THE SPECIAL GIRLS
“Hey, Cynthia, or Lu Ann, or Margie…” Then an “insistent, listen-to-me” voice repeated: “Hey, you girls in the audience of sitting painters tell us if this picture is placed just right.”
The conversation among the four graying heads in the folding chairs stopped. “Oh, yeah,” acknowledged the largest body in one of the chairs, “maybe just scoot it over just about 2 inches—and that will be fine.”
“Thanks, Cyn, my arm and Carol’s were getting rather tired of holding this up for critiques that were a little slow in coming.” And Carol removed the painting with her one good arm (due to extensive shoulder surgery and her rheumatoid arthritis). Tess then took the nail and hammer and proceeded to start the process of hanging the support for the original watercolor painting on the wall. The Thursday painter group was getting ready for their group showing or their work they had done in their weekly painting sessions.
Grace quickly moved and offered: “Here, I can do the hammering.”
Tess watched her try to hit the nail and saw her rather short arms over reach the intended mark. She noticed the struggle of the small lady to not shake a bit as she tried. “Grace, just go help at the registration table. You’re too short to really do this and it is too hard for you to stretch that far.” Grace gave a brief laugh and moved toward the table indicated by Tess’s very bossy finger.
Carol then brought back the painting and Tess noticed she definitely was struggling to put most of the weight of the painting to be hung on her one good arm so as to not strain her hurting left one. Tess tried to maybe dismiss her, too, but at least Carol could walk and stand without hurting for more than 10 minutes like the rest of the group. So Tess accepted her help because the painting was far too large for her to place on the wall by herself.
“What a group!” thought Tess, “We are all getting older. All we want to do is have a small art viewing so we can participate in the local Friday night Art Trail Show that would include the public viewing our paintings. None of us are big professional selling artists.
Tess sadly looked at her dear friends through the years. “It is amazing that the art ego so common in our more successful peers in the art world into which we, though ageing, have tentatively stepped seems absolutely replaced by wanting to help each other.
“Wow, doesn’t that look great now?” Tess asked the rest of the painting group as all nodded in assent at the great display of their art work—a work of love for everyone in there.
“I guess I better go put up my bag that I brought them in, Carol. I’ll be back in a minute. And Tess picked up the large protective bag in which she had just bought her paintings for the show. It had just been bought at a sale from an art store for a really good bargain price. It was then she noticed the bright pink sign that had accidentally stuck to her sweater on her left breast area. It read for all to see:
Tess’s laughter rang in the room and all the girls turned to see what was going on. “Look, look at me,” and Tess pointed to the bright tag that clung to her sweater on her left breast. “I guess I accidentally picked up a tag from my new bag. –and look where it landed—wow! Am I glad I’m not in the Red Light district at midnight—and she laughed again.”
And all the rest of the small group of painters smiled and giggled
Then Tess finally settled down and heard Grace comment: “Well, I sure don’t feel special today—I’m tired, nothing has gone right today, and I look terrible.”
“Oh, Grace, you don’t either,” rebuked Tess. Then with a quick side hug and a sneaky look on her face, Tess quickly removed her tag of “Special” and placed it on Grace’s shirt. “Now, Grace, you can’t feel bad, just look on your arm—now you’re special, too.” And Grace smiled at her friend.
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