Fighting It by Tony Artuso

Monday, March 8, 2021
Harry tries to sneak out for a haircut while his wife Glo is out, but she has other ideas - little does she realise how long Harry can hold a grudge; by Tony Artuso.

Prologue: 1988


That Saturday morning as I headed out our backdoor to go to the garage, I didn't anticipate encountering my wife.

"Uh, hi, Glo," I sputtered. "I, uh, thought you were with Daniela over at the Miller's."

"I was," Glo admitted, "but our five-year-old has decided she's a big girl who doesn't need - or want - Mommy around when she's playing with her buddies so she sent me home. What a little bossy cow she's getting to be," Glo laughed, crinkling up her stubby little nose into one of her numerous endearing expressions.

Just like her mother, I thought but prudently refrained from saying.

"So where are you off to so bright and early?" Glo asked.

"Uh, just runnin' errands." I tried to edge past her to get out the door, but she didn't move, just set her arms akimbo and demanded suspiciously, "What sort of errands?"

"You know, Saturday errands," I laughed, lamely.

"Like wasting money on a haircut?"

"Well, yeah, uh, sure, I'm gonna get a haircut," I sputtered self-consciously. I'd make such a terrible poker player. "It's not a waste. I still have hair to cut!" I offered defensively.

"Really?" Glo reached up and, with a flick of her hand, casually flopped the hair of my combover to the side, revealing the bald pate that it once sheltered. "Harry, we've been over this a million times," Glo sighed. "You're not fooling anyone with that terrible combover. If you can't fight it, then invite it!"

"Hon, I'm only 30," I groaned. "I'm too young!"

Glo stepped past me into the house, grabbed me by the right elbow, and gently spun me around. "Come on, Harry," she insisted, steering me toward our bathroom.

Once Gloria made up her mind, she became irresistible as a force of nature so, sighing, I went along quietly. In the bathroom, she nodded at the shower. "Get out your shampoo and conditioner," she ordered. "Open them up, and pour them into the sink."

I started to protest, or at least ask why, then decided against it. When the last of the brightly colored, fragrant liquid coursed down the drain, Glo indicated the waste can by the sink, into which I dropped the empty plastic containers. They echoed hollowly as they bounced around before settling in the bottom. She pointed at the toilet, where I sat down. She reached into the medicine chest, pulled out my brush and comb.

"Toss those," she handed them to me. After I reluctantly threw them in after the bottles, I turned to see her wielding heavy duty electronic clippers.

"When did you get those?" I gulped as she bent down to plug them in.

"The other day, when I realized I'd have to take care of this myself since you're in denial." She straightened, clicking the clippers on. They buzzed malevolently. "Hold still," she ordered then plunged them into the remains of my hair.

Brown locks cascaded in clumps around my ears, into my lap, onto the tile floor. After an embarrassingly short time, only a pathetic shadow of stubble remained. When she snapped the shears off, I began to stand, but she waved me down. "We've not done yet," she observed casually, as she turned to get my razor and shaving cream out of the medicine chest. The close shave took longer than the shearing because Glo, who never did anything half way, insisted on shaving my head both with and against the grain, even making a third pass from left to right or right to left to ensure she left no hair standing.

"All right, then," she announced when she'd finished. "From now on, I expect you to do that for yourself, at least every other day, if not daily. Understood?"



Later that morning, when Daniela came back from her playdate, running into the kitchen, where I sat at the table doing bills, she stopped dead in her tracks. "Daddy," she squeaked. "What happened to all your hair?"

"Mommy shaved it off," I replied truthfully.

Daniela turned to her mother, who stood at the sink, doing dishes. "Why, Mommy?"

Glo turned and laughed, the sound like tinkling bells. "Because when boys grow up, they go bald, sweetie."

Daniela looked up at her mother apprehensively. "When I grow up, will I go bald, too?" she asked.

"No, Pumpkin," she tittered. "We girls and women don't go bald."



2018

Every morning, for the next three decades, when I emerged from the shower, after having dutifully done as Glo ordered me to do years before, I wiped off the steamed mirror, to see the reflection of my chrome dome emerge in the glass, wet and shiny, my scalp practically glowing in the harsh bathroom light. "Be patient," I whispered to myself each morning. "Revenge takes time."

I watched and waited patiently as the silver strands threaded themselves, one by one, into Glo's brown locks, gathering first at her temples. To her credit, Glo never colored them, just let them spread until she sported a glorious salt-n-pepper cap, which eventually went all white. At that point, I called her my silver fox.

