Two precious little girls live down the street from me, and as I am skittish to name names or spell out initials, I shall identify them, as all southern belles are identified, on everything from napkins to toilet lids, by their monograms.
They are sisters, the older one's monogram aptly being HDL and the younger one's quite correctly being LDL. I oft affectionately refer to them as Good Cholesterol and Bad Cholesterol. Which leads to that age-old cholesterol question: Should we elevate the good or just learn to live with the bad?
Little Miss Good Cholesterol frequently comes over to play amiably with my daughter, age 6. Little Miss Bad Cholesterol tags along because I felt guilty inviting only the older sister and leaving the younger at home. In the beginning she made it her mission to interfere in the older girls' princess play, but, having grown intensely bored with that, she now happily hangs with me. She must sense that I am so much like her, unredeemably b-a-d.
And while Little Miss Good Cholesterol, Miss HDL, is so very, very good - she loves for me to paint her fingernails and never complains about the color - Little Miss Bad Cholesterol, Miss LDL, well, you can probably guess. She's never satisfied with the color. And she's always "hongwy," which she says in her thick 4-year-old voice, for whatever snacks I might have, especially my secret chocolate stash.
And if I feed her, she only comes back, her appetite peaked, saying, "Miss Lucy, I'm still hongwy." But I do love that LDL like I love a chocolate-coated fried Twinkie, maybe better; which makes it completely forgivable when she brings me a crinkling plastic baggie, a chocolate ring around her puckered mouth, saying, "Miss Lucy, you're out of these." Her left hand slapped smack dab on her hip, she takes on a perturbed tone, unabashedly irritated that I would let someone eat all the chocolate chips, even if it was her, because now there are none, and by golly, she's "still hongwy."
I have her come over at least once a week, 'cause she's happy enough simply following me around my house spilling her family's secrets. Oh, and what a mess! She drops tiny tidbits like, "Miss Lucy, you gotta dead woach on the floor over there." Then while I'm sweeping it up, she adds, "My house has more woaches than your house."
Feeding her 4-year-old train of thought, I say something like, "Well, darn. I guess y'all win that contest."
"We do," she insists matter-of-factly. "And ours are all awive."
Just this past Sunday, Bad Cholesterol came on over with HDL, and while Good Cholesterol and my daughter played dress-up, LDL brushed my hair, helped me fold clothes, and sidekicked around with me to put away clean laundry. "You're nicer than my mama," she blurted out.
I egged her on, "Why do you say that?"
"My mama won't let us have dessert every night," she tattled.
"I don't let my children have dessert every night either. They hardly ever get dessert." I felt truthfulness, despite risking the loss of a naive child's undying devotion, was best here.
"You're still nicer than my mama."
Now, if I never did before, I see the allure of Bad Cholesterol and why folks find it so hard to give up. 'Cause while HDL never gets into my chocolate stash and always agrees with me, I can sure swill on the fat lies LDL butters me up with. And like all things southern, including cholesterol, anyone would certainly recognize her by her monogram.
Lucy Adams, a syndicated columnist and author of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny, lives in Thomson. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site, www.ifmama.com. Copies of her book are available at The McDuffie Mirror.