The Ugly Sisters

Once upon a time, in  a land not as far away as you may think, lived two ugly sisters named Pride and Control.  These two girls were inexplicably joined and you would never see one without the other.  And they were grotesque. Each one carried a large nose, too large for the features of their tight beady eyes and when they smiled a jagged smattering of yellow-brown stained teeth revealed rottenness. While one of the sisters, Pride, was large and apple shaped atop two skinny, spindly legs, Control was a twisted wiry collection of long arms and legs with angular claw-like hands that seemed to snatch and claw at everything she passed by. And the stench.  There was nothing to describe the smell that came, from these two.  The sisters reeked of decay yet seemed to be non the wiser of their state.

Each morning, they would rise and preen in front of their mirrors.  They would dress in stained dirty dresses that smelled as bad as the decaying flesh they were covering.  Control would carefully dress her hair which was  a matted mess while Pride applied red garish lipcolor to her cracked and raw lips as she smacked them and asked in her shrill voice ” How do I look dear sister?”. Control of course, would feel the need to touch up  or smudge the straying lipcolor on her sisters pale face but after completing her ministrations would declare ” You, my dear sister look wonderful” in her raspy voice.  After years of screeching and commanding, her voice was now only a whisper scratching noise, yet she still was able to capture the attention of anyone nearby.

And arm and arm they would go about their day, one never far from the other.  In a sick and twisted way they relied heavily on each other and found that  they needed the constant reassurance that the other one provided.  Despite her outward confidence, Pride needed constant reminders of her beauty, of her worth, while Control would be panic stricken at any changes in the daily routine. Pride  must constantly allow her sister to dictate any choices and make all the decisions, or a emotional meltdown was certain to follow.

And somehow in the midst of this dysfunctional  union, neither thought of themselves or the other as ugly, or hideous, or in any way out of the ordinary.  They had each other after all.  It did not matter that no one else seemed to complement their smiles or invite them to lunch.  After years of living on the house on Denial street, they no longer noticed that they spent the days with only each other, or so it seemed.

Then one day their cousin, Meekness, came to visit. It had been years since anyone had been to their house on Denial street.  Meekness did not seem to mind the smell or the dirty dishes or the piles of laundry scattered along the floor. She simply put on her apron, tied her beautiful brown hair into a ponytail and went to work.  Washing clothes, filling the sink with sudsy lather, she began making a game out of Control’s hoarse orders on the correct way to clean the fine china that was by now, chipped and stained.  She laughed at Pride’s attempts to criticize her and continued on cleaning the house room by room.  By this time the ugly sisters were perplexed that their attempts to control her seemed to slip off her like the suds she was creating in the bathroom as she scrubbed on hands and knees the mess made by the two sister from years of filth.  At long last, she filled the tub with hot steamy water and in her quiet way, not quite a demand, yet firm enough to be more than a request told the ugly sisters it was time for a bath.

And it felt so good to be clean. Sure, Control squawked orders the whole way to the bathroom, and Pride refused to let Meekness see her undress, but there was no stopping Meekness.

You see, when Meekness comes to town, she is quiet and determined.  She does not fight or declare which mess she will or will not clean up. She does not demand equality, in fact she often is found cleaning up messes she never made.  And all the while she smiles and whistles a little tune about a mansion, just over the hilltop.  While Pride and Control soak in their tub, Meekness smiles and makes her way to the kitchen. She busies herself frying up chicken for supper.  She puts out fresh flowers on the table and makes a pitcher of sweet tea.  And all the while she smiles.  See, she knows that Destiny is coming over for supper. He is tall and handsome and makes her feel giggly over the peach pie that is for dessert. And she knows but doesn’t feel the need to tell anyone else, that it is her, Meekness, he is coming to see.    Meekness is kind without keeping score. Meekness just does what needs to be done.  Meekness looks passed stained teeth and dirty clothes. She can tune out raspy bossy voices.  She can bathe and clean what will just end up filthy by tomorrow.

And Meekness and Destiny, will walk out hand in hand to inherit the earth……


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