Wednesday, January 7, 2009


TIM: Nice face...

ME: Wow. It shows that much?

TIM: Yes. Unfortunately, I know you THAT well. You are pondering something and that means I step into the picture. What is going through that relatively cluttered and yet strangely vacant head of yours?

ME: My widowed, 89-year-old mother is interested in someone and I think he's interested in her also.

TIM: How old is the gentleman? It's a gentleman, right?

ME: Yea. He's 93.

TIM: All right. Your first concern?

ME: First? Tim, there are so many concerns, I don't know how to get them to line up in an orderly fashion to number them. They're like crazed, rabid cats on acid...Jackie Chan cats...

TIM: Some one's been reading Laurie Notaro...

ME: You betcha buddy...We Idiot Girls had better stick together. But anyway, there are WAY too many issues to figure out on this one.

TIM: Well, I can't help you if you aren't willing to organize your thoughts...all I have to work with are your thoughts, Ms. Braniac...

ME: What happened to "Carry on" and "Make it work"

TIM: You stopped watching television...

ME: Sorry. My bad. Okay, first, I'm totally weirded out by "date talk" coming out of my mother's mouth.

TIM: Okay. Next.

ME: She's confused. She likes the "idea" of dating but not the "mechanics" of dating. I think she is remembering being swept off her feet by my big, theatrical Dad and I don't think this situation is even remotely like that so I'm worried that my Mom is setting herself up for a big emotional disappointment kind of thing.

TIM: Well, thank goodness.

ME: What?

TIM: You redeemed yourself. For a minute, after that first concern, I almost walked. I thought it was all about YOU. YOU being "weirded out" by your mother allowing herself the indulgence of date-speak. She should be allowed to let that fly without any judgment. How many 89-year-old women get that opportunity? Rock that show, Mom!

ME: Point made, sir.

TIM: Yes. She could very well be setting herself up for a disappointment. She probably is. He's 93, for Heaven's sake. He's setting himself up also, truth be told. Your mother needs to have the risks laid out, quite clearly, before her. Write them down if you have to. Put it out there in black and white. There are problems with simply driving, interference/involvement with each of the children, either one of them may consider it "meddling" and to some extent it may feel that way. How do you juggle privacy and "I'm looking after you for your own good" and still make everyone feel adult? That would be tough, for BOTH of them. And then there is the very sensitive subject of death as the ultimate deal breaker...But they're both adults, they've both lost spouses and peers to death, they know these risks...

ME: Yea...there's that.

TIM: Deborah. That's the ultimate deal breaker for all of us, any day, any time. None of us have ANY guarantees. Not one. When was the last time you looked at your birth certificate?

ME: Yeesh, I don't know.

TIM: Well, I can guarantee you it did not come with an expiration date. We all have the inalienable right to happiness and your mother wants one last shot at that fluttery joy that comes with new romance. Are you going to take that from her? I don't think so. And as for disappointment, yes, she may experience it. In fact, she probably will, to some degree. But as her daughter, you're going to support her, and love her, and be a resource for her as she struggles through it.

ME: So what do I do?

TIM: Exactly what you're doing right now. You're going to listen. You're going to laugh when she laughs. You're going to tell her she's pretty when she gets dressed up, mainly because she is; I've seen your mother and she's sharp! And you're going to be with her when she gets down. You're just going to be present. All the way through. All. The. Way.

ME: I am, aren't I.

TIM: You will help her carry on...while she carries on.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


ME: Aha! There it is. Look!

TIM: Where?

ME: There. See it now?

TIM: Let ME hold the magnifying mirror. Try shining the flashlight from this angle.

ME: See it?

TIM: Ohhhhh...there it is.

ME: I know, right? It's huge! The San Andreas Fault could hide in there.

TIM: Deborah, it's a line. Yes. But unless you go without moisturizer and go full on sunbathing for six months, no one is going to see it unless you duct tape a magnifying glass to your face with a cardboard arrow pointing to it!

ME: So you're admitting I have another line.

TIM: I don't think I can take another birthday with you.

ME: I don't think I can take another birthday with me.

TIM: Look, you're over 50. You have to choose between your butt or your face-that's the reality of it my dear. You're thin, you chose your butt. Your butt won. Your face lost. *pause* I've never seen eyeballs shake like that.

ME: Are you serious? That's it! You're going to say something like that to me and think it's OVER? I don't do GLIB! I may SPEAK glib. But I don't PROCESS glib. Oh ho ho ho no Mr. no no no no...I did NOT choose my butt. This is not a butt. This is a battering ram for bones trying to escape through my gluteus minimus. Jennifer Lopez has a butt. Girls with some meat have a butt. What I have is a lower back which somehow immediately becomes my thighs. This, I did NOT choose. This is a lose/lose situation, sir. I have an aging face and NO butt. It hurts to sit on a hard chair because of the bony nature of my lack of butt and it hurts to look in a mirror.

TIM: Has your husband said anything to you about the lines on your face?

ME: Really Tim? Really? My husband hasn't seen me in natural light in 5 years. Have you ever wondered why I have so many candles in my house?

TIM: Well, there does seem to be a lot of wax on the walls, now that you mention it.

ME: We are the mole people Tim. MOLE PEOPLE!!! It's not that I look especially alluring in candle light! Heck! Charles Manson looks alluring in candle light! I light candles because he can't see the fine details of the lines on my face!!! IT'S A STRATEGY!

TIM: *backing up* Okaaaayyyyyyy

ME: Get back here. You'd better talk me down from this ledge I'm getting ready to metaphorically jump off of buddy. I CANNOT afford a face lift. This had better come from within buddy boy and that is YOUR job!

TIM: I see. So, you just had a birthday and now you're having aging issues, am I getting that right?

ME: Yea Tim. Yea, aging issues. Bingo. Lines on face. Loose skin. Achy joints. The whole nine yards.

TIM: And you want to be young again?

ME: Well, I don't think it's possible to be young again. I just don't want people to judge me based on my age or appearance.

TIM: Oh! Like you do to yourself when you hold a magnifying mirror to your own face?

ME: *gulp* Is that judging?

TIM: Well, let's see. I'll hold the magnifying mirror and the flashlight. You grab the box of haircolor, the anti-wrinkle cream and the tape measure, and we'll recreate what you do in here all the time and then you tell me what you see.

ME: I'm the one doing the judging?

TIM: Looks that way to me. What would happen if your stopped judging yourself?

ME: I'd save money? Time? Sanity?

TIM: Those last two are mine.

ME: I'm the one doing the judging...

TIM: Now you're repeating yourself, old people do that.

ME: Stop it Tim.

TIM: Go outside with your husband. Have a picnic.

ME: Don't push it.