mum said yep. I said noooooo…… what about the blowup Santa suit he wore at Christmas. I think he still Half thought that was what he would be wearing.

          Liked by 7 people

      1. “I wondered if the hit man could shoot straight … $500 seems awfully low”

        __________________

        The way AC/DC tells it, there are lots of ways besides a gun 😉

        Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap (1976)

        Concrete shoes, cyanide, TNT!
        (Done dirt cheap)
        Neck ties, contracts, high voltage!
        (Done dirt cheap)

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Love your stories, Daughn!

    It’s a shame that ole Kate didn’t get the send-off that you and Britt had talked about.
    Haaa.
    Kate deserved it!

    But I understand why Britt didn’t go through with it…it would’ve reflected badly on her.
    The lavender tipped carnation was a nice touch.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. “So, is Mark’s contact still available? (asking for a friend…..) ”

    ______________

    Better get in line now, he’s probably going to be tied up for quite a while after this thread.

    Liked by 2 people

              1. “Jesus! Why are you hiding from me?”

                ______________

                I used to think in a similar way.

                Years ago, sometimes when flipping through the channels I would see one of those religious shows with people carrying on, talking about how Jesus came into their lives, yada yada yada.

                I remember thinking I guess Jesus must not be interested in me, because He hasn’t come into my life. Then I changed the channel.

                I think those shows mostly do a real disservice, making a mockery and teaching a lot of hokum that isn’t found anywhere in the Scriptures.

                There are many different ways that people find their way to the Lord (or the Lord finds them, which is probably more accurate), but if you are hostile to the premise, what openings are you leaving for discovery?

                Everyone is different, so there’s no ‘one size fits all’. There wasn’t anyone in my circle of family or friends to point me in the right direction, and I wasn’t raised in a church-going family, so two of the most common avenues were not available to me.

                The good thing about not being raised in a church-going family is that I never had to unlearn any unbiblical doctrine, I started searching more or less with a clean slate. The bad thing about not being raised in a church-going family is that without at least some exposure to Christianity and the Scriptures, the chances that one might ever seek the Lord in truth might be less likely.

                I was skeptical, in that it didn’t make sense that there were so many different churches teaching very different things. From a logical standpoint they could all be wrong, but they can’t all be teaching different things and all be right.

                The first thing I thought I should do was to read the Bible, in order to have some idea of who was teaching consistent with the Scriptures and who wasn’t (turns out we have example to do exactly this in the Scriptures, Acts 17:11), but there are many different translations of the Bible, so which one?

                I researched it, and there are lots of arguments and debates on the subject. The summary of my research was basically this: More or less, while no translation can be perfect, everybody (besides Roman Catholics, who have their own translation) seemed to acknowledge that the King James Version is at least adequate, along with the less common American Standard Version, 1901.

                Some people prefer other translations, and there are many opinions pro and con. The KJV seemed to be the most conservative choice. It’s certainly old enough to not have political correctness creeping in, which is potentially a major problem with any of the more recent versions or translations.

                So I read the KJV. When I finished, I began looking online at church websites, checking their ‘Statement of Faith’ or “about us’ pages, to see the basics of what they taught and believed. It’s a very interesting experience.

                I certainly didn’t have broad or deep understanding of the Scriptures (that is a lifelong pursuit), but I knew enough to notice things that I remembered reading, or notice things that I didn’t remember reading about, and online Bible websites made it easy to look things up, in order to be sure.

                What I was finding out in the process is that it seemed like nobody was teaching what the Bible actually says.

                It turned into a kind of game (which was good, because if it hadn’t, I probably would have stopped looking), to see how long it would take me to examine a church website and find something that wasn’t according to Scripture.

                You might be surprised how good you can become at spotting what essentially amounts to false teaching, defined as teaching which is not found in Scripture. It’s really not hard to do at all, with a little practice.

                In the process, I began to learn more and became more familiar with the Bible, through the process of looking things up so frequently (the online Bibles with ‘search’ functions made this possible).

                Then one day I stumbled across a large Christian website with teaching on many subjects, and they made it easy to check and verify by posting multiple verses and passages to prove what they believed and why. Showing how multiple places in the Scriptures all taught the same thing, and nowhere in the Scriptures contradicted the teaching. And I could not trip it up or find anywhere that they were wrong.

                After searching for so long, making a game out of finding teaching that was not in the Bible, I wasn’t prepared to actually find a website where I couldn’t find any teaching in obvious conflict with the Bible. And this was a big website covering all kinds of subjects, a research website is probably a fair description, not a typical 4 or 8 page ‘storefront’ type website.

                I spent a lot of time on that website, and referred back to it frequently, and I kept looking. About a month later I found another website that I couldn’t trip up. Very different from the first website, but teaching all the same things on the subjects that were covered by both websites. Later I found out these two websites were managed by members of two different, independent, autonomous congregations of the same worldwide church, the first was located in Canada, the second in Illinois.

                The one in Illinois offered to put you in contact with a local congregation (based on your zip code) that, to their knowledge, taught the truth according to Scripture. The congregations around the world of this church are in fellowship with each other, but as in Scripture, there is no ‘umbrella organization’ that ‘enforces’ (or frequently changes) ‘official accepted teaching’.

                Each congregation is independent, and the Scriptures are the only ‘official’ doctrine, so nothing is added (or subtracted) from what the Scriptures say. In theory, any congregation, anywhere, who follows what the Bible plainly says (no more, and no less) is a faithful congregation that all of the other congregations would be in fellowship with.

                But congregations can and sometimes do become corrupted, so you always have to compare what is taught to what the Bible actually says. In any event, the website offered to give you the contact information for any congregations they believed to be faithful that are in your area, based on your zip code.

