Newlywed Jimmy is spreading his wings, and Mary doesn't like what she sees. And so the feud begins.
Jimmy is the oldest son of our late friend Jenny. He grew up a hunter and fisherman. As outdoorsmen age they seem to become even more outdoorsy, though father Jim comes off as civilized. Jimmy once gave young Will a crows-foot necklace. All three
Inexplicably, Jimmy distains normal sports like football, baseball, and golf. It could be considered commendable that he wastes no time watching them on TV, I suppose. None of us are perfect.
Jenny hosted an annual Christmas party, which was always the social event of the season. The Ewings don't lack for friends. The small group we had in the early 90’s is only one subset. Surely Jimmy considers us friends of his parents, except for fellow hunter-adventurer Mark. Since Ceil was a close friend of Jenny, and quite affected by her death, Jimmy’s view of her appears to differ from no-nonsense Mary. I'm probably thought of as Ceil’s harmless husband, less esteemed than the ultra cool Mr. Hurt.
Jimmy is a talented writer. He’s kept a blog for many years, and often posts his handiwork on Facebook. Since most of the essays revolve around hunting, they don’t interest me much. I most enjoy reading Jimmy’s work for the layered metaphors and adjectives that enrich his prose. The outlandishness of some of his posts has drawn the ire of the strait-laced Mary, particularly the revealing post-honeymoon expose. This displeasure has pleased Jimmy to no end, and he continues to toy with her objections. While she is quite serious, he is not.
Mary and Jimmy often joust on Facebook, which is basically out in public. This I try to avoid, thinking private admonishment best. Myra took a more gentle approach.
This week Mary and I discussed three wild turkeys who’ve been cavorting around near Crabapple. Mrs. Howell snapped their picture. I tagged a turkey as Mary, commenting that hopefully Jimmy didn’t see them, lest he open fire. When Allison asked who this Jimmy was, I hit below the belt: “a homeschooler gone rogue”, “on Mary’s naughty list”, “30 going on 15”, and “as an outdoorsman living in a Buckhead townhouse, he can’t be too dangerous.” Mary later tagged one of the turkeys as Jimmy. Predictably, he said they'd be going down.
I cannot force him to behave a certain way. I’m certainly not a close enough friend, not a big part of his life. Neither is Mary. He will grow up one day. We hope. Until then we can love him.
But I'm not going hunting.