- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Two days before the luncheon, I called three other women to carpool with me. They weren't home, so I left messages. I emailed two of the three who actually check their emails. The next day, I heard from those two that they'd like to ride with me. My SUV holds seven and I still had empty seats, so I decided to call another woman who lives close by.
Again, I left a message. I heard from her that night. "I called someone else for a ride but I don't remember who it was. I might need a ride with you, Pam." Meanwhile, I still hadn't heard from one of my original invitees, so I left another message.
The morning of the luncheon, I had no idea who would show up in my driveway. Six ladies appeared. We pulled down the jump-seats in the back that accommodated five-year-old rumps and were on our way.
There were the usual drinks in the lounge, where fourteen different floral scents mixed to form one giant cloud of nausea. The wine loosened everyone up, and someone asked about the recent demise of a family pet, which led to more stories about the loss of family dogs, hamsters, and parakeets. Eventually a waitress led us to a long table for fourteen.
One of the women seated across from me didn't respond to any of my inquiries. I figured she was blowing me off. "She's deaf in her right ear," the companion on my right said. After that I shouted diagonally across the table at her left ear. Each time I did, the conversation on both sides of the table stopped.
Then the woman at the head of the table rose and clinked her wine glass with her spoon. "I want to thank all of you for your support while I was going through treatments," she said with tears in her eyes. More than one of us reached for a Kleenex.
She finished and sat down, swiping her nose with her napkin and rearranging the napkin on her lap. "Do you remember, Janet, when you were teaching and my daughter hated your class?" she asked.
"No, I don't remember that," Janet said.
"Do you remember when you lived next to me, Sue, and your son was such a willful child that the other kids used to spray him with the hose?" the speechmaker said.
"Actually, he was the easiest of my three children to raise."
The plated meals arrived at that moment. "Is that tuna? I can't eat tuna," the speechmaker told the waitress.
"No, it's chicken," the waitress said.
"I don't eat chicken," my companion on one side said. "Please may I have just a green salad?"
It came time for the bill-paying and per usual, those who had not had a glass of wine didn't want to pay for those who had. Judy, who'd organized the luncheon, had a calculator and declared that she was splitting the bill equally among us. End of discussion.
We each passed the appropriate money down the table to Judy. But Judy counted twice and she was missing fifty. That was because Cynthia, with dementia, sat in the middle and thought we were paying her for something. The missing dollars were in her wallet.
When we got outside. I unlocked my car and sat waiting for the rest to come out of the ladies' room. One of them appeared and kept going right through the parking lot and out onto the street. "I can't find my car," she kept saying. "Where did I park?"
"Betty, you didn't drive," I yelled. "You came with me!"