11.To my mentor Stella P. (17 when I was 16),
I owe the realization that miraculously getting away with watering down Mum's booze (to disguise the stuff we'd siphoned off), sneaking back into Marty's jazz bar after being kindly ejected, and successfully begging for money in order to fund adventures--faking we'd lost our bus fare--were the first signs that our déclassé cowboy surroundings tended for the most part to not be lacking in sympathy for ordinary people.
12. The Uptowns cautioned me against frequent use of the words 'I am too busy' in grocery isle chats or solicitous emails, except in cases of real necessity (terminal cancer); saying that no one ought to squirm out of volunteering on the excuse of putting one's private life before the community.
13. Mrs. Anderson counselled me never to make light of the tennis pro's criticism of my game, even if he is a sexist bastard, but to do my best to keep him happy at the club and take his advice in stride; to speak up readily to praise the organizers of the Friday night BBQs, as we read in the social pages of our local paper, and to cultivate a little distance from my children's lessons.