Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Whom Do You Trust?

“Whom do you trust?  Not ‘Who’ do you trust?” said Alfred.  “The Rolling Stones were being grammatically incorrect when they belted out the song ‘Who Do You Love?’"

“Really, Alfred, do you need to be so pedantic?” asked Mother as she set out her Royal Doulton Periwinkle Tea Set.

“Mother, it was drilled into me at Wilfred Choate School. ‘You’ are the object of my affection, not the subject of my affection.  ‘Whom’ is used for the object, ‘Who’ for the subject.  I just like to get things correct.  Besides that, the question was, ‘Whom do you trust?’”

“Alfred, are you talking religion again?” said Mother with a note of warning in her voice.

Alfred actually looked surprised, “Well, not really.  Although I suppose one could view it that way.  I was thinking about the new manager I hired at the store.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something funny going on with her accounts.”

“Oh,” said Mother, “Grandfather Talliaferro used to say, ‘You can only trust blood.’”

“Trust blood?” said Alfred, “You mean people like your cousin Angelo?”

“No, I certainly wouldn’t trust Angelo, he walks on the shady side of life and sometimes he is more than a little scary.  Grandfather Talliaferro also said, ‘We even have to keep an eye on the family. There’s the family, and there is blood.  Blood is deeper than family.’”

“I think I know what you mean Mother,” said Alfred.  “There is a proverb that says, ‘A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.’”[i]

“Take for instance our new next door neighbours, the Walkers,” said Mother, “Would you trust them?   Hubert Walker was unable to sit for months after his wife Mildred accidently shot him in the rump.”

“Well,” said Alfred, “she also had a tad of discomfort from the peppering of rock salt you gave her with that lupara shotgun that belonged to your Grandfather Talliaferro.”

Mother quickly said, “But Alfred, she was shooting her pistol out in the front yard.  Hardly trustworthy people!”

“I know, I know, Mother,” said Alfred, “You can only trust them to be themselves, and stay as far away from them as you can.”

“That’s just it!” said Mother.  “You can’t trust everyone. There are only a few people that you can trust with everything.”

Alfred looked thoughtfully at Mother, then finally asked, “Whom do you trust?  I mean personally, not just as a general question.”

 “Whom do I trust?” said Mother, setting out the last Royal Dalton cup and saucer.  “I think I might be able to trust Grace Whittington.  She surprises me.  When cousin Angelo in his sharkskin suit came to our Bible Study, I half expected that would be the end of our relationship with the Whittingtons.  But instead she just let me know that her family also had their own difficult people.  That’s why I invited Grace and Horace to tea this afternoon.  Grandfather Talliaferro would say, ‘Test them out to see if they ring true.’”

 “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel” (Proverbs 27:9).

[i] Proverbs 18:24

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