Monday, June 24, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Characters In Search of a Novel by Molly D. Campbell

Dottie Mulcher

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Her children adore her. As a matter of fact, all children adore her. My Lord, she’s an Earth Mother! You know those fertility idols that are imported from Africa that they sell in posh gift catalogs? That is what Dottie looks like: big breasts, wide, childbearing hips, and low slung—just right for dropping the babies in the field and continuing to toil.

Dottie sets an example for the rest of us that we simply can’t live up to. For instance, she makes these delicious molasses cookies with raisins in them that are to die for, and even though she has given all of us the recipe, none of us can make them to our children’s satisfaction, so they just bring fistfuls home from Dottie’s house.

Oh yes. Speaking of perfection: Dottie sews. Who does this, nowadays? She runs up Halloween costumes that are the wonder of the neighborhood. Last year, her twins were Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and I swear, they looked just like the ones in the Tim Burton movie! While I struggle filling garbage sacks with leaves and attaching a string and a label, praying my children will love the “teabag” idea, Dottie makes her daughter a “Big Bird” costume, complete with real yellow feathers.

Dottie’s husband is really good looking. I know; it’s catty of me, but really—how does a woman with big hips and peasant thighs attract a man with a six pack and silver hair? Is it those cookies, for Pete’s sake? Ron Mulcher, despite his name, looks at home in a bomber jacket and moccasins with no socks. Dottie wears her nightgown to drive the kids to school, and I don’t think she knows what mascara is. This is not fair.

I asked my husband if he thinks Dottie is attractive. And guess what? He said, “Well, she looks kind of edible.” Good God. I go to Pilates three times a week, shave virtually every hair that isn’t on my head, I dye my roots regularly, and look pretty good in jeggings, but Dottie is edible? I give up.

If I could, I would hate her. But here’s another thing: Dottie is wonderful to everyone. She makes delish casseroles and brings them over whenever one of the kids gets strep, because “I know no one is getting much sleep over here.” She grows beautiful roses, and distributes little bouquets around the neighborhood. For Christmas, we all get little bags of rosemary-roasted cashews. She buys full size Hershey bars and saves them to hand out to the kids in the neighborhood, rather than the “fun sized” ones she gives to all the other children. She never gossips.

I really don’t know how she manages this. And did I mention that she has buck teeth?

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Genre - Fiction / Short Stories

Rating – PG13

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Website http://mollydcampbell.com/