Lititz Springs Park

At the reunion, Uncle Clyde walks over to my mother and Aunt Cecilia to say something. We’re nosy and so we move closer to get within earshot. “Ruth, I believe Uncle Monroe’s and Uncle Herman’s bunch think you’re serving wine and won’t come over to the table.”

“Oh, for goodness sakes: I don’t believe it. Don’t they know us better than that!” Mom exclaims to Uncle Clyde.

“Shall I tell them what’s in the punch? Maybe then they’ll get in line,” Clyde suggests.

“Cal-lyde, they shouldn’t act so dumb  . . .  tsk – tsk! Ach, well, I guess you’d better tell them then,” she finally agrees.

Uncle Clyde walks over to the other two tables, and I see a lot of heads nodding and bobbing up and down. In a minute or so, Uncle Monroe and Uncle Herman’s families lead the way to the party table, and the others follow meekly behind like sheep behind a shepherd.

“Why in the world would they think we’d put wine in the punch? Why, that would be a sin,” I think. “And why wouldn’t they make sure what it was before they decided they couldn’t drink it?” I reason. Acting like that doesn’t make any sense to me. Why, the way they were behaving might even make my Grandma Metzler feel bad too.


Cousin Janet and I feast on angel food cake, more peanuts and bubbly gold punch. We act goofy and pretend we’re getting tipsy. Mom comes over to shush us up. “Quit acting so dumb; what do you think the others will think!”

“Why does it matter so much what other people think?” I wonder. Isn’t it all right to do what we want to do now? We’re just kids, not stuffy old people.

Do you believe the what-will-people-think mind-set is a thing of the past? Or does it persist? What about your family?