I wrote last week about how I embarrass my daughter. So, in fairness, I will share a story about how my mother STILL embarrasses me. Please take a moment to feel my pain and my embarrassment
My mom broke her ankle several years ago and it requires physical therapy. She is a widow and lives alone, so she likes to get out and to be with people. On this particular day, I was taking her to her physical therapy appointment. I arrived at her house not quite sure who was going to greet me … sometimes she is so glamorous that she could be Audrey Hepburn. At other times, she goes for comfort and the results are, um, mixed. Today, she was aiming for comfort.
My embarrassment started the moment we got there. Her therapist said hello to her from across the room and my mom could not quite hear/understand her … so my mom proceeded to answer the wrong question (but with a smile!). And then as we were waiting, my mom looked around the room and commented to me on every other person there (“Oh, he must have hurt his back.” “I wonder what’s wrong with her hips?” “Oh, hey, I used to do that stretch in yoga”). She wasn’t saying anything bad – she was just commenting – and well, since her hearing is bad, she talks really loudly. At one point she called a boy a girl – and when I corrected her, she mentioned (loudly) that the ponytail confused her. I spent the morning giving the other patients apologetic looks.
We had a moment when the therapist was not with us – so my mom went rogue and decided to use some of the other machines because “they are probably good for me.” I am a rule follower, so naturally this was wrong to me. I asked her to please stop and she said “no, this feels really good on my back” (remember, we are there for the ankle). Kathy, the therapist, was so nice – she came over and incorporated that machine into her routine.
My mom then decided that Kathy was her best friend and she proceeded to ask Kathy’s advice on all things that ailed her.
And here is the icing on the cake … when it was time to leave, my mom pulled a SPOON out of her purse and proceeded to use it as a shoe horn. I could tell that she thought she was clever. I looked around to see who else had witnessed this cleverness. But hey, I’ve got one thing going for me – at least she doesn’t pass gas every time she stands up (like my friend Anne’s mom).