Back when I was doing this job, I developed friendships with a number of my coworkers, including Y.T. Y.T. was a cheerful woman from some place in the midwest whose open face and sprightly demeanor allowed her to make viciously cruel jokes about our bosses to their faces without their realizing it. Almost all of our bosses deserved to have viciously cruel jokes about them to their faces, and she spared the ones who didn’t, so that was all right.
One day, as we were talking about our respective childhoods, she said that her house had been filled with flowers while she had been growing up.
“But I thought you said you grew up dirt poor,” I said, confused. “How could you afford to buy flowers all the time?”
“Oh, we didn’t,” she replied. “My mother would take me to local cemeteries where funerals were happening, and we’d hide behind nearby gravestones until they were over. When the mourners had all gone, we’d come out from behind the gravestones and steal the flowers and take them home.” She paused. “Not all of them. Just the ones we thought were pretty.”
I thought it was cool when my mother let me skip school and took me to see The Empire Strikes Back, but this woman was in another league entirely.