A MEMOIRIST READER* WRITES, March was grim and cold and windy and gray and utterly unendurable. I huddled on the porch thinking about Passover and the imminent Seder and who would be coming and when I would make the chicken soup and could I freeze the matzoh balls in advance and where the angel-food pan was and about my grandmother’s dusty crystal on the top of the cupboard that had to be hand washed and the unpolished silver—and I had an epiphany: I don’t have to do this. Never again.
And I didn’t. My daughter did.
Two weeks later, back on the porch, still smarting from the uncomfortable and sad and disturbing disagreement with my daughter, I realized I’ve worked my whole life to get elected: Best daughter. Best wife. Best mother. Best cook. I thought I was doing great. But the returns are in, and they ain’t so good.
So I quit. I withdraw my nomination. I will not run again. If I don’t like you, I am not going to return your calls. And, honey, you can make your own damn supper. I am going to sit on my porch and read the paper. Eat ice cream for dinner. Eat the last muffin—with butter and strawberry jam. My old, splintered teak chair perches on the front porch, and I am going to settle in.
I’m Queen of the Courtyard. The hell with the rest of it.
Now you! What have you declared yourself queen (or king) of? And how did you earn your crown?
*The writer graciously allowed “Queen of the Courtyard” to be edited for VHV.