"Well, at least I have hair to go gray," she retorted with a mischievous smirk, reaching up to run her right palm over my scalp. "Well done, by the way. Nice and smooth. Another great shave."

"Thanks," I replied, dubious.

"Practice makes perfect," she teased, pulling down on my neck so that I lowered my head docilely, facilitating her pecking the middle of my scalp. "And you've had lots of practice."

"Thanks to you," I grumbled.

"If you can't fight it," she began then I interrupted to finish her sentence.

"I know, then 'invite it.'"

I can't say for sure exactly when I noticed her start to thin on top. At first, I mistook the widening gap between her white strands for a severe part down the middle of her head, but as her locks dwindled to reveal more and more of her pale scalp, only a shade lighter than what remained of her hair, I secretly reveled in my rapidly approaching opportunity to settle that old score. Finally, one morning just after she'd turned sixty, I took a chance. As we sat down to a leisurely breakfast on a Saturday morning in September, I noted the light shining through our kitchen window behind Glo's head shot right through the fragile white forest on her crown to make her scalp, well, glow.

I mockingly shaded my eyes. "Wow, the reflection off your head is bright this morning."

"It's nothing compared to yours," Glo smirked. "I'm seriously thinking about getting sunglasses."

"You know, Glo, as a wise woman once said to me, 'If you can't fight it...'"

"What are you suggesting?" she snapped.

"I had more hair on my noggin when you made me shave it..."

"Hardly, Harry, you had a hideous combover. I admit my hair's thinned some on top," she patted her crown gingerly, as if to fluff up the remaining locks, "but I'm not a chrome dome trying to hide my bare pate."

"Well, as you've pointed out, for women, it's different so, maybe, after you shave it, you could get a wig..."

"Don't be ridiculous," she huffed and went back to eating her omelet, having decisively dismissed the subject.

With a sigh, I went back to eating as well, the phase, "it takes time," echoing in my ears.



The next day, Sunday, per our custom, Daniela came to brunch, along with her husband, Don, and their daughter, Brittany. At 15, Brittany indulged her teenage angst by abandoning the table as soon as she finished her plate, which - prompted by her mother - she did, dutifully, put in the sink before wandering into our living room, where she flopped on the couch and cuddled with her smartphone, poking and stroking its surface to her heart's content. Almost as bored with the adult conversation as my granddaughter, I, too, bused my plate and wandered into the living room to recline in the lazy boy with the Sunday paper.

Before burying my nose in the Arts section, I made at least one try to have a conversation with my grandchild. "So, Britt," I ventured. "How's high school? You must be settling into classes by now."

Brittany shrugged, never taking her eyes off the phone's shiny screen. "Okay, Grandpa. We just have this project to do that's really bugging me."

Encouraged that she'd responded, even though she avoided eye contact, I pressed, "What sort of project?"

Brittany sighed and, to my shock, actually looked up. "It's kind of a pain. We need to propose a community service project and complete it by Christmas break." She tugged at one of her curly blond locks. "I have no idea what to do."

"Is this something you have to do by yourself, or can you team up with friends?"

"Yeah, we can do it with friends, but none of them can think of anything, either." She shrugged helplessly.

Offering suggestions to her amounted to pulling skeet for an expert markswoman to shoot down. In fact, I counted on her rejecting my initial suggestions, so that, when I offered the one I wanted her to take, Brittany would take ownership. "Maybe you guys could do a fundraiser for some worthy cause, like do a car wash to benefit the local community food pantry."

Sure enough, Brittany shattered this particular skeet in mid-air. "A car wash is so totally lame-sauce," she groaned. "Everybody does that, like the airhead cheerleaders. We can do better than them!"

"How about a bake sale then?"

"Bake sale?" Brittany scoffed. "Jeez! We aren't the PTA, you know."

"Well," I shrugged, starting to peruse the paper, "the only other thing I can think of is so gutsy I doubt you'd even consider it."

My implied challenge worked. Brittany sat up. "What are you talking about, Grandpa?"

I continued, talking into the paper, careful to appear careless as I tossed this next line off, "Well, maybe you guys would have the guts, but I doubt your parents would let you shave your heads."

"Now why would we do that?" I risked a glance over the top of the newsprint and caught Brittany possessively running her fingers through her luxuriant locks. She sounded skeptical, but the hint of intrigued interest in her voice encouraged me to push ahead.

"To raise money for cancer patients."

"Really? Whatever gave you that idea?"

