Dainty, Demure, Discreet Mabel

Mabel’s just been regaling me with tales out of school, which I will now share with you.


They did a fashion show for French class (narrated in French, for educational value) and she had forgotten to bring something to model, so she got her winter coat out of her locker and wore it with her shorts. Then she walked down the runway doing vocalizations and movements that were an amalgam of dinosaur and goat. Kind of like this:

And yesterday she and her friend Judy got “stuck” in the library for their Flex hour (they needed to go to the library, but staying for more than the first five minutes meant they had to stay the whole hour) and they “got really bored,” so this is how they entertained themselves:

Mabel found a book about learning disabilities. She sat next to a girl on the sofa and said, “Do you think I should get this book?”

The girl avoided eye contact, and muttered, “I don’t know.”

Mabel persisted, “Because, I have a lot of problems when I forget to raise my hand, and lots of troubles. And I really don’t know whether I should get this book or not. So, do you think I should check it out?”

Still avoiding looking at Mabel, the girl said, “I don’t know. Just open it up and see!”

Mabel’s next target was a boy from Mabel’s French class. She brought him a book called, “How to Plant Almost Anything,” and asked, “Do you have a garden?”

“No, we just have a planter box.”

Mabel started to laugh. She said, “You should REALLY read this book.” She handed it to him and ran away.

She and Judy watched and saw their hapless victim open the book and look through it. A minute later he brought the book to Mabel and said, “Sorry, it looks like a really good book, but I was thinking about checking out a Shel Silverstein book instead. Thanks.” (What a nice kid.)

Mabel also would lean over kids’ shoulders and in a voice “like a constipated goat person” would say, “That’s a really good book! You should keep reading it!”

Also, Mabel kept making eye contact with a boy. Then she went up to him and said, “It’s making me really uncomfortable how you keep staring at me and my friend.” She says, “And he was like, ‘You started it!'”

Afterward Judy said, “One of those girls is in my next class. Awkward!” (Judy puts up with a lot.)


And yesterday, at lunch, Mabel would go up to people and ask, “What day is it?”

They said, “The 2nd.”

“The 2nd of what?”

“The 2nd of May.”

“Heh! You guys are lying!”

“No, we’re not!” They tried to show her their phone to prove it was really the 2nd.

“No . . . you guys are lying!” She says, “And then I ran away and they were all really confused. And I just laughed.”


Mabel’s been harassing me while I’ve been trying to get her help to write this post. I said, “Are you having strong feelings about this?”

“I have strong feelings all the time!”

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4 Responses to Dainty, Demure, Discreet Mabel

  1. Aunt Ginger says:

    I can just imagine the trouble she might give to young men who might want to court her. Good luck with that!

  2. betsyhuntington says:

    Laughing my guts out.
    I feel sad I didn’t have the kinds of venues when my kids were young that are available now. Y’all were just as funny, and getting online when I have something to share is so much easier than keeping notebooks and writing letters was. At the same time, I still value a handwritten note, but a brief note, hand-delivered or coming in the mail, means as much to me now as a long letter used to. Such an interesting paradox. I used to mourn the death of letter writing, but my feelings have changed. We still write letters–they’re just easier to send. And I’ve noticed that more and more people are reverting to proper capitalization and punctuation, and to better formatting (there will always be a middling to high level of poor punctuation, poor grammar, syntactical errors (hurray for the dangling modifier!), and malapropisms (hurray for malapropisms!) in emails and other electronic messages.
    But back to Mabel. And all your other hilarious children (each in his or her special way).

  3. Stephen says:

    I think we need a new (Napolean Dynamite style) movie starring Mabel.

  4. jbug says:

    😛 Of course she did the dinosaur goat person. It’s her signature!

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