Does The Prude ever turn the Spotlight of Censure off the world and turn it on herself?
Absolutely. The Prude has plenty which needs lecturing.
But some imperfections can’t be fixed by even the most passionate, oft-repeated castigations.
The Prude can’t sing.
She didn’t realize it in her formative years. She warbled around the house, singing Sunday School songs and with ‘HR Pufnstuf’ on Saturday morning cartoons.
Her parents never told her why they turned the Pufnstuf show to full volume as she crooned along. She never knew why they always looked as though they were passing kidney stones when she belted out ‘Climb, Climb up Sunshine Mountain’.
And she may never know how much her siblings were bribed not to break into tears (or hives) when she cut loose with the Flintstone theme song.
Then she turned 10. She was singing lustily at church Junior Choir practice. During the break her best friend, puzzled as to the source of a musical key she had never
met, asked various junior choristers to sing a few bars. The Prude was happy to go solo even for this brief moment. When it was her turn she opened her mouth, took a deep breath, and delivered a vigorous rendition of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’.
She stopped mid-verse, appalled. What was that awful keening that drowned out her dulcet tones? With growing horror, confirmed by the pained look on her best friend’s face, young Prude realized those horrific notes were issuing from her own throat.
It was to be her Waterloo, her Rubicon. Never again would she believe that her vocal cords, vibrating along with her resonators and larynx, could produce the melodious sounds required to sing solo.
But don’t pity The Prude. She sang her children to sleep (which accounts for their insomnia). She harmonized with ‘70’s Saturdays’ on the car radio, which conversely led her children to fall into deep, self-protecting, drug-like naps while traveling.
And she never sounds so good as when she lifts her voice in praise in church. She likes to imagine God nodding and smiling as He hears the Prude using the free-spirited key that is hers and hers alone.