Why is it that even as adults, there is a subconscious (or is that conscious?) need to impress our parents?
My mother visited for the weekend. I cannot admit to being nervous about the visit. I wasn’t, well, except for those last 20 minutes of trying to clean the kitchen, grill hamburgers, and chat calmly on the phone with my sister, explaining that it just isn’t THAT big of a deal. In the meantime, Andrew, Gladys, and George had been making posters in honor of Grandma’s arrival and had scattered arts and crafts all over the kitchen. You might as well have given my three children a double chocolate espresso. They were running around like lunatics.
I NEVER look like that.
Grandma received a rock star welcome. We had to pull the kids from the car in order to let her out. That was Thursday evening.
Since she actually called me Thursday afternoon to tell me she was coming in a few hours, I did not clear my calendar for Friday. She saw me in my full glory.
Friday went like this: Get Andrew on bus, make coffee, crisis clean, drink coffee, host playgroup, drive to register for activities, stop at doctors for records, go out to lunch, drop off at preschool, put George down for nap, go to grocery store, pick up Andrew, pick up Gladys, go to pumpkin patch, make dinner, wash kids, put kids in bed, and clean up.
At 9pm, my mother, Jay and I were sitting on the couch.
“Well, then,” I said, “let’s go out Mom.”
“Aren’t the stores closed?”
In less than three minutes, we were in the car.
“Mom, should we make this a party?”
“Well, its nine o’clock, I don’t think anyone would be awake.”
I made a few calls. I suppose that I HAD thought that we might go out Friday night. But, it wasn’t a sure enough thing to actually invite people. I didn’t even grab my planner on the way out the door. I had two hits before I ran out of numbers I have memorized. (If you didn’t get a call, sorry, I don’t have everyone’s number memorized).
It was a little impromptu party for my 39-year-old mother. (Yes, that’s right, and I went to college when I was 11 and have a younger sister who was born before me – are you catching on?)
I should say, for accuracy, that her birthday is in May. Calling it her birthday was just a simple set-up to win the honor of paying the check (and, yes, winning is the correct verb, a fight could ensue).
My mother walked in the wine bar.
“You and your friends really do this?” she asked, her head was shaking. Not from disgust, mind you, I could see the wheels turning. I could see her thinking. This is what we should have done. We should have done this often.
She was impressed.
A few minutes after our wine arrived, my two friends joined us. We had a great night: great conversation, nice wine, and a sophisticated but casual atmosphere.
I was sipping slowly, responsible for driving my dear mother home safely. I leaned over and asked her if she would have another glass, everyone saw her politely decline.
Within minutes, the bar tender returned with another glass for my friend, and another glass for my mother.
Well done, Ohmommy.
Somewhere along the way, Ohmommy also left briefly to use the powder room. Miss Classy had snuck away to pay the check.
Trumped. Outclassed. Outdone.
We were all impressed. Thank you.
(And another thank you to Mrs. Debutante for ensuring your safe trip home: classy and responsible, of course).
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