Friedrich van Pelt

by cheri block

More than once in my life I have been compared to Charles Schultz’s Lucy van Pelt.

Maybe the comparison began in 1963 when I was running for Vice-President of Centerville Junior High. Except for my big wiseacre mouth, I was an undeveloped smart-alecky teenybopper running against a woman who wore a bra and like the Kardashians, was going to take full advantage of her God-given mazoomies. All of my campaign literature—signs, cards, leaflets—boasted Lucy calling my opponent Lisa a “Blockhead.” I understood the power of symbolism, Spoonerisms, allegory, and stupidity even at the tender age of 13.

My siblings (bless them all for their patience and resilience) railed to Mom and Dad every time I pulled the football out from under them, so to speak. They found themselves doing due-diligence, finishing my spinach, cleaning up my dog’s dog-doo, and mopping the floor, square by square, all while I rocked lazily on the hammock, dreaming of my literary career.

Anyone who has followed the Peanuts gang throughout the years knows that Lucy operates from a position of strength.

Lucy does not believe that the “Meek will inherit the earth.”

In fact, she believes that people like William the Bastard, Adolf Hitler, and Leonard Ahmadinejad will inherit the earth unless people like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Serena Williams stop them.

Operating from a position of strength doesn’t mean bowling people over with big talk.

It means knowing who you are and trusting that you are moving yourself in the right direction, despite distractions like Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, and the United Nations.

Operating from a position of strength means expunging your overwrought behavior from your list of emotional responses to life.

Operating from a position of strength means you don’t need to emote every time something doesn’t go your way.

Most of all, operating from a position of strength means listening to those who might be feeling weak at times and only charging 5 cents for your services.

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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15 Responses to Friedrich van Pelt

  1. dafna says:

    stop, look, listen, think and then react.

    i often emit and emote a monologue when things don’t go my way, usually when i’m alone or amoung friends. mainly because i’m not a quick thinker and it takes me days, sometimes weeks to sort things through in my head. then i react.

    poor charlie brown though, he never did get to kick that football.

    • Cheri says:

      You are funny! Taking days to sort things out in your head is actually a good thing, dafna.
      Most folks react, emote, become overwrought and only after reflection realize that all that energy was unnecessary!

      I used to feel guilty about Charlie Brown.

  2. Don says:

    Good picture choice. In one image you’ve gathered the non-meek, aggressively shapely women, and what’s become of the heroes of junior high school.

    • dafna says:

      i have no idea how the biker image relates. but one mother’s day a stereotypic biker pulled up beside the car my mom was driving and motioned her to roll down the window.

      “my mom is passed away,” he said “so i just wanted to wish someone’s mother a happy mother’s day”.

    • Cheri says:

      Those folks in Cayucos, Ca were not meek. No way. And who knows what became of all of those junior high heroes?

      I wish I knew. Or maybe I don’t.

  3. wkkortas says:

    This post, like the good Dr. Van Pelt, is “real in.”

  4. Funny, you did not sound like a Lucy when I met you nor did the judge sound like a Charlie and we sure, altogether, kicked the football around.
    I’m quite sure playing from strength does not entail being obnoxious such as Lucy.
    And bikers do have their soft side. Some years ago, in Montreal, during a biker’s war, a 12 year old boy was killed accidentally while, unknown to him, playing by a booby trapped jeep. The explosion killed the boy. The impoverished mother received, from anonymous sources, wads of money with deeply felt apologies. Poor as she was, she gave the money to charities, if I remember well.

    • Cheri says:

      Remember Paul, Lucy has a crush on Schroeder ( The Judge is more like Schroeder and definitely not like Charlie Brown. In fact, I cannot remember a time in which someone has pulled the football out from under the Judge.

      Lucy is not obnoxious. She’s strong-willed and confident.

      The point of this post was to provide some food for thought about those who become overwrought as a way to communicate their needs. Emoting too much is a turn-off.
      It is to remind readers that being strong rather than being a victim of something is a better life choice.

      The photo was to suggest strength as opposed to weakness.

      • We may agree to disagree about Lucy but your message is loud and clear. And I can somehow picture the Judge playing Beethoven with you leaning on the piano…out by the John Deere.

        • Cheri says:

          I’m a romantic, Paul. You know that by now after reading my hopelessly romantic blog posts interspersed with storytelling.
          My leaning on a piano out by the John Deere? Heavens no.
          I’d like to be leaning on a piano in Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart singing, ” As Time Goes By…”

          In fact, I’ve taken to buying dresses from the 40’s and plan to wear one to my nephew’s wedding.

  5. Philippe says:

    One should be responsible for one’s emotions, rather than being at the affect of them, perhaps?

  6. Richard says:

    True (as opposed to fake) emotions are intense and a fact, but they are a poor guide to conduct.

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