Some of you may have seen this before; I posted it waaay back when I didn’t really know anybody on MySpace. Today I was scrubbing the kitchen floor and thought I’d call my Mom when I was done and ask what she’d recommend for dinner–she always had great ideas for something yummy that didn’t require a full orchestra. Then I remembered. She’s not on the other end of the phone any more. The only thing that kept me from keening was that I didn’t want to frighten my son in the next room. I finished mopping the floor, mopped my face, and decided to share this again with you. It’s not the same, of course. But it’s still love.
You’d have liked my Mom.
My mother is a pioneer and a survivor—she did, after all, make it through the 60’s. She’s been on the cutting edge of social change most of her life, and been places and done things that women today can, thanks to her bra-burning generation, pretty much take for granted. And she hasn’t slowed down at all, either. These days, though she’s the archetypal sweet little old lady—at least to look at her—she actively advocates for gay rights, animal rights, human rights in general, the environment, she volunteers at the local library, and still finds time to walk out into her garden to appreciate the periwinkles, which she advocates as just as serious a part of life as anything else. She’s read and commented on every bit of literature there is to read and comment on, including Hesse, Kerouac, Kazantzakis, Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Nietzsche (a bit of a trial, to be sure), Marx, Freud, Jung, Tolkien, Adams (as in Doug), Camus, Dostoyevsky, and all the rest from classical to modern times, as well as a truly staggering number of mystery authors. She’s an amateur expert on regional Native American culture, a well-rounded appreciator of art from all walks, as well as a rather gifted artist in her own right, and she has traveled all over the world. She speaks Italian fluently, having lived in Italy as a girl, and is something of an expert on the behavior and size of cockroaches in the tropics as the result of an incident involving an egg salad sandwich when she was living in the Philippines in the 50’s. She can even play the accordion! She has adopted or dispensed with social convention on her own advice as a matter of general practice for decades. She is a Master of The Discerning Observation, and can speak with authority on just about any social topic on the board today.
Nonetheless, it is still possible to catch her by surprise.
For example, she went to the “hair benders” the other day for a haircut. Bear in mind that as I said, my mother is the archetypal sweet little old lady—white hair, apple cheeks, twinkle in her eyes and goodies in the cupboard for the kids and grandkids—the whole nine yards. There she is, sitting in a room full of women of various ages who are seriously engaged in attending to the full feminine arsenal of attraction. The woman cutting her hair managed to talk my mother into having her eyebrows waxed. It was kind of fun and nice at first, having her face tinkered with and the warm wax and all. And then:
My mother howled. She said she thought she was going to die. And she was faced with having to have the other eyebrow treated the same way or be lopsided. The other women in the room, mistaking my mother for a sweet little old lady, smirked knowingly.
That is until my mother, in stentorian tones of moral outrage that could have come straight from the Goddess Herself, gave voice to the Question of the Ages:
“PEOPLE DO THIS TO THEIR TWATS!!??”
3:50 PM 2 Comments 3 Kudos