I judged it safe to set the paper down in my lap and meet her wide-eyed gaze, which offered me a satisfying mix of terror and fascination. "As you know, your Aunt Betty's going through chemo..." Gloria's dear friend Betty laid claim to the title "auntie" only in the honorary sense, but, nevertheless, Brittany felt as much affection for her as any of her legitimate aunts. "I started searching the Internet for ideas of what we could do for her, and I ran across several sites describing fundraisers where folks got others to pledge money if they shaved their heads."

"I bet it was just boys who did it."

"No, girls did, too," I countered; then, with studied indifference, I lifted the paper to continue my feigned reading. Having planted the seed, I needed to let it germinate on its own. "It takes time," I muttered to myself.



Three weeks later, on a glorious Indian Summer Saturday, I grilled steak outdoors for dinner. After we sat down to feast on possibly the last cookout of the season, Glo complimented me on my grilling, then, with her customary intensity, without another preamble, launched into the topic on her mind. "Harry, have you heard what our crazy granddaughter is doing?"

Hoping that thirty years of practicing a poker face finally paid off, I asked innocently. "No, what?"

With a clatter, Glo set down her fork and waved her steak knife in my general direction. "She and a bunch of her silly friends have decided to shave their heads!"

"Why would they do that?" I stuffed a piece of meat in my mouth, chewing industriously to avoid the need for further comment on my part.

"To raise money to help buy wigs for women undergoing chemo."

I swallowed and shrugged. "It sounds like a worthy cause," I observed neutrally. "Consider what poor Betty's going through right now ..."

Glo nodded, conceding at least that much, as she stabbed another bit of steak with her fork. "Yes, Daniela did say Brittany mentioned Betty's ordeal as part of her inspiration."

Inwardly, I sighed, grateful, for a change, for not receiving credit for one of my good ideas.

"But they're going about it all wrong," Glo huffed. "They could raise money in so many other, more sensible ways, like a bake sale, say, or a car wash..."

"Did Daniela suggest any of those things?" I asked, looking down at my plate to avoid eye contact and the possibility of giving myself away.

"Yes," Glo practically groaned. "And do you know what that little scamp called those ideas?" Glo being Glo, she didn't wait for my answer. "'Lame-sauce!' Have you ever heard such an expression?"

"No," I lied.

"Well, that's what she said. Daniela's beside herself - as are the other mothers, but the more they object, the more adamant those girls become." Glo picked disconsolately at the broccoli on her plate.

I wanted to gloat, "That's exactly what I was counting on," but I bit my tongue. I also choked back the suggestion that, for Betty's sake, Glo ought to volunteer to shave her head alongside her granddaughter, but the same principle that applied to Brittany applied to Glo in spades. I needed to let that germinate. "It takes time," I told myself, while aloud I said, "I'd happily to volunteer myself to raise money for Betty and others in her situation, but I'm afraid that's no longer an option for me."

Glo snorted. "Thirty years ago, you needed the wig, but I wouldn't let you get one."

"That's why I resorted to a comb over..."

"I'm glad I stopped that silliness," Glo retorted, thrusting her fork in my direction for emphasis. "If you can't fight it..."

"I know - 'Then invite it.'"



Next morning, after Brittany excused herself from the brunch table, I ambled after her to the living room. There, I found my granddaughter again ensconced on the couch, cradling her precious smartphone. "So how's school going, Britt?" I asked with grandfatherly interest as I sagged into the recliner.

"Uh, okay," she grunted in acknowledgement.

"What about your community service project?"

"Oh, that's goin' good, too, Grandpa," she muttered.

"What are you guys doin'?" I persisted, playing the dense elder.

Brittany finally looked up and, self-consciously, tucked a stray rope of curly hair behind her right ear. "There's this thing the American Cancer Society does; they donate wigs to ladies who've lost their hair 'cause of chemo, like Aunt Betty. We're raisin' money for that."

"A worthy cause," I replied, feigning interest in the Opinion section of the paper. "How are you guys raising the money? A bake sale or something like that?"

"No, Grandpa," Brittany scoffed. "We'd never do anything lame-sauce like that. Me and my friends, we're gettin' our heads shaved - in front of the whole school!"

I looked up over the top of the paper, doing my best to appear surprised. "Really? That's kinda gutsy of you and your buddies."

Brittany shrugged, essaying nonchalance. "It's no biggie. It's just hair. It grows back."

"Easy for you to say," I chuckled as I self-consciously rubbed my freshly shorn scalp. "Not all of us have that option." Obligingly, Brittany tittered in reply. Encouraged, I pushed on. "Whatever gave you that idea, shaving your heads like that? Aside from wanting to look like me," I winked.

