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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Proud Mary

My mother was down right giddy after seeing all of the comments and e-mails for her birthday. Thank you all very much for making her day so special.

June is birthday madness around these parts. Today is my sister Mary's birthday. She is the oldest of the girls in our family. Since Mom is claiming to be 49, still, Mary's age can't possibly be 41. Can it?

Growing up, I was Mary's rag doll. She carried me everywhere on her hip. Even as I grew and began to catch up with her, she still would kick her hip out, grunt and plop me on there. I had to wrap my legs like pretzel girl around her waist just so she wouldn't give me a boost. When you are the kid sitting on someone's hip getting a boost and that hip bone hits ya right in the kinish or tail bone, trust me, you'd do anything to stay high upon the hip to spare yourself a boost. She insisted on carrying me everywhere until my legs dragged on the ground.

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Here's Mary and I, side-by-side on our lovely couch, which was actually green but Photoshop thought looked better blue. Also notice the lovely curtains. They were really gold and textured, fuzzy even. Mom had an eye for home decor. I think I was 5 and Mary was about 13 in this picture.

Happy birthday sista! I love you!

Candy Shop

During my visit for my mother's birthday, we went shopping and out to eat a couple of times. Mom doesn't get out often. She was like a kid in a candy store grabbing shit off of the shelves. "I want this. I need one of these." My mental calculator was tallying everything up and I realized I should have put her on a spending limit for her gift.

Sure, I could have shopped before I visited but I really didn't know what she wanted or needed. It seemed like a good idea to let her pick out her own gift. Now I know why I have never bought her a gift this way and never will again.

The first day of shopping I made her realize that just because she is older than dirt, does not mean she needs to dress in old lady garbs. I showed her a couple things I thought she would look nice in.

"Oh yeah, that's nice. Okay get me one in red, gray, white and green. No stripes though. They make me look fat."

One style shirt available in four colors. "Um, Ma? They have other shirts."

"That's okay, I like these."

Glancing at the price tags, I internally smiled, breathed a sigh of relief and said, "How about some pants?"

"No. I don't need any."

I did mention a kid in a candy store already, didn't I? We had Lane 2 with us and she convinced her grandmother that candy was essential. She also mentioned that she brought some of her own money but the little shit never took it out of her purse.

You ever see the show Super Market Sweep? My mother and daughter were like two contestants grabbing things fast and furiously off of the shelves. Twizzlers, Milk Duds, M&Ms, Sour Patch Gummy Worms, Starburst and Jolly Ranchers filled their arms.

"Mom, you aren't helping."

"Oh come on. She's been such a good girl and I just want to get her a couple snacks."

"A couple snacks, huh? You know we are leaving in two days. There is no way that kid is going to eat all of that crap in two days." My mother gave me the puppy dog eyes that I used to give her. "Fine. But I'm sending you the dentist bill."

Lane 2 marveled in my mother's power over me. I could see the wheels cranking in her pretty little head. She was learning. All bad stuff, but learning nonetheless.

Department stores are just bad. There really is no reason for any store to have such an assortment that you can spend hours shopping in one location.

House wares seemed safe, at first, until my mom spotted some rugs that she just had to have. Did I say some? I mean four. Who needs four friggin' rugs in a carpeted apartment? At least I was able to talk her out of buying more towels. She has a bit of a towel fetish, which will have to be a story for another day.

At checkout, my insides were getting nervous. But, I began digging for my wallet and my mother said the magic words. "Put your money away."

"Did you forget that we were shopping for a birthday present for you from me? I can't let you buy your own gift."

"That's okay honey. We can shop again tomorrow."

Those words weren't really magical. In fact, they kind of gave me hives.

Tune in tomorrow for more shopping fun with Mom.