Millie Conway

In our family, we celebrate Easter and our risen Lord as we do any other holy day – by racing home from church and eating entirely too much. And then complaining about how full we are as we waddle off to check out the dessert table.

And after all that eating, nothing much else can be done except to sit around the table and talk trash before going back for another piece of pie. When my mother-in-law Cleo and her siblings get together, talk inevitably turns to Millie Conway. After 70 or more years, it’s still Millie Conway. If you have ever wondered how long one can harbor sour feelings, it’s at least 70 years.

In case you are wondering, Millie Conway was a girl that Cleo and her older sisters grew up with. As legend has it, Millie had the good fortune of being an only child and consequently was afforded a few luxuries – new clothes, an occasional Coke or a bologna sandwich all to herself. In Cleo’s family there were seven children and no such luxuries. If Cleo were to have to choose a last meal, I can tell you right now it would be a sandwich of thick cut bologna with real mayo and a Coke. The contentious feelings towards Millie wasn’t borne out of the fact that she had so much and that Cleo and her sisters had so little, but that Millie was the original Nellie Oleson.

After a round table rehashing of Millie’s many acts of evil against the sisters, each one reported as though it had never been told before, one of the siblings will say of their oldest sister, “You know, Fanny always wanted to hit Millie but mama wouldn’t let her,” and then almost piously, “Mama never let us hit anybody or anything like that.”

And then someone will say, “Poor Fanny went to her grave wanting to hit Millie and never got the chance.” And then we all hang our heads in a moment of silence for Aunt Fanny and her unrequited and unopened can of whoop ass.

“Whatever happened to Millie Conway anyway?” someone asked.

“Oh she died some years back,” Cleo says.

Everyone paused to consider this.

Then Antique Daddy adds triumphantly, “Well, I bet the first thing Aunt Fanny did when she got to heaven was kick Millie Conway’s butt.”

And if there is any image that will convey the true meaning of Easter, it’s two old ladies in a throw down at the Pearly Gates.

41 thoughts on “Millie Conway

  1. “And then we all hang our heads in a moment of silence for Aunt Fanny and her unrequited and unopened can of whoop ass.”

    Laughing hysterically at 6 AM. Sheesh.


  2. I just keep coming back to read this post. I love the imagery in it: “Aunt Fanny and her unrequited and unopened can of whoop-ass” and “two old ladies in a throw-down at the Pearly gates…” See, I didn’t even need to scroll up to get those lines right. I know them! It’s so funny.


  3. “And then we all hang our heads in a moment of silence for Aunt Fanny and her unrequited and unopened can of whoop ass.”

    You are just WAY too funny!!!


  4. I had to come back again to cheer myself up after a stressful day at home with four/five children and a ‘to-do’ list as long as my arm!

    Thanks x


  5. Old aggravations never die, they just get better with the retelling! Your post is Whup Ass funny, so I went to the Blog awards to vote, but the comment thing didn’t work for me — so I couldn’t tell them how great your blog is, but I could vote.


  6. That is one of the funniest blog posts that I have ever read! A perfect context for the great term “unopened can of whoop ass”… genius!

    thanks for making me laugh.


  7. As have three others before me. . .I must pay homage to the following. . .

    “And then we all hang our head in a moment of silence for Aunt Fanny and her unrequited and unopened can of whoop ass.”


  8. If my own mama could TURN ON THE EMAIL, I would forward this to her in a red-hot minute. I won’t name names, of course, but there’s a name that sends her into eye-rolling oblivion, and I’m fully convinced that she’ll be just a smidge disappointed if she doesn’t get to thrown down just a little bit at the Pearly Gates.

    She never would, mind you, because that would mess up her hair, but still….


  9. “And then we all hang our head in a moment of silence for Aunt Fanny and her unrequited and unopened can of whoop ass.”

    Laughing so hard I can barely type.

    I love it.


  10. Too funny!! Sounds a lot like the stories my family tells…….bythe way, my husband used to work for a packaging company where they once had to package a bunch of whoop ass. He brought home a huge carton of “samples” and I wondered what on earth I was going to do with all of it…..too bad I didn’t know your Aunt Fanny then…….


  11. It is funny how long we cling to ideas. My grandmother, when she was almost 80, still had trouble believing God had forgiven her for having a baby when she was fifteen and single. That’s a long time to hang on to a grudge or a guilt.


  12. I have tears in my eyes, and utterly no way to explain to my colleagues why… I’m praying that no one asks me anything for at least 15 minutes while I recompose myself. At our house, there’s the infamous story about how my father chugged his glass of milk so that he would get big and strong IMMEDIATELY so that he could go “beat Buck.” Who was my father’s Millie. Thanks for bringing the true meaning of most family holidays back to clarity for me!


  13. Such a funny post! And so true – we have a Millie Conway in my family too. Only the person we agree on being miserable is, well, actually part of the family…


  14. Hilarious images here! My great-grandma passed away with not much memory left, but she could still tell you who took her cake pan at a church potluck some 40 years before.


  15. Millie Conway is proof that in every family there is one topic upon which EVERYONE can agree. Political/religious/philosophical discussions can bring Easter dinner to a grinding halt at our extended family gatherings, but there’s always ONE THING we can usually all get on board with and it’s usually a discussion about how awful one person is. I think, in our case, it’s the strange neighbor we had growing up.


  16. That was hilarious. Thanks for the laugh this morning.

    BTW, your little sandbox girl has been on my mind. I really don’t think a child would just blurt that out to a total stranger if it were true.


  17. Hilarious and sadly true…oh how we all can get hung up on our childhood grudges and begin to see those rather innocent people as the source of a lifetime of disappointment and unhappiness. Also, thanks for bringing up Nellie Olsen, I haven’t thought of her in years but am thankful for the reference as I think my daughter knows quite a few Nellie Olsen’s these days and I’d like to have them properly categorized in the reference library of my brain. Here’s hoping Aunt Fanny’s version of Heaven has no place for the Millie Conways of the world.


  18. That spoiled Millie Conway! My mom grew up in one of those huge, semi-impoverished families, and had a cousin who was an over-privledged only child with the yearned-for school lunches. Of course, said cousin yearned for the happy family with the many siblings, so perhaps Millie was more wistful than Aunt Fanny ever realized. Maybe.


  19. It’s five thirty in the morning, I’m the only one awake in the house and I can not stop laughing.

    “And then we all hang our head in moment of silence for Aunt Fanny and her unrequited and unopened can of whoop ass.” Copying and pasting it has set of another round of giggles. I’ll be laughing about that one all day. I mean–bowing my head in empathy of poor Fannie’s regret.


  20. You go girl!….Fanny threatened to open up some “whup Ass” on several occassions, though it was not public record. Nobody messed with her siblings, or children. Your family history comes from great sources; signed: A family member.


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