Those of you who have been following my blog know that my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant and a Paycheck, is based on the weekly column I used to write for the Plano Star Courier, an upscale Dallas Suburban newspaper. My husband and I raised five children, and one of the things that helped us face the challenges of a large family was having a sense of humor. Being able to laugh can pretty well diffuse any situation, although the humor might not always be apparent right away. Some things have to age somewhat before they take on comic proportions.
Writing the column was actually the beginning of my professional career and the column became quite popular. I was known as the Erma Bombeck of Plano and it was fun to be famous and recognized at the grocery store – unless it was the day I ran to the store in my oldest shorts, my hair in a mess and with no make-up.
I say all that as a prelude to what happened yesterday. My husband and I, and our oldest son who was visiting from Austin, went to a community theatre production here in East Texas yesterday afternoon. The guys elected to sit in the row ahead of me. Don’t ask me why. I did shower. I promise.
Anyway, I sat down next to a lady and gave her a little nod in greeting. “Pardon me,” she said to me. “Your name wouldn’t happen to be Maryann would it?”
I was thinking maybe she recognized me from one of the plays I had been in at that theatre, so I smiled and said, “Yes.”
Then she said, “I thought that was you. I recognized you from when you used to write for the Plano paper. I loved your column. I looked forward to it every week.”
She said some other nice things about my writing, but quite honestly, I was so stunned that she recognized me after all these years, I didn’t quite hear it all. She saw past the wrinkles and gray hair of today and saw that much younger me that used to smile next to my column every week.
Wow. Made my day.
What about you? Has anyone “made your day” lately?
8 thoughts on “Serendipity”
Wow, Maryann, what a great tribute. Serendipity indeed. It is always surprising what ripples our writing begins.
What a great thing! I’d be stunned if that ever happened to me. I’d say you’re fine wine – improving with age.
What a great story!
My daughter made my day last week–we went on a mother-daughter trip together and she was so thrilled and happy that it made me smile. 🙂
How wonderful was that lady! Not just that she recognized you, but that she loved your writing enough that she remembered you.
That must feel totally wonderful, Maryann. How lovely. Yes, someone left a comment on my blog that they’ve bought my memoir and can’t wait to read it. Of course, now I’m terrified they won’t like it.
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I am still rather stunned about yesterday. Karen, I know what you mean. I have the same fear every time someone tells me they bought my book.
To have had that kind of impact on someone- enough for her to overcome her inhibitions and talk to you- that must be the nicest thing that could ever happen to anyone.