Brittany snorted, "Don't be silly, Grandpa. There's another organization, Locks of Love; people who get their long hair cut can donate it so they can make natural-hair wigs for cancer patients. We're gonna do that first - then have the hairdressers who've volunteered to do this finish the job by shaving us bald."

"So you've got hairdressers to volunteer to do the deed?" I asked, genuinely surprised and impressed.

"Yeah, Jenny's older sister works in a salon, and she got a couple of the hairdressers to donate their time."

"How are you doing recruiting shavees?"

"Not bad," Brittany grunted, returning her attention to her phone. "Aside from me and my posse, there's a bunch of guys from our class, too, and we even got the JV cheer squad - if you can believe that! Of course, the varsity girls are too full of themselves to consider it."

Holding my breath, I proceeded to probe. "What about anyone else - like adults?"

"Oh, Mr. Fine, the art teacher, and Mr. Yamamoto; he teaches chem."

"Good for you," I encouraged. "No lady teachers?"

Brittany shook her head with a sigh. "Naw, Alissa tried to convince Mrs. O'Brien, the JV cheer squad advisor, but she refused."

"Maybe if another adult volunteered that might encourage her and others," I observed, fighting to keep my face straight. "I'd volunteer, but I'm a lost cause." I rubbed my head again. "I'd be happy to pledge money to support you, though."

"Thanks, Grandpa," Brittany looked up and offered a brilliant smile of gratitude. "I'll bring my pledge sheet to brunch next week so you can sign it."

"No problem, Britt. I'm happy to do it - and proud of you for taking the initiative to organize this!" Truly, I did feel impressed by how far she'd taken this ball and run with it, well past my wildest hopes when I suggested it.

Brittany grinned back at me. "I'm glad you do. Mom's not wild about it."

"I have an idea how to bring her around and even get vain ole O'Brien onboard, too. Have you asked your grandmother if she'd shave her head, too?"

My teenage granddaughter's screwed up expression of utter disbelief reminded me of Glo.

"Aunt Betty's her friend, too," I pointed out, trying to sound as reasonable as possible. "Besides, has your grandmother ever denied you anything you asked for?"



That fateful Thursday, November 15, Glo put on her brave face, but, with my eyes, trained by 30 years of marriage, I saw her battling her nerves. In the morning, she got her nails done in - for her - an unusually loud shade of red. When I came home from work that evening, Glo greeted me at the door with a pensive air. As we sat at the kitchen table companionably sipping tea before going out, I ventured to ask, "Are you nervous?"

"I just wonder," she tittered, "what my head will look like."

I gazed at her, refraining from commenting that this posed no mystery. I'd seen her head's shape - perfectly, naturally round - many times in the past few months as the light shone through the shredding curtain of white hair. I patted her hand, "Don't worry. You got that wig, remember?"

Then, before we went out, she fussed with her makeup for twice the usual amount of time. Plus, she chose uncharacteristically large, flamboyant hooped earrings. But the fierce way she gripped my hand really gave her away as we walked, to all appearances, nonchalantly, to Brittany's high school gym.

Upon entering, we immediately confronted a registration table. Behind it, I recognized Brittany's friend, Jenny. Next to her sat a redheaded young woman, whom I took to be a teacher, though she looked, to my aged eyes, only marginally older than her students.

"Oh, hi, Mrs. Tanner!" Jenny exclaimed. "So good to see you, and you, Mr. Tanner," her glance flicked over to me, clearly an afterthought.

"Hi, Jenny," Glo practically cooed.

"So you're Brittany's grandmother?" The redhead stirred herself and stood, reaching across the table to grasp Glo's gloriously manicured right hand in both of hers. "It's so good to meet you. I'm Lisa O'Brien."

"Nice to meet you, Ms. O'Brien," Glo responded, but the teacher cut her off.

"Please, call me Lisa," she insisted.

"And you must call me Glo," my wife countered.

"I just want to say that you're an inspiration, Glo," Lisa continued, refusing to relinquish my wife's hand until she delivered this pronouncement of praise. "You're so brave!"

"T-thank you," Glo replied, coloring.

"If it weren't for you, I'd never have found the courage to get on that stage this evening," Lisa gushed.

"The real inspiration is my friend, Betty," Glo shrugged, overcome with modesty. "She's the brave one, battling cancer. I'm just supporting her - and Brittany and her friends, of course," she added, nodding to Jenny.

