[gardeners] DeDe asks Beulah to help get Maude down from the attic

Cousin DeDe/Dede (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 8 Jul 1998 13:53:31 +0000

Dear Beulah Mae,

You remember your Aunt Maude, I'm certain. Who can forget the sight she
made the last time she made her Texas Curtsey at the Gillespie County Fair
back in 75? Maude had just been selected Miss Goat Roper (and weren't her
mama and daddy proud of their little gal, even if they were vegetarians!).
Everybody was a holding their breath 'cause Maude was trying to make her
curtsey while she was teetering on them four-inch high heels that her
Personal Beauty Pageant Advisor made her wear so as Maude wouldn't look so
short and dumpy. (Truth be told Maude ain't got no waistline at all. If it
weren't for her Merry Widow, none of them judges would have given her a
second look.). 

Well, Maude was teetering right on the edge of the stage overlooking the
hog pens when she went to make her bow to show folks how plum honored and
delighted she was to be named Miss Goat Roper of 1975. Afore she was
halfway to the ground, Maude's gold sheath dress made of genuine lame
fabric from the Sears & Roebuck catalog done started to rip straight up the
back. I figure Maude done caught one of them high heels in the hem, but
nobody's ever gone know for certain, cause nobody was willing to lay so
much as a pinkie on that dress once they got it away from the hogs. Down
came Cousin Maude. Fell into the hog pens-- right smack on top of her crown
while we all just stood their with our jaws dropping open wide enough for a
frog to jump down our throat. Let me tell you, that rhinestone tiara had
more pointy spikes sticking up on top than the Statue of Liberty in New
York City. Poor Maude, her Texas' Rat didn't do her a bit of good. Them
spikes was even taller than Maude's Rat and they had to pull 'em out of the
top of Maude's head with a pair of wire cutters. Makes my back molars ache
just remembering it. It weren't a pretty sight.

By Christmas, Maude's head had healed itself, but Doc said her mind
wouldn't never be the same. It pains me to admit that the old fraud was
right (and he is a fraud for certain. One day when I ain't so pressed for
time and writing paper, you be sure to remind me to tell you about the
"arrangement" Doc and that Yankee mortician who moved here last year been
cooking up.) Anyhows, Maude's ain't been seen in public for more than
twenty years. She don't even come down from that room she fixed herself up
in the attic unless she runs out of yarn and that ain't too often 'cause
she gets it ordered in and hauled up the outside window by the carton load.
Don't know whether Maude's knitting or stitching up there, but she has
either made herself some kind of fancy wardrobe or enough chair cushions to
give one to every soul that lives in the County.

I worry about Maude every time I see that bent up tiara that we keep on the
mantle to remind us of our little gal. Mostly, I worry that Maude's gonna
forget all her social graces and training if she don't get out and meet
folks one of these days real soon. But I had me an idea (and that's why I'm
writing, in case you was wondering).

Chatty sent over that invitation she got to the Texas Hair Ball that
Belle's hoping to attend if she can ever get that paint she got on herself
while suffering her confinement (and ain't that Sheriff Yin a disgrace and
an abomination!). I was looking at the invite and thinking back on the days
when Maude was a Belle, too, and thinking that maybe Belle could wear
Maude's Miss Goat Roper tiara. After all, keeping Family traditions is even
more important than making sure the truck's washed and got a matched set of
wheels before it pulls away from the Church the day of your first born's
wedding. And then it came to me! What if we could get Cousin Maude to come
down from the attic and put that tiara back on her head and take herself
off to the Texas Hair Ball like the Queen that she truly is? Think on it,
Beulah; can't you just see Maude walking tall and shining like a rose while
people stand aside to let her pass while they look on with pure amazement
and speechless adulation? Gives an old woman like me a shiver clear up my
spine just thinking on it. 

Will you help me make my dream come true? Maude's face put on a few years,
it's true. Put on some pounds, too. But nothing a big tube of Max Factor
pancake makeup, a good old fashioned Merry Widow, and a sturdy buttonhook
can't handle. As for the rest, I know that between you and me and Hattie
down at the beauty parlor and day-care center we can get Maude fixed up
good enough to pass in them soft lights they use at all them fancy parties
down in Houston. I don't got to tell you that they use them lights purely
out of consideration of all them women who got them little scars behind
their ears that are holding up their jaws and keeping their chins from
sagging. Them scars show up real bad unless the lights just right, don't
you know.

So Beulah Mae, you just pack up your bag and get on down here and help me
get cousin Maude out of the attic. And bring that remedy you found to cure
a balding head of hair, cause Maude's hair has gotten a little sparse on
top where them spikes done stuck her.

Cousin DeDe/Dede, dreaming of seeing Maude as the Belle of the Texas Hair