You may not know it, but Becca is a walking confessional: it seems that no matter where she is, people feel compelled to tell her their secrets and unburden themselves. She engenders a kind of automatic trust that way. I am no exception: she’s listened to my troubles on many an occasion, and helped me forgive myself. It goes something like this: “Forgive me, Becca, for I have sinned.” Her reply: “Oh get over it and make me laugh.”
So imagine my surprise when the tables were turned. Last night we were chatting, and we got on to the topic of houses – as in buying and selling and fixing them up. At first Becca was her usual happy-go-lucky self, but as we continued talking, she became visibly nervous, even agitated. When I asked what was wrong, she said, “Nothing!” with a crazy little laugh. Her eyes were darting around like moths circling a bug zapper: a sure sign that something was up.
Just as I was launching into an exposition on dry rot, she suddenly blurted, “I did something awful!”
“What . . . do you mean?”
“I’m embarrassed to say. I feel so guilty.”
“Oh now, I can’t imagine you doing anything really bad.”
“No, you don’t understand. It’s something awful I did to our old house before we sold it. If the owners find out they could sue me. I’ve even done a little snooping; thank God they don’t get on the internet very much. I worry about it all the time. I had a dream about that house just last night.”
Now I was really concerned. What sort of deceptive behavior had my friend been up to? “Do you want to tell me about it?”
“I don’t know. I’m afraid you’ll think less of me.”
“Oh now, that’s not possible.”
“What the hell?! You can’t think any less of me? Is that it?”
“Uh . . .”
“I have to tell someone. This has been eating me up for almost a year now.”
“I’m here,” I said, preparing myself for the shock. I wanted to be there for my dear friend, but what if she confessed to something truly awful, even criminal?
“Well,” she said, hanging her head, “when I repainted the bathroom, I decided to paint the handles on the cabinets too, so it would all look more even. But there was one of the handles that was loose.” She looked at me significantly.
I returned her look, nonplused.
“It was a bad screw,” whispered Becca (the fact that she appeared to be on the verge of tears held me back from saying “That’s what she said.”). “I looked and looked, but I couldn’t find one that was the right size. There was paint everywhere, and it was almost dinnertime, and I was so tired of working on that stupid house, and this one stupid handle was holding up the whole works, so . . . I superglued it.”
I didn’t say anything because I was waiting for her to get to the really awful part.
“I knew it was wrong just as soon as I did it,” she cried out, clearly in anguish. “Right then, I knew how Adam felt when he bit the apple.” She hid her face in her hands.
“Yes! I know you must think I’m a horrible person, but I couldn’t keep it inside any longer. We underpriced the house by $10,000, but I still didn’t tell the people who bought it what I’d done. Please don’t tell anyone.”
So of course, I immediately wrote this post. The funniest thing about it is that I’m not exaggerating very much at all. This is just how sweet our Lady really is.