Not Exactly What I Had In Mind…

We asked people to write in with Fifty Shades of Great: their gratitude, thoughts and wishes for others. Interesting things turn up on my desk—none more so than this missive from The Fixer—my girl of little emotion, strict business principles and decorum in situations all.

I tell her I don’t know about running such a thing. This wasn’t what was in my mind. With a

raised eyebrow and a pointed, perfectly polished digit, she admonishes, “You can’t tell people to send things in and then tell them what to write. You will run it because it’s what I wrote and sent in.” Add the Boris and Natasha accent and you’ve got why few go against the wishes of my business guru, witch, psychic and as it turns out, friend. Reflect, my dolls—what Fifty Shades of Great is meaningful to you?


“50 shades of Great

It seems there is a blank in the title. Shades of great… what? I am known to be bone dry and pragmatic. I am the one to pull back the curtains on your dreams at 5 a.m. I take the illusions you weave as a shawl to protect yourself from life and pull the thread. It’s time for grown-up toys, reading some non-fiction books, getting busy living and doing.

So, the gossip.

I meet all kinds of people. It’s my job. It tests my flexibility and understanding of human nature. I can put my personality on ice and let my inner observer take over and drive the mission. But even I am caught, slowing down for a second to see what the cat drags in. It’s one of the finest perks of my work.

Last year I attend a meeting for a cause close to my heart. It is supposed to be simple delivery, casual formalities exchange and back to work. Instead the meeting goes well over 2 hours. Topics discussed turn from local to global to universal.  I don’t usually divulge. It’s a professional deformation and personal choice, the lived and learned kind.

But this woman I meet irks me the right and the wrong way. She is a bit more attentive to me than I like; yet she respects my boundaries. I am obviously not fond of trespassers. Wait to be invited, have some manners.

Raven hair brings back The Eagles, “Raven hair and ruby lips, sparks fly from her fingertips, woo hoo witchy woman…” Definite potential there. As we grow up we learn to adjust and adapt to external circumstances, demands and expectations. Except this “doll” (new and uncomfortable word but must be true to the Duchess’ vocab) has not gotten the memo on how to be a grown up.

Her ingenuity is authentic and hilarious. Seeing the world through her eyes has become a favorite activity of 35,000 readers. Her class and manners are impeccable, almost inborn. Back sits straight, no slouching, head held high. I imagine if she gets drunk, it’s done properly. She rather curtsies than stumbles and her lipstick stays put. What fuels this? Pride or personal integrity?

After nearly a year of close encounters, I am certain it is the pride in personal integrity. Ah, now that is brave. Such a breath of fresh air to meet someone who is not flaky, does not use “under the circumstances” in the beginning of each sentence, does not know that you can always blame “it” on “them”- I mean, really, who does this?

Personal integrity is one Shade of Great I sincerely admire. You can trust it. You can depend on it. It should be on the shelf all year ‘round. My raven hair friend has that, above all. It’s the key signature of her being. Do not expect her to charm or aim to impress. Her looks do that on her behalf. But try as you might, you won’t be able to bend her. Linda can be trusted. That’s her shade of Great.

–The Fixer”

Turns out, one of our toughest critics might just be a marshmallow underneath it all. Hmmm? Many thanks my dear. Right back at you.


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