                Then I had a problem.

                I hadn’t really thought all the way through, what I would do, if I ever actually found a church that taught and practiced what the Scriptures actually say. And I didn’t really expect to find one, once I began my search and realized that so many didn’t.

                But there it was. So what now? If I contacted them, and went to a Bible study or attended a few worship services to verify that they were doing everything according to the Scriptures, and they were, that was going to mean making some changes to my life. I wasn’t sure if I even could.

                So I thought about it, for three days. I didn’t really need three days, I knew the answer at the start, I was just looking for a way around it. The problem was this: if you spend so much time searching for something, especially something like ‘truth’, and then you actually find it — how can you just walk away, knowing that?

                I couldn’t. I knew I couldn’t at the beginning, but I tried to think of ways that I could, just the same.

                So I thought about it for three days, and then I called one of the congregations in my area, and went to a Bible study, and some worship services.

                They were teaching according to the Scriptures, very conscientiously, very purposefully, always citing book, chapter and verse for anything being taught or practiced, and it wasn’t just the preacher — everybody in that congregation knew their Bible. And if the preacher was wrong about something, the people in the congregation would bring it to his attention.

                Not in front of the assembly to embarrass him (that would not be respectful or Scriptural), but after services. And if it turned out that the preacher was in error about some thing, he would make the correction clear to everyone at the next worship service. It’s a fascinating thing to see people who are committed to seeking the truth according to what God’s Word actually says, and who take it seriously.

                I am still relatively ‘young’ in my walk with the Lord, and unfortunately, oftentimes I am not a very good example — including here, which I am sorry about, and try to do better. It’s not an easy thing to come ‘out of the world’, when ‘the world’ is what you’ve known. So I have a lot of things to work on.

                The point of all this is that you may not be ready right now, and I understand that. But one day, you might be. Maybe something changes in your life, or maybe you start to question, shouldn’t there be something more to life? Or maybe you just get curious, and want to find out for yourself.

                If that day comes, just know that it can be done, and you can do it. Lots of people have done it before you, and you can too.

                You just have to start, and keep asking questions, and keep looking.

                If you keep at it, sooner or later you will find it. 👍

                ………………………..
                Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matthew 7:7, KJV)

                Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
                ………………………..

                Liked by 1 person

              2. “Then one day I stumbled across a large Christian website with teaching on many subjects, and they made it easy to check and verify by posting multiple verses and passages to prove what they believed and why.”
                ———————

                “….. a large Christian website …..” just like this one, right?

                Liked by 1 person

      1. Most welcome, GA/FL! We all need a reminder of how blessed we are – lest we be tempted to have a ‘pity party’ – each of us has a cross to carry – some are heavier than others – but, God will not give us more than we can tolerate – and He will never leave or abandon us – He is our guard and our shade – He is our strength when we think we have lost all of ours – He carries us when we cannot go one step further – when we think we have lost all Hope – He is there to pick up the pieces.

        So glad this video touched your heart and renewed your spirit – God Bless You today and always!

        Liked by 3 people

  5. I may need to borrow this for a novel. HA! Oh, man, the stories about burying people…it took 25 minutes, hand soap, lotion, and the funeral director’s foot on the casket while he pulled to get my grandmother’s wedding ring off of her finger, it was that arthritic. It hadn’t been off her finger since before I was born. Then, we’re in the cemetery, and my mother invited people to take a rose from the casket spray. We ripped it apart. Not one rose was left behind. None. This is tradition, of course. Grandma would go to a funeral, and then go back to the cemetery later for any sprays that caught her fancy. Why leave flowers out there to die?

    Alright, I confess, I love a good funeral story. Like the time this nun we knew died and her family put a hand for Bridge in her hand that would have netted seven no trump. Stuff like that is just so much fun.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My brother-in-law’s family buried their Dad with a jelly donut from the local Louie’s Bakery (a Saturday morning tradition) and a huge sack of buttered popcorn 😊

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Daughn, love reading your novelettes.

    It is about the culture, more so because it’s a little more about the past, though there are perhaps pockets still to be found, deep in them thar’ hills.

    I’m reading Stuart Woods’ first novel, “Chiefs” – which is in reprint. His early books are wonderful, with more depth of character and plot development – before he got famous and successful in the mass market fiction realm. Most of his books of recent years are the quick, 2-3 half-sentence paragraphs with not much depth which happens with some of these writers in their later years. (He is a very successful author of suspense, mystery, 81 years old.)

    Anyway, “Chiefs” starts in a rural Georgia town around 1919 and goes to the 1960’s. It’s an honest, though at times, brutal look of a long ago era. He wrote it in 1987, back when one could write honestly. Today, everyone has to be careful. But yes, those folks, probably “knew someone.”

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Girlfriends are the best.

    Those magic moments when you get the giggles over something that no outsider can understand – it’s just hard to explain unless you’ve been fortunate enough to have them in your life.

    Thanks Daughn for helping me relive some of my favorite memories with my girlfriends. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The double knit polyester fabrics!!! The red, blue and white plaid pants reminds me of an outfit I made for one of my daughters from a remnant that was very similar.

    The first funeral I went to was when I was staying with my Dad’s folks in Texas. It was for an uncle of my pawpaw, open casket and I think I was about 14. My grandmother noted that they had fixed him up real good, he’d been an alcoholic and apparently had never looked so good!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Daughn – Please forgive me – for posting all I have posted on your very ‘personal’ thread – I was tired this morning – and posted what should have been posted on the Open Thread – on your story thread – Sorry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Anybody want to hire a contract killer?

      I still need a million dollars.”

      ________________

      Did you consider hiring someone to make you a million dollars?

      😁

      Liked by 1 person

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