One day my mother and I were home alone; I think I was about 9 years old. I was doing my homework and mom was cooking dinner when we heard someone knocking on our door. It was our neighbor Dotty Pessin who lived a few houses away with her husband and two teen-age sons. Dotty hardly ever stopped by so we were curious about her visit. 

She and my mom made small talk for a little while then Dotty said in that whiney voice of hers, “So Nancy, I brought this record album over; I don’t know much about little girls so I hope you like it. It’s a record of kid’s songs. Why don’t you play it on your record player?”

Now this came as quite a surprise to me; it wasn’t my birthday or anything so I couldn’t understand why Dotty was giving me a gift. Even my mother was perplexed and said something like “That’s very thoughtful of you, Dotty” but Dotty just stood there smiling and watching me which was very surreal. Between you and me, I think she was a little simple-minded.

I removed the album from its jacket and placed it on my record player. I carefully lifted the arm and gently lowered the needle onto the record, then the three of us stood around listening to kid’s songs. I liked the record; I was 9 and they were kid songs. What’s not to like? After about four songs Dotty asked me what I thought of the record. I told her I thought it was very nice; I liked it a lot and thanked her for the gift.

I expected Dotty to say “I’m so glad you like it”, You’re welcome”, “Enjoy it” or “You’re just the sweetest thing ever”  – something along those lines. That’s not exactly how it went down. What she said was “Oh, it’s not for you! I bought the record for my friend’s 10-year-old daughter and I just wanted to see if you liked it. I figured if you liked it then she’d probably like it.”

Well, I may have been only 9 years old but I knew jive talkin’ when I heard it and I felt this whole scenario was pretty fucked up. My mother thought what Dotty did was rude, mean-spirited and misleading; I was just a little kid and mom gave Dotty a piece of her mind. My mother could really get medieval on someone’s ass when necessary. Dotty was bewildered and couldn’t understand why we were so upset. In a huff, she took the album and left. I think I may have cried; how would you have felt?

From that moment on Dotty Pessin became known as “Dotty Pessin, that Indian Giver” (which I realize today is totally un-PC and not acceptable).

But, come on; I ask you: who does that? After all these many years I remember that day like it was yesterday. Dotty-freaking-Pessin!


NAR © 2022

27 thoughts on “JIVE TALKIN’”

    1. Absolutely! What other explanation is there to treat a child that way and think it’s ok? Some people just have no common sense or don’t care. Others act first and think later. Most likely the way she was brought up.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dotty was a woman of little common sense and poor manners. We should have realized what she was doing was too good to be true but we gave her the benefit of the doubt. Live and learn. My mother would never act poorly in front of me or give me reason to be frightened.


    1. My mother gave Dotty a piece of her mind but acted with a lot more class than she did. I’m sue Mom knew getting into any kind of altercation in front me would have been very traumatic. Still, there’s no excusing eh way Dotty acted.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was truly surreal. Some people don’t think things through before they act. Dotty could have just told me it was for a friend and I would have given her my opinion. Who knows why people act the way they do? Such is life.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Sadje, I don’t believe she knew any better. Even though she was a grown woman, she didn’t act like one which made me say she was a little simple minded. Then again, maybe she just didn’t have any common sense. Who knows. It certainly left an impression on me!

          Liked by 1 person

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