Madison’s Dilemma

Madison’s Dilemma

Such a pretty face with almost perfect blonde braids past her shoulders and blue eyes that disclosed her intelligence immediately. Self-contained to the max, or call it polite if you prefer — she listened quietly as I chatted with her grandmother about how wonderful tankinis were, pointing out that bikinis were rapidly becoming endangered species.

Back when I turned 30, I’d stopped wearing bikinis  — I knew it was time to step up to a new decade, and my hair was cut to a just above the shoulders bob and my middle part was moved to the left.

Now I’ll tell you all about my new acquaintance, Madison, and what makes her stand above the crowd.

First, you likely don’t know me, but if we ever meet, I’ll probably ask about your birthday right away to see where to drop anchor. When I asked Madison, she looked me in the eye and told me April 20. I started telling her why I liked Arians, and she deftly cut in, asking me when my birthday was.

After I said September 2, I lost my breath. Do you know how infrequently I’m asked that question!

“You’re very, very, very special — do you know that? Why did you ask me?”

“Just curious — that’s all.”

“That was so nice of you to ask me.  Mind if I ask how old you are?”

“Almost 7 1/2.”

“Wait a second. If you turned 7 on April 20, you’re nowhere near almost 7 1/2. Slow down!  But your quarter birthday is coming up on …Wednesday … so you could say you’re about 7 1/4.”

“No, I like to to say I’m almost 7 1/2.”

“Where were you born?”

“New York  City –”

“Incredible — so was I!  Which borough?”

“Well, the truth is … well, my mother said I can say New York City when people ask — but really I was born in New Jersey. ”

“What grade are you in?”

Here her smile faded. I’d hit a tender spot and I was just about to back off a bit, when she told me …

“I hate school!”


“I like the teachers — it’s the other girls I can’t stand!”‘

“How come?'”

“They’re mean to me!”

“I have a feeling I know why they act that way.”

I took a good look at this poised, sharp, pretty young lady and could see the problem right away.  She was everything they weren’t.  Pretty … smart … a double threat!

“They must be quite jealous. I mean to be so pretty and so smart and so nice all at the same time … So tell me, what’s your favorite color?”

“Does it have to be just one color — I have three favorites: pink, purple, and light green.”

I told her about a wedding where all the bridesmaids were dressed in seafoam green. “Do you know when you’re going to get married?”

“Yes. When I’m 26 or 27. But I’ll tell you a secret … my grandfather married my grandmother when he was 16!”

“Do you like to listen to music?”

“I love Michael Jackson and cried when my mother told me he’s no longer … well, he’s …”

“I really, really love one of his old songs but can’t remember the name.  I’ll try to hum it. You see …when you get invited to slow dance to this song — you can tell a boy really likes you. Or at least, that’s how it worked a long time ago.”







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