Tough Love

“Mrs. Hanna probably told them to be nice to me and she’d buy the chocolate milk at snack time,” I reasoned.

“I went more than once.”

“So it WAS like Briscoe and Green,” I snapped, imagining my mother standing outside the triple-thick, wire-enforced, green-trimmed, metal kindergarten door, a Styrofoam cup to her ear and a battering ram ready to take out the glass and kick some five-year-old butt at the first sign of her baby being ignored.

“You tailed me to prove I didn’t have friends? What kind of teacher would let a parent do that? What kind of mother would do that?”

“One who was fed up with your whining. Like now.” I hated her serious tone.

“I still need some friends,” I reminded her. “I don’t have anyone to hang out with.”

“Then make some,” she argued, as if it were as easy as frying plastic eggs in a plastic skillet. “Stop being shy, because you’re as shy as Santa is skinny. Instead of complaining, give one of them a call and invite them out for coffee.”

I knew she was right but refused to admit it. “I suppose. I’ll try.”

“Good. Make one new friend this week and call me next week to tell me how it went,” she instructed.

It was so easy I couldn’t fail. And if I did, I could cry about it to her anyway. A win-win.

“Oh, and one more thing,” she added.

“Yes?” I paused, not wanting to miss any great motherly advice.

“Never cut your hair by yourself again. And stay out of the paste.”

Beth Morrow loves drama so much she became a middle school teacher and spends her summers as co-program director at Camp Hamwi, a residential camp for teenagers with diabetes. She has many great friends, loves making new ones, and misses Letter People videos. Reach her at

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