Note: Inspired by my forum. Aren't these Mary snippets always. :P
Disclaimer: Not mine—the title isn't even mine, according to my television.
"Mary darling, this isn't too hard. It'll be fun, I promise!"
Fun. Ha. My mother may not have known as much about words as me, but I can assure you she knew from the beginning this wouldn't be "fun." See, my mother said the same thing about the time she tried to get me to learn dance (oh dear, the sprains that ensued…), that one time she thought I ought to go without glasses for a day (I've discovered I don't like walls), and cooking lessons (thank goodness Karen was worse than me, anyway!).
Anyway, I suppose when your hobby is reading and writing, your mother is bound to try and "broaden" your "womanly horizons" somehow. As if feminism never happened.
I love my mother, though…really. Even if her understanding of me leaves much to be desired.
"Mary, you're walking too slowly. Speed up."
"Look up when you walk."
"And stop apologizing."
This is kind of Manna's fault. Isn't it usually? Something crazy goes on, we can point at her. Mostly because she knows how dull it is here, she wants to liven it up a bit.
Maybe I'm just a dull person by nature?
"Ladies, welcome Mary to our circle." My mother flourished her arm towards me with an elegance that dance class never gave me. "Sasha, Manna, it is my honor to welcome my daughter to our ladies' corner."
"Um. Hi." I pushed my glasses up my nose and tried to smile as if I really wanted to be there. Which, um, I didn't.
See, my mother and her friends like to talk. As in, about people. People who aren't them. And my mother had decided to talk about me last time, about how I need more "feminine influences." So Manna says why don't we bring over little Mary and be her influences? My mother generally finds everything Manna suggests to be a good idea.
…Most people would disagree.
"My Goddess, did you see the size of that box Duke carried from my husband's store? Manna, darling, I'm afraid he's got enough booze to last him the year."
"Pfft, Sasha, there's no such amount that could last my husband! Hahaha!"
Everyone laughed at that. I coughed. It's kind of like laughing, right?
"Sometimes I wonder if Cliff showers at all. I swear, part of me wants to get some girl to lure him to the hot springs, he could just watch her undress, then boom! We push him in from behind!"
"Ahaha, if he drowned?"
"Don't worry, Mary could save him. You'd do that, right Mary?"
I blushed, realizing too late I'd be the poor female bait. "Ummmm?"
"Anyway, I swear. To. The. Goddess. Kai and Popuri are dating."
"But Rick said—"
"It's a delicious little drama, isn't it?!"
"Ohh, that scoundrel!"
"Off with our innocent little Popuri…"
"Poor Lillia, if the girl gets pregnant the woman's health will drop even more."
I cleared my throat. "I don't think Popuri would—"
"Well, she's just a girl, he'll most certainly make advances. But Lillia raised her right, I think."
"No male influence, when the father leaves, this always happens, they say…"
"H-how about we talk about something else?" I squeaked.
Everyone stared at me, then my mother. She blushed in apology.
Sometimes I wonder if women don't speak the same language after all.
"I don't see why Ann won't wear dresses."
"Oh don't I know it! Doug isn't the best instructor in the ways of femininity."
"Wouldn't it be a hoot if she wound up with Cliff?!"
"Ahaha! Baggy overalls and smelly outdoorsman tunics!"
"A match made in mud!"
"I think they'd be cute…" I mumbled.
Again, my mother got looks. Again, she blushed red with embarrassment.
I don't think I knew what she expected of me, anyway.
"U-um, so…Gray and Claire are a cute couple, right?" I managed. Surely this would be both nonoffensive and pleasing gossip to my mother's ears.
Except the name "Claire" sent off a spark of anger in all three faces.
"Urgh, I can't stand cityfolk!"
"Her hair is unnatural. That golden shade…"
"I swear, her farm is worthless."
"And to think Gray, of all people, would try and settle down with that piece of blonde trash--!"
"That's not very nice," I stammered. "Claire's new here, she just hasn't spoken a lot to you yet."
Manna sneered. Patted my head. "Poor thing doesn't even realize she's lost her one suitor to some outsider. She's so cute, your daughter, so naïve."
"What? My suitor?"
"We've been talking about this for ages," Sasha giggled. "Gray had been eyeballing you for ages, little Miss Mary."
I blinked. "Really?"
"Oh." More blinking. "Didn't realize."
"I say you fight the girl."
"Ooh! A catfight over the heart of a big burly blacksmith!"
"If he took his shirt off that'd be something to make this town more interesting—"
"Oh, Manna, why would he take his shirt off if Mary and Claire were the ones fighting?"
"What, so I don't get much man muscle anymore…"
"I don't want to fight Claire for anything or anyone!" I protested. "I never saw Gray like that anyway."
All three chortled. "Ohoho, really now? What about those festivals? Or the chocolates you gave him last Winter Thanksgiving? Mary, don't be coy."
"B-but we're just friends!"
"Oh, is that what they call it these days?"
Heat flushed behind the collar of my blouse. I crossed my arms and looked away; I could feel my knees buckling. "We really are just friends, I don't care what you say."
"What do you want me to say?" I snapped back. "Claire is an ugly, awful, man-stealing jerk and I want the nice strong blacksmith all for myself, no matter what?!"
If I were being more alert, I wouldn't have said that. Because a loud scream broke out, a blonde figure ran crying into the distance, and I realized she must have only heard the part I'd shouted.
Maybe that's why right now, no one is talking to me. And my mom refuses to take me to another gossip outing. And all my friends won't return my calls. And someone toilet-papered the library.
Hmm. This will be hard to explain to my new boyfriend. Harris is remarkably sensitive, after all.
End Note: Bwahaha. The only way Mary could possibly be a gossiping bitch. Hope you enjoyed. ;)