I know I’m no spring chicken. I understand that when people look at me they see “mother” written all over my face. It’s the way my brow has permanent creases etched into my face from years of worry. It’s the clothes that should have been retired years ago, but instead the new wardrobe money went to pay for braces or college. It’s the “wise beyond my years” answers to questions that put me in the “mother” (and now grandmother) category. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when my sixtyish special needs neighbor, Dennis, asked me to be his mother. In fact, I was flattered that he thought of me in such a special way.
Then, one day my friend Carol and I were on our way to the pool. Carol is my friend from the neighborhood. She lives in the 55 and over park next door to my farm. I might add that I cannot live in the 55 and over park yet because I’M NOT OLD ENOUGH! Anyway, as Carol and I were leaving Dennis came up to our car.
“I wanna to tell you sumtin.” he began, “You sure are pretty! I want to have one just like you.”
I was getting ready to say thank you when I noticed Dennis was pointing to Carol as he was saying this.
“I wanna to tell you sumtin. You’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen! You’re my favorite one!”
I was devastated. “I thought I was your favorite one, Dennis?”
“I wanna to tell you sumtin. You are my favorite mutter." His grin broadened, "She’s my favorite girlfriend!”
I regarded Carol sitting next to me looking like a goddess in her matching pool attire. She was wearing her turquoise blue cover-up with a striped turquoise, red, orange and yellow hat and turquoise sandals. She was even wearing makeup and her fingernails were polished. I, on the other hand, was wearing my bathing suit that I’ve owned for 15+ years and grew out of 10 years ago. I wasn’t wearing any makeup (we were going to the pool for goodness sakes). I was wearing two different sandals (one pink and one blue) because I couldn’t find any that matched. My fingernails were clipped down to nothing and certainly were not painted.
“Why, thank you Dennis.” Carol smiled demurely, “But, you do know that I’m married and can’t be your girlfriend.”
“I wanna tell you sumtin. Oh I know that. That’s right...you’re married alright. But, you’re still my favorite one.”
Dennis got on his three wheel bike and started riding off down the road. “He’s right.” I said. “You look like a girlfriend and I look like a mutter.”
Carol adjusted her hat, sat up a little straighter in her seat, looked over at me and said, “Let’s ride grandmutter.”
I cannot write what my response was because that would be unmotherly.