First | Paper Doll Tales

“I was born first.”

Written in words like this, the statement can be a simple true or false statement.  Either you were, or you were not, born before someone else.  We can debate the number of weeks, days, hours, even minutes, if necessary, but when it comes right down to it, there’s a right or wrong statement here.  Black and white.  First and last.

Until you add tone to it.

Which I can’t do in these black and white letters.

I suppose if I were an artist, I could splash a bucket of vivid magenta paint across a canvas boasting that black and white statement.  The magenta hue would drip in slashing, taunting fingers down through the serif feet of those letters, dripping and obscuring and blurring and sneering just like the tone applied when splashed out of a 7 or 4 year old’s mouth.

What could be taken as stark naked fact can somehow be dressed up in magenta tones of, “I’m better than you, simply because I came first and you came last.”

But that kind of thinking doesn’t take Emmylou Harris into account.

For about eighteen years now, I’ve been mocking James for his great love of the country singer legend Emmylou Harris.  I’ve blatantly smeared magenta hues all over his love for whinging violin licks and the liberal use of “ain’t” in lyrics.

And then the great Emmylou Harris decided to throw some magenta paint on my own opinion this morning as I listened to Love List’s 2015 Best playlist on Spotify.  There, in my traitorous white earbuds, popped in Emmylou, greeting the rising sun with me, a serenade of whinging violins and ain’ts.


I liked Emmylou.

So what comes first doesn’t necessarily hold that position forever, no matter how black and white to begin.

Let’s take it as a black and white fact, sure, but life might add some color, some tone, along the way.  We may find ourselves in a heated argument over years, weeks, days, and hours.

And yes, it may take eighteen years to admit it, but maybe (just maybe, understand) you were right, James, from the very first.  Emmylou Harris is pretty awesome.

This post is inspired by and shared with the writers at Five Minute Friday.


  1. Susan B Mead said:

    Beth love it! May I invite you to share at the DanceWithJesus linkup? Bless someone there too.

    January 8, 2016
  2. Larry said:

    I remember when the ones going first because they were born first WAS NOT such a good deal. We were lined up at the doctor’s office for booster shots.

    January 8, 2016
  3. Amy M said:

    Love this for so many reasons. I enjoy listening to Emmylou,too. And I remember using that sneering tone when talking about being born before younger siblings as well. Some things are just universal like that, I think.

    January 8, 2016
  4. hopeful50 said:

    Sometimes we just have to be stubborn, don’t we!!! BUT, today teaches you that you are “learnable” (a word I made up a blog or two ago!). I’m your neighbor #31 at Kate’s today. Tried reading earlier but the link was broken.

    January 8, 2016
  5. Jo said:

    I love Emmylou-always have. But now green eggs and ham…….

    January 10, 2016

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