Today we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday. (We call her Mom.)
As you all might have noticed by now, I tend to view things through a lens of humor. It is difficult for me to have a friendship with someone who does not have a matching sense of humor to mine. We quickly run out of things to say and the friendship sort of fades away.
When I first met Mom, she was pleasant, but serious. When I would be my goofy self, she would nod and smile politely at me. The goofier I got, the more she would nod and smile politely. When I inevitably ran out of things to say, I resorted to talking at great length about the weather. (This was before The Master’s Degree–back when darling husband didn’t usurp all weather conversations.)
This went on for 11 years.
One day, about 8 years ago, she called me on the phone and invited me to go out to lunch with her and her friend.
Oh dear. What would we talk about? But I said yes, because it was a kind invitation.
I met Mom at her house and we walked to Pat’s house next door. Pat was going to drive.
We got to Pat’s house. And Pat, with her curly dyed jet-black hair, blue eye shadow, dangly earrings, and fingers covered with rings, comes charging out of the house and immediately starts a string of lighthearted conversation punctuated with bursts of laughter. She bustles us into her Cadillac and goes weaving down the driveway, cackling over a joke she made.
And that’s when everything changed.
Because Mom started cackling, too.
They bantered. They made fun of each other and laughed uproariously at their own jokes. Mom laughed so hard she shook and got tears in her eyes.
Pat ran through a red light and then drove up and over the curb on the way to the restaurant, hollering out, “Did I just come in through the exit?! Oh yes I did!” which set them both off into hoots of laughter.
At lunch they told funny stories about their husbands, made jokes about the food, and Pat flirted with the server.
Mom had been holding out on me for 11 years!
And ever since then we’ve had fun together. We go out every few weeks to lunch or to a movie. (She’s wondering if we might like Albert Nobbs which is coming out this Friday.)
In all the times I’ve spent with her I’ve never heard her speak a bad word about anyone. Ever. All-in-all, I spend more time with her than any of my other friends, and she is consistently kind.
So, the picture of the day is of the earrings that I bought for her today, because I ended up getting a pair for myself as well.
See, before I bought the earrings, I bought her flowers. While the guy was arranging the flowers for me, I browsed and was tempted to buy a yellow vase that would have looked great on the sideboard in the dining room. But I resisted.
After the flowers, I went to Christmas Tree Hill and bought her this Crabtree and Evelyn handcream. Click here to see it.
That was a very difficult purchase. I’ve been wanting the Crabtree and Evelyn Rosewater Eau de Toilette for years, but for every gift-giving occasion, I end up asking for something else that I want/need more than perfume. (Like a camera, or a camera battery, or a cell phone that holds a charge longer than the time it takes to unplug it.) The perfume was there and I took long, noisy sniffs of it, but I resisted buying it.
In the same store with the hand cream was a little knick-knack thing that would have looked great on my piano. I resisted buying it.
Finally I went to Dress Barn for the earrings because Jeff said that he always has luck getting earrings there. Jeff likes to buy his wife presents of clothes and jewelry. And he has a good eye for women’s fashion, for which I am grateful. His wife passed on a couple of shirts to me that didn’t fit her and I get lots of compliments when I wear them. (In fact, I’m wearing the blue one now–here’s an old picture of it.)
By the time I got to the earring rack and saw the round metal dangly earrings (which are my favorite type of earrings and I didn’t have any in silver), all resistance had been worn down and I bought them.
We ended the day at Li’s Buffet for Mom’s dinner. And this time I remembered to get the hot tea!
No exercise, so no Star Trek Quotes.
Number of free dinners at Li’s due to the buy 9, get one free card: 2