Monday, August 13, 2012

DEAR EDITOR: LITTLE IRISH ANNIE, by "Ugly Duckling" from Illinois, 1935

Dear Editor:  I was born an ugly duckling, a throw back, no doubt, for my parents were good-looking. Fortunately, for me, I was endowed with plenty of good, common sense, a sense of humor, and a wise, and far-seeing mother.

I was, from a little tot, conscious of my unattractiveness, and can recall quite distinctly an occasion when my mother found me before a mirror, shaking my fists in my homely little face.

Mother did not try to console me by telling me that I wasn't so bad looking, or that "pretty is as pretty does." She did just the opposite: she made me realize then and there that I could never completely separate myself from the ugly little girl in the looking glass. During those formative years she helped to instill in my mind the fact that if you will face the unpleasantness of life squarely and then strive to be "too big" to let it down you, the battle is more than half won. "If you haven't any assets," she used to say, "cash in your liabilities."

The first day of school might have been quite tragic for me had I not had so wise a mother, for certainly my reception was not flattering. One of the older girls was heard to say to the teacher, "Isn't she the homeliest child you ever saw," and the teacher replied, "She is so ugly, she's cute."

Did it squelch me? Nary a bit. I had the time of my life. Skipped the rope as fleet as the fleetest, and giggled with the giggliest and returned home that night a tired, but perfectly happy little girl. By the end of the second week I was friends with all the "kids" and "Teacher" seemed to like me, too.

Years passed, and I entered high school in a town some distance away. There also I stood my ground, and after the first week or two, made friends rapidly and was admitted into the "sacred" portals of the "400." My friends called me "little Irish Annie," for I was just plain Annie, little, homely and Irish.

Well, I weathered high school days splendidly, and later married well and happily. So I assure you who are short on assets that you can "cash in on your liabilities."

What an amazing mother Annie had... LAH