Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Marys and Sallys and SallyAnn

I had an interesting conversation with Esther Smith last night.  It was midnight her time, in New York City.  (She and I have a weird connection about Address Books and a bunch of other stuff.  She teaches at Cooper-Union and her husband runs a Printing Press company Purgatory Pie Press.  Worth checking it all out.)

So last night she posted a question about the following sentence: Mary's going to the store to pick up some coffee for Mary's brunch tomorrow.  

So the question revolved around the issue of Mary's as a possessive or Mary's as a contraction for Mary is.   I love questions like this because if you made the statement with the spoken words others would understand you.  We say it all the time and don't think twice about it.   Mary's = Mary is if the context makes sense.  But when it is written, it is clearly incorrect.

Sally's writing a blog post this morning.
Sally's blog was about Sally's blog.

Perceptions, expectations, reality, it is all such a slippery slope of words and other such nonsense.  I have such a different reaction to everything I read and hear than you do. We each have every thing filtered through our own life experience.  It depends on so many things.  Something as simple as how tired we happen to be or what has gone on that morning.  How frustrated, how emotionally spent we happen to be.

Because of my lawyer training, I don't quite hear things the same way as you do.  I usually ask the question more than one time because I want to make sure I understand.  It is just something I do because there are so many ways to say so many things.  We all live with assumptions and make them at the most inopportune time. 

It made me think about Marys and Sallys and all the rest.  I have found I definitely carry two Sallys with me most of the time.  One is Lawyer Sally.  Outside Sally, Hard to get along with sometimes Sally.  She sort of heads out into the world read for battle.  SallyAnn is not like that at all.  She is about 10 or 12 years old.  She sort of was stuck when her brother Eddie was taken to Napa State Hospital.  It did not make sense to her why he had to go.  So she is not quite grown up yet.  She still likes to watch old movies from the 50's and loves Cream of Mushroom Soup on everything. 

The Sallys knows lots of Marys.  Her Mom, her Mother-in-law, her daughter, Mother Mary, several cousin Marys and Aunt Marys.  Lots and lots of them.  She feels a certain comfort in all the Marys in her house and her life.   Marys keep her centered and her feet on the ground.  She seeks them out when she is upset and is a bit confused and worried and panicked and generally out of sorts.  The Marys give the Sally and SallyAnn a place to rest and they catch her all the time when she is floundering.  

Sally's blog is a lot about one Mary or another.  SallyAnn knows that no matter what has happened to Mary-Elizabeth, Mother Mary also had it bad.  Her child suffered and died in away she never imagined.  

So Mary's keeping me sane during this time of growth and transition. Now who knows which Mary's providing the solace and balance but since I have lots in my life, we can rest assured it is one of them. 

(Some have commented on how my writing in this blog should be more polished.  I don't think Lawyer Sally writes here.  There is a smaller more confused scared SallyAnn that is the main writer. She writes when she is scared and hurt and overwhelmed.  That is her best stuff.  She pours her heart onto the "web" and in a sense lets it go.  Sometimes, like today she is just babbling but feels a need to express some babbling. Rest assured, some day grown up Sally's going to do some editing. )               

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