Mrs. Parker describes to her mother how she is going to put Mandy in the orchestra instead of having her go to the institution.

While Mandy was at school, Mrs. Parker and her mother, Clotilda, decided to have a conversation at the dining room table. Clotilda said, “I can’t believe that the presentations are already over. It seems like it all went by so fast. I do feel bad that the students failed both times, but I think that they can do better next year.” Mrs. Parker gave her a look of disgust, and said, “There is no way that I am doing this next year. Do you have any idea how expensive all of this is? It is completely ridiculous! I would rather Mandy do something productive.” Clotilda said, “But Ruth, she has fun with this. Why take that away from her?” Mrs. Parker responded, “She is not learning anything. There is no sense in having her be there. I’ve been telling you this all along.” Clotilda said, “But Mandy will be devastated if you just tell her that she can’t do this anymore.” Mrs. Parker just gave her this look of satisfaction.

She went over to her purse, grabbed out a piece of paper, and said, “You see this? This is the advertisement for the children’s orchestra group. At the end of August, Mandy is going to audition for it. Once she gets in, we won’t have to go to the institution anymore.” Clotilda took the piece of paper from her, and said, “Ruth, this orchestra meets only on Saturday mornings. Clearly this isn’t going to interfere with anything she does over at the institution.” Mrs. Parker said, “You don’t understand. She has to practice. She has to take it very seriously. This will help to improve her education.” Clotilda said, “Ruth, she is ten years old. Give the poor kid a break.” Mrs. Parker was very angry that her mother did not seem to support her.

Ruth Parker, however, was very argumentative. If she had something that she wanted to prove, she would do whatever she could to state her case. She said, “Well, you may not think that this means anything, but it does. This is something different for Mandy. Once she goes to the orchestra, she won’t want to be bothered with this anymore.” Clotilda said, “Be realistic, Ruth. It is you that doesn’t want to be bothered with this anymore. If you were to ask Mandy how she felt, she would choose the institution over that any day.” Mrs. Parker said, “She would not!” Clotilda said, “She would too!” Mrs. Parker exclaimed, “She would not!” Clotilda yelled, “She would too! I know I’m right! You know I’m right! I’m always right!” Clotilda always believed that she was right, even though she was wrong sometimes.

Mrs. Parker said, “Listen, I’m not going to argue with you, but if Mandy wants to do something, then she will do it.” Clotilda said, “I can prove to you that she would choose the institution over the orchestra. I know Mandy. She is interested in trying new things, but when it comes down to it, she knows what she wants and what she doesn’t. If you told her that she had to choose between the orchestra and the institution, she would choose the institution, it is as simple as that.” Mrs. Parker insisted that Clotilda was wrong, but in her mind, she knew that she was right.

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