Dec. 27, 2020


From the title, you probably think you'll be reading about Fake Jewelry, Fake Hair, or Fake Breasts.  Sorry, those are all topics for another time. Today, I’m talking about Fake People who hurt your heart, your reputation, insult your intelligence, and, in many cases, take advantage of your livelihood.

 Life is our best teacher although it doesn’t give us the lesson until AFTER it gives us the test! Once I accepted that Fake People were wasting my time, taking advantage of my kindness AND my bank account---I decided to “take a stand”.

Timing is everything.  If you-- like me-- are ready to confront the fakes in your life, just wait... be patient.  When the right time comes along-- and it will-- you can enjoy what I call--A Harper Valley PTA Moment. Afterwards, you’ll feel so good--you’ll want to sing, dance, and share your happiness with the world!  Here’s an example of one of my long-ago, Harper Valley Moments:

"As a voice teacher in the sixties, I taught girls from wealthy families, middle-class families, even families who were struggling financially but… my fee for a thirty minute voice lesson was always five dollars....hardly considered big-money, even in those days.

One student was particularly talented.  She played the guitar and had a very-pretty singing voice but…. there was an ongoing problem.  Every month, I sent statements to the parents of every voice student and, in return, received checks.   But, when I deposited checks from the talented student's parent, they were routinely returned by my bank and marked “insufficient funds”.  I didn’t blame the student-- only the mother.  After three years of giving the student free voice lessons, I chalked it up to another bad experience with a real fake.

The mother was a great example of Fake. She drove around Pine Bluff in an old car but….an old Mercedes car.  She dressed in old clothes but they were quality clothes; she wore her hair in a French-twist which was considered classic and…. she always wore pearls (most-likely fake)….but still…the markings of a lady.

Although she and her husband weren't members of the country club, she managed to push her way into Pine Bluff “society” ...playing bridge with the afternoon bridge clubs, getting invited to all the upper-crust parties, and constantly rubbing elbows with the rich. Most in Pine Bluff assumed the family had money.

Long after I’d divorced and ended my career as a voice teacher…. I happened to cross paths with Von (yes, that’s her name) on Pine Bluff’s Main Street.  Several days before,  I’d announced my bid for Mayor and, walking past her, I smiled and offered a friendly greeting.  In return, I received Von’s unsolicited outburst of criticism:

“Sally, I can’t believe you have the nerve to show your face in Pine Bluff. I thought you’d learned your lesson when you moved away from here. I’m embarrassed to see  you're back and plastering your name and face on signs, everywhere, as if YOU might actually be Pine Bluff’s Mayor!  Have you no shame?!?!?  Wasn’t it enough that you dragged the Perdue Family name through the mud with an ugly divorce? I can’t imagine why you insist on having your head in the clouds, acting all big and important when you’re a Nobody.  WHEN are you finally going to come down to earth and be normal….like the rest of us”?!?!?

I waited a moment, letting Von believe her condescending speech had sufficiently put-me-in-my-place. Then, I replied:

“Dear authentically-fake Von--- for all your “proper” manners, you’ve never once-thanked me for giving your daughter free voice lessons for more than three years.  And, if being "normal" means being like you… who knowingly writes HOT CHECKS month after month then.... I'll choose to stay abnormal, with my head in the clouds and... far-away from the likes of you.

Now, get out of my way and keep your nasty opinion to yourself.  If you ever confront me again with such slanderous words…..I’ll kick your pretentious butt from here to the city dump… where it belongs!!!!! “

PS....After all these years, I still have Von’s stack of checks marked insufficient funds.  I’ve learned to hold-on to evidence, especially when a fake--like --Von has such a “convenient” memory.

Sally Miller