We took our place at a table at the back of the room, next to Daniela and Don. I relaxed, enjoying the spectacle. As others munched on goodies from the potluck buffet spread out on the back table, a line formed at the side of the stage set up at the front of the gym. On the raised platform stood a pair of chairs with a cart behind each one. A young woman hairdresser manned each chair as a parade of young men, each in his turn, took a seat to applause and cheers from the audience. With the same sort of speed and efficiency Glo displayed 30 years before, the two barberettes sheared each boy bald, leaving the barest whisper of stubble on his head. As they staggered offstage in pairs, I debated what they looked more like - young convicts leaving prison or Army recruits on the way to basic training.

Before I settled that question, Glo clamped my right hand in a bone-crunching grip. She leaned over and whispered into my ear, "Lisa and I are next, after the boys. Then the girls go because they'll take longer. The hairdressers are saving their hair for Locks of Love."

"Oh," I replied, debating whether to offer Glo words of encouragement or simply let this drama play out, but I needn't have debated, for Lisa took the stage at that moment and called Gloria up.

With a profound sigh, my wife stood, her knees shaking. Then the ovation started. One-by-one, first as individuals, then in small groups, everyone in the gym, young and old, stood and applauded, even a grim-faced Daniela and Don. Stunned, Glo looked around. Wow, I thought, a standing ovation before the show. Imagine that!

Glo's knees stilled. She grinned and waved, approaching the stage, where Lisa gestured toward the chair on her right as she took a seat herself. Cell phone cameras clicked as the two hairdressers put capes on both ladies. Lisa's hairdresser started the laborious process of banding her crimson locks into ponytails to be cut off and preserved for a wig. Glo's hairdresser leaned over and asked her something. Glo shook her head, "No," and, with a satisfied nod, the young woman took up her clippers, and, with the same determined, steady grasp that Glo used on me all those years ago, she ran the evilly buzzing sheers right down the middle of my wife's head, leaving a totally bare runway of exposed scalp. As others stood up around me, clapping and cheering, I leaned back, crossing my arms, a satisfied smile spreading over my lips.



Two days later, on Saturday morning, I climbed out of the shower, dripping wet and naked, to behold my bald-headed wife standing before the bathroom mirror, gazing at the perfect parabola of her bare scalp, rising like the crescent of the moon before her in the glass, from which she'd wiped the fog of steam. When she turned to face me, I expected to see regret, remorse for her rashness in acceding to Brittany's importunities. Instead, Glo asked in her usual businesslike manner, "Honey, can you shave my head, please?"

I looked at her quizzically. "Aren't you growing your hair back as soon as possible?"

"I'm going to see Betty today," she explained. "And I don't want even a hint of fuzz. After all, she's totally bald so I ought to be, too."

"You could do it yourself."

"You've had so much more practice than I've had," she winked and reached up to rub my smooth, wet chrome dome.

"Yes, dear," I sighed, my cheeks starting to crimson. "Can I at least put on some clothes first?"

"Why? I've seen you naked before." She plopped down on the toilet seat. "Now, be sure to shave with and against the grain, and don't leave any stray patches. I want to be completely smooth - just like poor Betty."

As she'd done Thursday evening, Glo took extra pains with her makeup and opted for large, dangly earrings. As we readied to leave, I asked about her wig.

"Oh, that," she tisked, pulling out a colorful scarf from her top drawer. "I wore it yesterday. It's so hot and heavy. I'll wear this instead," and she fussed with the scarf, tying it on like a pirate.

When she whipped it off before Betty in "the great reveal," as she called it, her friend rewarded her with much exclamation, hugging and crying, and general carrying on. I stood by, smiling politely, tired of the acclaim Glo continued to receive.

On the way home, we stopped at the local grocery. "We need milk and juice," I explained.

"And bread, too," Glo chimed in.

"You can stay here," I said, opening the door to climb out. "I'll go inside." I said this to spare her having to futz with that scarf again.

"I'll come with you," she replied, opening the passenger side door.

I paused. "Don't you want to put on your scarf?"

"No," she shook her head, the rays of afternoon sun bouncing off her chrome dome. "It's just a bother."

"Really? I thought you brought the scarf along intending to wear it."

"Are you embarrassed to be seen with a bald old woman?" Glo teased. "It's only fair, you know. There I was, a young woman just turned 30, traipsing around with a bald old man. Now it's your turn to traipse around with a baldy." She stepped out.

