Shyril Beck Told Me

Put me and my sister together and you get my mom. Someone who can get her nails painted Cajun Shrimp by ten and then watch sports until two. I smile when people say I’m a young Shyril Beck. After all, my mother and I have a lot in common. We both window shop in Neiman Marcus- my mom says shoes look good on our feet. We both think Madewell is a glorified Old Navy-but we still go there and try on solid colored sweatshirts. We don’t live by too many rules-life is short, eat the cake. We like to party-a margarita and a mojito please. We compliment people a lot- you look sharp. I see you in that coat! And we forgive quickly-give them the benefit of the doubt. But then there are some qualities my mom has that I find myself wishing I had. For example, my mom will stand up for herself in ways I can never see myself doing. She’s been this way for as long as I can remember. Kim ignores people, I accept people, but my mom? Shyril Beck will tell them.

One year at writing camp my room was switched right after my mom left for the airport. When I told my mom she said, “Do I need to turn around. It’s nothing to miss my flight. Why did they switch your room?” I told her not to worry about it. The other hallway was fine, better even. Two hours later, I had two camp counselors knocking on my door. I should have known. “Robin, folks can’t just up and move your room without an explanation.” Shyril Beck told them.

Another time she was working and someone threw papers on her desk. She told the lady, “Don’t ever toss something on my desk that way.” The lady said, “The boss told me to give them to you.” “I’m sure he did, but I know he didn’t tell you to give them to me like that.” It was the last time that lady crossed my mom.“You see Robin, people treat you how you allow them.” Shyril Beck told her.

And one time a hotel said they wouldn’t give my mom her money back even though all flights had been cancelled due to a hurricane. I’m sure you can guess what happened.”Robin, don’t ever let someone just take your money. They work for their money just like I work for mine. Sometimes you have to stop people.”

So yesterday when I went to the library and they told me I couldn’t enter until I walked in May, I turned to leave. Then I thought about what Shyril Beck would do. I laughed. You mean to tell me I paid this high (she would think an expletive, but not say it) tuition and passed my classes, but I can’t come in here to read a book. Who can I speak to? You see I have her logic, but not her follow through. Shyril Beck would tell them and then she would walk through those doors, grab an oatmeal cookie and read until her eyes were tired. I turned around to explain my situation, but the lady wouldn’t budge. It was a technicality she explained. Technically, I wasn’t a student, but I wasn’t an alumna either. I was “in limbo.” We’ll see about limbo. I sent an email to the head of library services. Keywords included: graduated, technicality, ridiculous, explain, please.

An hour later I got an email. “Robin, please go to room 201 Butler to obtain your readers card. Thanks.”  It worked. I told them, but only because Shyril Beck first told me.


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