I wasn’t always a princess

To the Editor:

People think I’m a princess because I have gone to great means to avoid having or having to do many things. It has taken much thought and ingenuity to achieve a lifestyle such as I now have.

Things were not always that way for me. I lived above a saloon; moved 21 times in 16 years; waited at bus stops in the winter in Buffalo, New York while attending college — brrr. I worked in an orphanage, was a soda jerk at 14, waitressed many places, and was a switch-board operator in a department store while attending high school na dcollee.

 In later years, I continued as a waitress, a doctor’s receptionist, weight-loss instructor, employment counselor, and worked in an insurance office.

 I married at 21 and had four children in six years while working as a full-time teacher and then a substitute, during which time I had children throw up on my desk. I had no dishwasher or clothes dryer.

I lived through 27 car breakdowns; however, none were accidents. I did learn how to lift the hood of my car when the gears would not engage and get the gears to engage while drivers in cars behind me were honking their horns.

I am not complaining or whining about these events — in fact, I have always had a great life.

Things I no longer do and some I have never done:

— Pump my own gas;

— Bring in the mail or newspaper;

— Change the toilet-paper roll;

— Take out the trash or recyclables;

— Mop or vacuum floors;

— Shovel snow;

— Take the car for service;

— Pay bills;

— Change light bulbs;

— Plant the garden.

During later years, my husband worked out of town for a 10-year stretch and was home only on weekends. I did some of the aforementioned things out of necessity with the exception of pumping my own gas.

I have driven miles on a super highway, pretending to be taking a long trip so that I could find a full-service gas station. I once stopped at what I thought was a full-service station only to find it no longer had active gas pumps.

A lady volunteered to escort me to a station nearby where she pumped the gas for me. She also offered to come and clean my house, her side job. However, I already had a cleaning lady who does a great job.

I married men who would never allow me to go near a checkbook — even to pay a bill although I do have my own charge cards. I convinced my husband that changing toilet paper would ruin my expensive manicure.

I am old now. Prince Charming did enter my life and now I guess I am a princess with a great family and having great fun.

Barbara Lecakes


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