Recently, my mom and I were leaving the grocery store after we’d stocked up on the items she adores. On this particular trip my sister had joined us so that we could get the job done in half the time. Whenever my sister and I are with my mother together it feels as though we are cheating because although my mother is a force only a large, well-equipped army is able to stand up to, when my sister and I are together we both feel a teeny bit more supported just by having the other one there.
And we can tell. My mother thinks this is cheating. She would prefer to have either one of us alone and all to herself because her speciality has always been one-on-one.
As I crossed the parking lot with her while my sister ran to get herself a cup of coffee my mom moaned and groaned and peppered the afternoon air with curse words. She is very opposed to the set of bumps that are outside of the automatic doors to Albertsons and when she pushes the cart across them she hurls insults at them as if they are alive. In the oddest part of my brain I share a deep sense of kinship with them.
Poor bumps, I think, they can’t escape her venom.
Approaching the car, she shares with me something she’s been pondering. “You know, I’m aware I won’t be around to see it but I’d like to be there when you get old,” she says, staring at the back of my head. I can tell she can barely wait to share.
The plastic bags in her cart filled with hairspray and string cheese flutter in the breeze and since she seems full with anticipation I ask her why this is. Why would she like to be around when I get old.
“So I could see how YOU handle falling apart,” she bellows, from a few inches behind me.
I throw caution to the wind and respond to her in a way I think is best by stating simply that everyone falls apart eventually. That’s what old age is.
But this kind of thinking is completely NOT up my mother’s alley. It’s not even on the same continent, really. She doesn’t agree with any kind of philosophical introspective bullshit. My mother looks upon people who look upon things as dopes who don’t quite get it and she supplies me with instant proof of this by quickly lobbing back a heartfelt, to-the-point rebuttal.
“Well. We’ll see how you do then,” she says, in a tone that leaves me wondering if she might have mafia connections in the old age community.
She is so badass.