Thursday, April 25, 2013

Meddlesome Matty

As Dad and I were Skyping yesterday, the label "Meddlesome Matty" popped into the conversation.  I remember time after time getting into "trouble" when my curiosity turned into meddling .  Too often, once an undesirable outcome occurred (a spill, stain, dent etc.), I would try to "fix" the problem only to "dig my hole deeper". Finally when it was confession time, Dad would describe my activities as a Meddlesome Matty.  In many cases the additional effort to remedy the outcome became a joint project of repair.

This term (Meddlesome Matty) came from a poem written by Ann Taylor in the 1800's. Matilda (Matty) left unattended decided to meddle with her grandma's spectacles and snuff box resulting in a complete mess (power and broken glasses).

To meddle is to interest oneself in what is not your concern.  Similar to "curiosity that "killed the cat", meddling carries the addition risk of interfering on another's domain (vs just creating trouble for oneself). 

It takes years of meddling to learn to how to be a professional fix it man.

"Matilda, smarting with the pain,
And tingling still, and sore,
Made many a promise to refrain
From meddling evermore.
And 'tis a fact, as I have heard,
She ever since has kept her word."   Ann Taylor    

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