Everyday Use

Essay by mikemcmenamyCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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I love Mama and my younger sister Maggie very much. My mother is a large rough looking woman with the work ethic of a man. My sister is a timid girl with a lack of self confidence. She has scars on her face from the time our other house burnt down about ten years back. This is why she lacks confidence, but I always tell her to make something of herself, as I have.

I am very grateful for my mother raising enough money to send me off to school, because it gave me the opportunity to become more than a farmer. When I was home from school I would read stories to Maggie and Mama, however they never really seemed to understand what I was reading to them. I wanted to teach them things that I have learned at school but I could tell my mother thought it was unnecessary knowledge.

When I went home to introduce Asalamalakim to my family, Maggie and my mother waited in front of the house for us. Asalamalakim attempts to introduce himself to Maggie, but she cowers behind my mother. Then I took a few pictures of my family in front of the house, it was a shabby looking house, nevertheless it was my family and I wanted pictures to have of them for my new home. I then told Mama of my new name “Wangero” and we got into a slightargument over where the name Dee came from. She was irritating me and being ignorant towards everything I said.

Mama had prepared a great meal with collards, pork, corn bread, and sweet potatoes. I enjoyed it very much because it took me back to my childhood, Asalamalakim did not enjoy it as much as I had. Later I asked Mama if I could take a few things from home to my new house. I asked if I could have the churn top and the dasher, but when I asked if I could have the quilt, Mama told me to take one of the newer ones. She didn’t understand that I wanted it as a piece of remembrance, not as something I would use. Then Mama told me she had already promised to give the quilts to Maggie, for when she marries John Thomas. This upset me very much, because I knew Maggie would not appreciate them as much as I would. Mama then swiped the quilt out of my hands and gave it to Maggie. I was not mad at Maggie, just at Mama for being so ignorant of her heritage. After that Maggie and I sat outside with a dip of snuff until it was time to go to bed.