I WAS STANDING outside the church building relating a story to a friend. Kathryn was there, and Julia. Who is quiet. Like her parents. They were standing with us, probably because they are smart girls who find the conversations of mature women to be entertaining or at least informative. It was a personal story, requiring language that would only be used in the presence of other females, but there were, of course, other small groups standing out there too which included men and children.
I was speaking in a low tone, but the moment I uttered the Embarrassing Word, Kathryn winced and flinched. I defended myself.
“I was speaking softly,” I said.
“People could hear you,” she remonstrated.
That’s when Julia spoke as only Julia can.
“It seems so much louder when it’s your mother.”