Tag Archives: Need

Necessity is a Mother

Yes, necessity is the mother of invention. Like when my trash-loving beagle figured out that she could take her favorite purple flower-shaped pillow (here’s a glam shot from a previous post), and put it on the foot pedal of the garbage can so that the top would remain open for her to scour all day while we were out. So now I have to close that door before I leave the house or hide the pillow or both, just to be on the safe side.

But sometimes necessity is also the mother of prevention. Like when I tell my kids a story about some other kid who had a drug problem because I really don’t want them to have a drug problem and I don’t think it will be especially effective to just keep telling them don’t do drugs. Sometimes I lay it on thick, about the girl I knew in high school that drank so much vodka she went into an alcohol coma and came out three weeks later with the mind of a 7-year-old. I’m pretty sure they see right through this.

Necessity is definitely the mother of suspension. When things get so bad you have to just stop what you’re doing and stare out the window or lay down or give up sugar or leave town. Immediately. Because surely your head will explode or your knees will give out or your heart will shatter into a million pieces if things keep going along the way they are.

Occasionally, necessity is the mother of redemption. When words are spoken that should not have been and they are floating out there. And no matter how many apologies or fits of denial or excuses they leave a mark. They imprint you. You hear them over and over in your head, you feel them under your skin and thick in your blood. And then finally, you have to just forgive, let that person off the hook. You have to, as they say, move on. For that person’s sake, yes, but mostly for your own.

And sometimes necessity is simply the mother of convention. Brush your teeth, get 8 hours of sleep, be nice, do your homework, say please and thank you. Get a few good habits under your belt to balance all the bad ones you’re sure to pick up later. We all need a little cement in the foundation.

I think the Stones got it wrong. You can’t always get what you need, even at the Chelsea drug store. Thus the birthing of all sorts of complex behaviors and strategies.

But it makes for good literature, does it not?


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