Speechless, I trailed her into the store. Standing in the express line with our modest purchases in a handbasket, we waited for the checkout girl to finish with the customer in front of us. A middle-aged woman fell in behind us and stared at Glo. After a moment's hesitation, she leaned forward. "You're very brave," she said. When Glo turned to face her, she added, "I'm sorry you're so ill."

Glo blushed. "Thank you, but I'm not ill. My friend Betty is. She's the brave one. I just shaved my head in solidarity with her."

"That's wonderful," the young woman gasped. "You're such a good friend!"

"Thank you," Glo grinned.

I sighed with relief when the cashier turned to us to ring up our order. All this adulation wore on me.



Monday morning, I stepped out of my shower to again behold Glo, in her nightgown, rummaging through our medicine chest. She turned to me, a brush and comb in each hand. "Hi, honey," she grinned, then reached around me to drop the haircare items in our trashcan.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Some house cleaning," she replied then added, "Would you be a dear and get me my shampoo and conditioner in the shower?"

As I toweled myself off, Glo uncapped the bottles and poured their brightly colored, viscous, fragrant contents down the drain. When she'd emptied them, she reached around me again to toss the bottles into the trash after her comb and brush.

"Now that that's done," she proclaimed, brushing her hands off against each other, "would you be so kind as to do the honors again?" With that, she plopped down on the toilet seat.

"Honors?" I asked, puzzled.

"Yes, shave me, please," she beamed up at me.

"Wait a minute, I thought you said that you wanted me to shave you on Saturday just for Betty. She's seen you so why do you want me to shave you again? Don't you want to grow your hair back?"

"What a silly question," Glo laughed. "Why do you suppose I just threw out all my haircare products?"

"I-I don't know," I stammered.

"You know what I'm thinking of doing?" she asked. Then she answered herself. "I'm considering getting a tattoo on my scalp."

"Whatever gave you that idea?" I demanded, aghast.

"Ever since I agreed to shave my head for Brittany's fundraiser, I started following bald ladies on social media - to get fashion tips, like, use lots of makeup and wear big earrings. One of the ladies I follow, who has alopecia, has this adorable tattoo, right here." She pointed to her temple again with her bright, red index finger.

"What's alopecia?"

"An autoimmune disease."

"Well, you don't have that."

"No," Glo shook her head, the harsh overhead bathroom light bouncing off her denuded scalp, "but as you pointed out awhile back, dear, I'm going bald all the same, and if you can't fight it..."

"I know," I replied. "Then invite it, but why didn't I get a scalp tattoo 30 years ago?" I muttered, asking myself as much as Glo.

Nevertheless, she answered, "Because it's different for women than men."

After I did the "honors," as Glo styled them, she bounced up onto the balls of her feet and kissed the top of my head in thanks before flouncing out. Finally alone in my own bathroom, I faced the man in the mirror, the furrows on his brows wrinkling in puzzled rows right up to the edge of his permanently obliterated hairline "When did I go from evening the score to running behind?" I asked, but the man in the mirror offered no answer.

10 comments:

  1. A really fun read. A down to earth tale featuring two great main characters. Glo and Harry have a realistic and enjoyable relationship. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. I appreciate your thought comments.

      Delete
  2. Very well written. Harry's a mover and shaker, I like the way he thinks. His little suggestions bear fruit, like seeding a garden. Inspirational. Thanks for the story with a message for us all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and Harry as a character.

      Delete
  3. Very entertaining. I especially liked how my impression of Glo changed. She started as sort of a bossy cow, like her daughter, in making her husband cut his hair, then she became the likable and courageous cancer supporter, and at the end changed into a tattoo rebel. The dialogue between the husband and granddaughter was also quite good. Fun read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pleased that you noted growth in the Glo character. She is definitely complicated!

      Delete
  4. Good story with upbeat messages. The dialogue between characters is great and Harry gives us all some good tips for grandparents talking to their granddaughters. The Harry and Glo characters offer some realistic and effective ways of supporting a friend undergoing chemotherapy. The protagonists are both likeable and real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohers have commented favorably on the connection between Harry and his granddaughter, Brittany. Since I'm not a grandparent at this point, it's pure fiction as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad their dialogue is convincing nonetheless.

      Delete
  5. One of the more uplifting revenge tales I've read. ;) Loved the subtle interactions and gentle humor. I'd like to pick Harry's brain for techniques on motivating my own kids...I suspect I need to learn how to be way more subtle when I drop my hints.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for you insightful comments. Yes, now that you mention it, this is a sort of revenge story -- with an odd kind moral uplift at the end.

      Delete