Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Beauty Parlor

Outside there's snow, lots of it, so I think, skis. I should ski to work.

Aba (the father of my children) helps me shlep the skis upstairs, very into the idea that we should get some exercise. We've put on weight and it's already January.

The fat isn't working, I'm still cold.

Anyway, I'm thinking of a week, not a week-end in Atlanta, for those of you who really want to know, for Purim

The first task of Thursday has to be making sure that Boobah (my mom), gets to the beauty parlor without wrapping herself around a tree. This isn't so easy. You don't just tell a person who has been driving all her adult life, perhaps 60 years of it, without a fender bender, "The streets are bad, I'm driving you to the beauty parlor, and that's it." There has to be some politic.

I say to her, "The streets in Chicago are lousy, but in Skokie, maybe they're plowed. Maybe you'll be okay. Probably you're fine out there in the burbs." (This is called a paradox.)

"It's all of four blocks away. I'll drive slowly," she counters, not buying it.

"I'll tell you what." I try again. "I have to go to Bagel Country anyway (this is nearer to her house than mine) so I'll call you and tell you about the condition of the roads. If they're bad, I'll swing over and drive you."

She's okay with this, tells me when she has to leave the house, and I call her five minutes before. I tell her the streets are terrible, which they are. She lets me drive her.

She's off to get beautiful, I go to the post office, Bagel Country for a dozen bagels, a dozen bialies, assume she'll take half (which she does), fill up the car with gas, go to Marshall's to find a pair of shoes for my father, buy lemons and cheese, that's all they need, at Jewel, and cheese for my parents, and what we still need for Shabbas, then swing back and pick her up.

"You look beautiful," I tell her, and she does.

The plumber, unfortunately, has parked in the drive-way. She's all set to tackle the curb and the half-foot of snow on the grass, get out of the car from the street. "I'll get off here," she cries. "Just stop here!"

I pull into the driveway. She sternly informs me, "You're taking away my independence!"

I say, "Be independent on your own time, Ma. None of us want to visit you in a nursing home with a broken hip. Not that we wouldn't, but it would hurt us to see you in so much pain. These things really hurt."

She's mad but accepts this. Love you, I say. Love you, too.

And I walk her to the door.

Flying Challenged

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Cry, it's okay, bubbala. Tell me everything.