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A Woman's Journal


Me and Mrs. Jones

By Maggie Turner

November 22, 1999

Me and Mrs. Jones

"The Jones'" are ever present in my life. I wouldn't invite them in, but "The Teenager" opens the door wide and hails them in from the street. "The Jones'" are normal; the people we should be like, Attila and I. They can be found in complete, undiluted form on any TV or movie screen. Mutilated remnants of their perfection are detectable in real life families who appear to have achieved bliss.

"The Jones'" make an upper-middle-class income, they have a perfectly clean home where everything is new-not-worn, they dote over their children indulging every whim, they admire their children's rudeness and they definitely don't eat beans. They are the antithesis of real life, the beloved icons of happiness in the psyche of modern youth. The mother figure of "The Jones'" always laughs quietly not loudly, shaves her legs and listens to the wisdom of youth for endless hours, smiling without comment. The father figure of "The Jones'" always silently offers cash bonuses, offers transportation to anywhere at anytime of day or night and never, never drinks beer. I hate "The Jones'" as much as my offspring admire and seek their company.

All these thoughts stem from a comment made on a documentary about the Mayan culture. Apparently human sacrifice to the gods was practiced by the Mayan people. I wonder if our monolithic culture is not sacrificing the minds and souls of the population to the gods of profit and progress. I wonder if the Mayans might find us barbaric.

Our national government representative distributed a flyer today. Most of the articles in it are self-congratulatory, with lots of pictures of the smiling member. There was one piece of information I thought was worthwhile; a URL for a database was provided, the Unclaimed Bank Services site. This database consists of all the bank services in Canada that have been inactive for 10 years and the owner cannot be contacted. I rushed to the site and keyed in my name. You see, I have a very bad memory. I might have forgotten an account somewhere along life's road. I had visions of a long forgotten bank account from my youth, swollen with interest and waiting just for me. Alas, no accounts bore my name, or Attila's or anyone else that I could possibly think of. I'll have to keep buying lottery tickets.

I have discovered the perfect time to go walking in "The City". When one ventures forth between 4 and 5 p.m. the population is preoccupied with reaching their private, after work destinations. Lots of people are driving, taking public transit and walking. One does not seem in the least bit unusual moving briskly down the street on foot. This is important here because mentally ill citizens are usually attracted to the lone pedestrian; I have often been shouted at or followed. Taking advantage of my discovery, I quite enjoyed my walk today. The temperature was surprisingly warm for a North American November day, balmy, sunny and breezy.


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