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General Manager of the Universe by Helen Chappell I’ve got a great deal to be thankful for this time of year. For instance, if I look in the obituaries and don’t see my name, it’s a good day. I’ve been blessed with many other people and things I’m grateful to have in my life, but the beginning of the holiday season is also a time to take stock of your own behavior and remind yourself about one or two teeny, weeny little faults you might have that absolutely no one else would ever, ever notice. No, really! Except for those beensy weensy little chinks in the old armor, you’re just fine. Really. As I contemplate the Hallmark cornucopia of clichés that define the holidays, I am forced to remind myself that not only am I a recovering drama queen, I have also resigned as general manager of the universe. Older folks are probably familiar with the long-running comic strip Mary Worth, in which a genteel, white-haired lady meddles in the affairs of her friends and neighbors. Under her gentle pushy guidance, lovers are united, marital problems solved,

cures for disease are discovered, the good are rewarded and the bad punished. Is it any wonder I have a T-shirt with a picture of my pop culture goddess saying, “You look like you could use some advice”? Moi, je suis Marie de Worth! I can’t help myself. I am, after all, a writer, which is the greatest excuse in the world to ask a lot of impertinent questions and try to interfere in other people’s lives. There are things general managers of the universe do. We stay up nights worrying about other people’s problems, and we always seem to know just what other people should do. Ask me! I have the answer! 11

Tidewater Times November 2011  

Tidewater Times November 2011

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