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Short Story 5

A Lot On Ones Plate

Malinda Blare was a housewife. She married shortly after high school at the age of nineteen to her husband Nelson who had been twenty-two at the time. They proceeded over the span of nine years to have five children. She had both lost and gained a series of pounds and now retained a comfortable form that was resistant, contrary to some people’s beliefs, to go back to the slender form of her youth. She spent much of her day balancing the family finances, answering the phones, teaching her children, cleaning the house, performing general shopping tasks, and seeing to the grand schedule which included all appointments, trips, doctor visits, and family get togethers for both her husbands and her side of the family. She spent much of her life hearing from and watching people explain that her job was easy, that woman like her were lazy and lacked ambition, and that her weight was due in part or whole to her own slothful attitude and nothing else. The lists of depreciation went on and on. All these things she bore with as wide a smile as she could muster toward the subject.

If it was possible to look at one’s life on a plate what exactly would that entail, she found herself wondering as she went to bed one night after hearing her crude in-law state that all fat people should be tied to tree and allowed to starve while the scent of pot dribbled from his lips.

A small twitch came to her lips like the rootings of a smile. It was always so easy for everyone to make statements. It was always fun for people to look at others proverbial platters and criticize what was laid out, in their beautiful opinions, an unbalanced meal of a life.

It was at once accosting and amusing to Malinda to imagine that everyone defended their own life and yet at the same time criticized others. There was always something that someone was not doing correctly. She, the poor thing, knew she was a relic of the past living in the modern world. Something taboo and frightful. Something unwanted.

In the modern age women were to be ambitious. If they were not that then the least they could do was be magazine ready. Let’s forgo any other qualifications, though there were many lifestyle modifiers to be applied to make a woman appealing on all fronts.

It was ridiculously hilarious. She could imagine the buffet of life with all its choices. She had made hers carefully, no matter what others thought. She had added her husband and children which made the plate rather a tray. She took on every responsibility that would make the lives of other easier. And yet she knew it would never be enough. There would always be other qualifications for suitability that she had missed or waylaid no matter how hard she tried.

That was the beauty of life, you were never good enough, especially compared to the different shifting standards on either side of the line. It was a battle not to care herself, it was something she had to push away and let go. It was not easy to be so inhumanly arrogant as others, often that was achieved only at a certain level of self-induced superiority, usually attained when someone didn’t realize that they were just another person sitting on the dunk tank seat.

The reality was that no one else cared how another’s life was shaped. They heaped more onto others, making demands of time, vocabulary, lifestyle, and anything else they felt they could dictate. Most people’s opinions were based off of their own preferences. Malinda complimented herself that her beliefs were based on the Bible. They could cry and attempt to add more, she didn’t care much. All she wanted from life was to make those that belonged to her healthy and happy, following a straight and narrow path, that was all.

So, some would call her fat and say she was lazy. Others would say she had no ambition, or that her husband was the center of all evil on earth and to propagate so freely with him was a dire, sin in and of itself. That her beliefs were wrong and subjugating. That the Bible was filled with lies. Let them talk. It was what people had been good at since the beginning of time. They wouldn’t make her a convert for their cause. Any frustration or tears they effected would last just a moment. As for anything else it was between them and God. She had enough to manage. And with that she turned over and went to bed.


Thank you so much for reading everyone!!

Prompt: A lot on ones plate

Word Count:778

©DecemberKnight 2022

Special thanks to Ekrulila from Pexels for the use of the image!

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