Is It Really Nancy Drew’s Fault?

We are all paradoxical. You might be as fit as a fiddle, but have a weakness for potato chips. Your neighbor might be rather aloof, but become a blithering cartoon character when she has a kitten on her lap.

I am a short, aging woman who teaches Sunday School and sings soprano, but has an unsettling interest in spy novels. This isn’t a new thing for me. When I was in the early grades, my mother says she forbade me to read any more Nancy Drew since I was afraid of the dark. First of all, how can anyone object to someone who wears a skirt with matching pumps and solves crime? Secondly, a fear of the dark (or, more accurately, what it is in the dark that you can’t see) is very reasonable and I contend that those of you who don’t feel a little tinge of “did I hear a noise?” when you can’t see your hand in front of your face are the ones with issues. Very dark issues. Lastly, this is the same woman who taught her children “Fee, fi, fo, fum; I smell the blood of an Englishman; Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread” with great expression and gusto; so maybe we should investigate whether the blame lies completely on Nancy’s doorstep.

My husband and son recently decided to get me a gift. There are just the three of us at home now, and life is decidedly different when testosterone outnumbers estrogen. Well, actually, there are sometimes four if you count my son’s friend who is living with us part-time in order to take some college classes his last year of high school. My husband and I didn’t really know him when he moved in, but he’s an Eagle Scout, so if he was actually a mass murderer, I reasoned he would at least kill us it quickly and efficiently. (Okay, maybe spy novels do creep into my thinking from time to time.) I am really quite comfortable in a house of boys. Perhaps it is a reflection of my childhood in which the only other female besides me in a family of seven was my mother.

I was grateful for this gift – turning it over in my hands. They looked at me with a sort, CC lic 3.0 amazement (the word here not necessarily denoting something positive) as they described choosing from the titles of a favorite author of mine. Should we get Kill Shot or American Assassin for Mom and on and on. Oh for pete’s sake. It’s just fiction. Maybe. Thanks for the gift, boys. I’ve got your back.


Quote: Jack and the Beanstalk; image:, CC lic 3.0

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