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The Pendelton's Face Pressure and Secret Looks

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

Double portrait of Adolf Croeser and his daughter Catharina. This is only a painting, but can represent the elite and how looks and pressure can affect them.

Double portrait of Adolf Croeser and his daughter Catharina. This is only a painting, but can represent the elite and how looks and pressure can affect them.

The Pendelton's, Mark and Chesney, both awakened simultaneously, 6:35 a.m., each morning of the week. Right on time. A never-failing occurrence. To match the clockwork-wise morning event, their toddler, Buford, six, would toddle into his parents' bedroom only to fall ever so gracefully while clutching the expensive comforter that saved his young life--same time each morning seven days per week.

The Pendelton's were not surprised. Both had faith in Buford. But ever so often Mark and Chesney would wink at each other in perfect synchronization not wasting one moment of their precious day of life. To be a fly on their expensive wall made of the best wood, nail, and paneling from Boston, and see this morning happening would surely bring out a loud eek from any fly. Who wouldn't?

I would love to say something along those lines of: it wasn't always that way, to tweak the compassion that lies inside your heart, but I cannot do such. I do not want to be labeled as a liar. The truth is always best. It was always that way with the Pendelton's for they knew no other life than what happened each day, 6:35 a.m., seven days a week, 365 days a week---without missing as much as a sigh from any of the three human beings. No one, not relatives, neighbors, or postman, knew anything about this secretive beginning of each day with this all-American family residing in Akron, Ohio, famous for former televangelist, Rex Humbard, who could be thought of as "the pioneer of televangelizing." And BF Goodrich. Not a bad twosome for a quiet town such as Akron. And if you think about it, tires and preaching go together very well--both are able to go at a minute's notice. "If," you think about it. I never demanded this of you.

How did the Pendelton's, a mostly-immigranted upper class couple gain so much wealth? No one knows. Not even Mark's dad, Phillip, a retired Navy colonel who saw action in World War II. Phillip is a widower of nine years. His late wife, Virginia, was his only love. No in between rendezvous. Phillip loved Virginia, or "Ginny," as he loved to call her, loved her with a fire that burned inside every vein in his body. Every day that God sent. But Phillip and Ginny were not of the complex fabric that Mark and Chesney are made from. No one knows why, so do not ask.

Financially speaking, Phillip and Ginny were considered comfortable. Saved every dime. Even when saving every dime was not every dime. It was the silent thrill of watching those dimes tumble into their banking accounts that Phillip knew from the beginning would draw plenty of interest. Phillip Pendelton was no idiot. He loved to involve the role of a big game hunter, something he used to do when he was a young man in Dover, but then when he married Ginny, the childish things and toys were put away. Phillip loved to do his homework on banking interest rates and new stocks ripe for the buying. Not that Phillip was a money-monger. He just changed interests from big game hunting to stock purchases and banking interests--both are solid marks of a financially-comfortable man.

Now that my foundation has been laid, I want to get to the meat of this narrative. You might think that I'm nuts, but I have never let that bother me. It didn't Einstein whose teachers swore that he was retarded. So if I am deemed a fool, I appreciate it. Consider this: have you or do you currently know people like Mark and Chesney, the well-to-do? We all do. Even people in Small Town, America know well-to-do people. Some worked for wealth while wealth was given to some. Same wealth. Same results. Power breeds power and that applies to the area of influence which if bred by the more influential, more influence will fill the world.

But my tongue and yours can wag until the cows come home and still miss an all-important point: Pressure. The substance that sticks like glue and tough to get off of one's hands and clothes once it sticks. Pressure is more comparable to a Social Hobo, the shy and retiring character who may look as if he wants to be obscure and not be seen at parties when big deals are chiseled, but you can always win if you bet on Pressure--who has a bag full of tools and knows how to use them on those such as Mark and Chesney and Mark's dad, Phillip. Not as much with Ginny who was more or less a return to the Day of The Southern Belle, hoop skirts, sun hats, parasols and long walks underneath the Magnolia's.

Ginny was that type of woman. Strongest when her words were few and more pliable when her husband was on the ropes. No fox could outfox her. Not many Ginny's left in 2017. But never fear. There is a new crop (or crops) of Chesney's who are not just pretty in hoop skirts or know how to sip a Mint Julep, but a woman who has met Pressure and knows how to deal with this again, Social Hobo who has brought many an elite person to ruin. What a shame that Pressure, when created, resorted to hurting the elite, the aloof, and those whose eyebrows arch in the middle of the forehead while their noses shine high into the evening air.

Pressure is what people like Mark and Chesney say and do behind closed mansion doors. It may start with a mild understanding from what Mark might have said to Hal, one of his frat brothers and then the misunderstanding began to escalate. Soon Chesney was at Mark's throat threatening him to move into the guest room if he didn't tell her what he meant by something he said to Alicyn, a rival from Chesney's sorority.

"All I said, Chesey, was that Alicyn looks like she has lost some weight," Mark pled over and over to Chesney who was now in the throws of a full-blown temper tantrum. Not realizing that if the wrong people were to see and her here at this very moment, she might lose some serious influence by those who control the nation. Looks are all important. More important than Pressure. The fact is: Pressure and Looks will never go steady much less wed in June when the Orchids are in bloom.

Pressure and Looks are mortal enemies from the start. Looks, if not cultivated with patience and wisdom mingled with grace and self-respect will always add up to nothing. But . . .if a woman or man ever dreams of being elite at his chosen vocation or what was left to him by his father, he must learn the value of these same traits unless he flounder with the penniless and forgotten in some drunkard's dark alley.

Looks, my friend. It's all about looks. It has always been about looks.

© 2017 Kenneth Avery

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