Fightin’ like a girl

Edwina and I went Christmas shopping yesterday. She found an outfit at Walmart and then we headed over to Shoe Carnival for boots.

“I told Tyrone and Joe-Joe I was gettin’ some boots like Miss Rayan’s for Christmas,” she said as she tried on one pair after another.

On the car ride back to Edwina’s apartment, she filled me in on some troubles she’s been having with Tyrone. Turns out, he strayed to another woman’s bed until Edwina told him (and the new girlfriend) that she’d “gut them like baked potatoes” if they tried to mess with her again.

“He been real nice to me since then, Miss Rayan,” Edwina told me. Hmmm.

Sometimes, Edwina’s approach to setting things straight seems strange to me.

On the other hand, her way of dealing with strife isn’t all that foreign.

My brother, Joe, is back in rehab in Tallahassee, Florida. I received a phone call from a counselor at the facility telling me that my brother had checked in and was in trouble.

I find myself worrying that Joe will show up on my doorstep. I don’t want to see him, mainly because it’s painful to see how far he’s fallen into despair. Drugs. Mental illness. Anger. Denial.

But I also worry about reliving the fights. Growing up, there was no reasoning with my brother. Disagreements quickly turned into shouting matches. Shoves. Slammed doors.

My girls don’t know fighting like that. And I hope they never will.

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