Back when I was younger, there was this elderly woman who lived in our small hometown. She was a little off her rocker, the locals called her “Crazy Mary”. She was mostly harmless, although there is a story of her streaking through the neighborhood. (She was in her 70’s at the time).
One year, I went trick-or-treating with my sister. I think I was about 8 at the time. I knocked on the door, and she gave us her dead husband’s socks. I guess she had no more use for them. There was another time that I was over at my brother’s best friend’s house across the street. He had a 4 year old sister who let go a a mylar balloon. Mary was watering flowers in her yard. We go over to her and point at the balloon up in the sky. Our friend runs into the house and grabbs a camera and pretends he is taking pictures. We convince Mary that the balloon is an alien space ship.
My dad has always been a very charitable person, and we would occasionally go over and help her out from time to time. When I was 19, my dad asks me to go over to Mary’s house. She was having problems with her clothes dryer. I go there, and spend an hour or so trying to get the door switch back where it should go. (It popped loose and wouldn’t let the dryer function). By this time, she was pushing 80. She asks if I am hungry and offers me lunch. Reluctantly, I tell her yes.
She grabs a couple cans of spinach out of the cupboard and proceeds to heat them up on the stove, then she puts a couple slices of toast in the toaster. I do my best to choke down the mess in a polite way. While eating, she asks if I could stay and live with her. I was still a kid and didn’t understand why she wanted someone there. She offered me a couple hundred dollars per month. I turned it down. A few years later, she is moved into a nursing home.
Later on, I come to visit my parent’s with my then fiance at some family get together. My mom reads in the obituaries and mentions Mary’s passing. This sparks a conversation about Mary and all these odd stories about her like I mentioned. While we are all laughing it up, my Dad has a rather disgusted look on his face.
My dad then pipes up, “Do you know why Mary acted the way she did?”… My dad then proceeds to tell how she was in France during World War 2, and the Germans, for one reason or another, beat her and caused brain damage. Her husband served at the time and fell in love with her. Eventually, they married and he moved her back to the States. He died shortly before the trick-or-treating incident.
I’m not sure if this story has anything to do with the manospere, or anything in particular at all. But, it is an interesting story from my life.