It’s Trifextra time. The assignment? “This weekend, we only need 32 words from you, because we’re giving you the 33rd. Your challenge is to write anything you want, in whichever form you please, so long as your response is exactly 33 words and includes the word ‘mother.'”
So, I figured if putting mother in there one time was the standard, then putting it in there seven times would put me over the top and surely guarantee me a win. Don’t you think?
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The Mother of All Trifextra Assignments
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Mother ran in carrying a mother load of Mother Nature books when the motherboard ignited. Her mother of pearl anklet snagged on a Mother Goose plush on the floor and she shouted, “Mother ….!”
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And, since my entry is unconventional, the “mother song” accompanying it will be, too.
Remember how in the 70s women could solve all of their problems with a stupid bubble bath? Well, I don’t know about you guys but a warm soak in an oversized, Greek-inspired bathtub just isn’t cutting it for me anymore.
Enter my mom.
She’s been trying to ‘take me away’ from everything since the Great Tumor Scare of 2011. I guess it’s sort of a “Thanks for Not Dying’ mother/daughter trip. But lots of things … and life in general … just kept getting in the way. And all of the bigger plans we contemplated (NYC, Chicago and the like) kept getting swept under the rug until we could “find the time.”
So, tired of waiting on me and my sad excuses, she booked a room at a hotel on the Gulf Coast only about an hour and a half away from where we live and gave me two days notice for the kidnapping. Which was good. I had only two days to worry about whether I’d get everything done before I left. It’s so hard for the mom to step out of the family equation. Part of that is real and part of it we do to ourselves. I knew dirty laundry and frozen pizza wouldn’t hurt anyone while I was gone. So I left. On Sunday afternoon. With my mom. For only one day. One great, relaxing, unplanned, nobody-pulling-on-me kind of day.
Talking the whole way up, we arrived in no time and checked in to our hotel, Beau Rivage, which is also a casino. For anyone unfamiliar with these parts, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a big casino destination. Some of them are a little dumpy, but others are actually very nice and attract the kind of entertainment that (sadly) is becoming more and more representative of my generation. (Case in point, I’ve seen Rick Springfield there several times with friends. Don’t judge, please.)
We went up to our room on the 25th floor to drop off our luggage and get settled in. I’m not a huge germaphobe so I kicked off my shoes immediately and walked across the carpet to put my stuff in the bathroom. I was about halfway there, curious as to why the floor felt so cold, when I realized my feet were almost completely underwater. The carpet was soaked which, you can imagine, was a pretty gross discovery to make considering I had no idea just what I was stewing in. After a few phone calls, a return trip to the front desk, and an elderly lady passing out cold in our path to the elevator, we were settled in our second room, now on the 11th floor. I glass-is-half-fulled it and decided that it was at least nice to know that they cleaned the carpets from time to time.
Because I was starving, we had dinner early at the Brazilian Steakhouse (a South American Churrascaria) nearby. My kids love that place so I felt a little guilty being there without them. But we only got the soup and salad bar so they didn’t miss much. The cream of poblano soup is a meal in itself. And I got my requisite Caipirinha cocktail. If you’ve never had one, click here for the recipe. And go get the rum out of your liquor cabinet.
Stuffed like ticks, we returned to our hotel and walked over to its neighboring property, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, to work off some of our dinner until we could breathe again. And until it was time for Desperate Housewives. (Again, don’t judge. DH is significant to me, and I’ll explain why in May when the show airs its final episode. Check back with me then.)
When the show was over, my mother said she wanted to go to the casino. She’s not a big gambler and I’m even less of one, largely attributed to the fact that I never win. But this night was about relaxing so, being the kick-ass mom that she is, she suggested that I hang back in the room to read, write and veg in front of the TV (I chose D, ALL of the above) while she went to lose her money on her own. (I’m kidding. Unlike me, she sometimes actually wins. But not this time. Except that she did score a couple of drinks, including the one she brought up to me in the room. That’s service.) We talked and watched TV a little before finally surrendering to sleep shortly after midnight.
The next morning, she slept in a little. I tried, but my stupid brain wouldn’t shut off so I got up and took a long bath and read more of my book, the last of the Hunger Games trilogy, until she woke up. We dressed pretty quickly and went downstairs for a late brunch, light gambling (I lost $20), even lighter shopping (I spent $10) and a brief stint in the arcade. (About which I knew my kids would be pissed, but I brought them my ticket credit for the next time they visit and they want to bring home another stuffed six-foot, green-spotted snake. So I think I’m good.)
Realizing it wouldn’t be long until my kids got home from school, we checked out, packed up the car and headed out … but not before seeing this sign we somehow missed on the way in to the hotel.
We laughed at it … then she took off her “do-rag,” I unrolled my left pant leg and we got the hell out of there.
I wasn’t gone long, not even 24 hours, but it was nice taking a break to do nothing in a relaxing setting with my mother. And did I mention it was all on her? Next time, Mom, we’re going to the spa. Love you … and thanks.
Okay. So, I decided I wanted to look into a boob job. And I wanted to go public about it. But, before I could truly go public, I needed to run it by my family. And maybe a few close friends. Just to see the looks in their eyes when I tell them about my plans.
Here’s how it went …
Husband … There were various comments, among them … “You know, you could write about things like our fig tree in the backyard.” AND “Have you told your Dad yet?” AND “Umm … sure. Maybe when you earn enough money from your writing jobs.” For the record, I think he’s good with it now. Or at least “good” with it. Elective surgery. General anesthesia. These are things that make him squirm. He cares … or maybe just doesn’t want to be a single dad … but, either way, that’s a good thing, right?
Mother … I told her on vacation. It was an odd choice but the opportunity suddenly presented itself. And I was expecting all kinds of motherly worry and maybe even a little judgment. What I got was “I can’t believe you waited this long.” After we got through our spontaneous eruption of laughter, she mentioned that, as my mother, she’s seen my boobs … in all their post-baby glory … and understands my decision completely. (Love you, mom!) Her concern was more about my going public about it. “Are you sure you want to do that?” she asked. I figure … you can’t hide this kind of change anyway … so why not stop all the gossip and rumors and put it all out there. If you want to talk about my boob job, I want to be in the circle.
Brother … He was all in. He works in medical equipment sales and has seen all kinds of advancements in this area and has a great many doctor connections in the city. Score! And, in his infinitely asinine way of trying to rib me and make me feel awkward (it’s a sibling thing), he started texting me soft porn and suggesting different ‘sets’ I might want to look into buying. It’s a pretty hilarious thing to open up unexpectedly on my phone, especially when I have to explain it’s from my brother.
Father … He was my albatross. My husband, mother and brother all thought so and had convinced me as such. So, I worked up my nerve and invited him to lunch. Unfortunately, I had no childcare that day so I needed to select my eatery carefully so that my kids could sit separately from us without it raising any eyebrows. (We went with a ‘roll your own burrito’ joint if that detail is significant to anyone.) My dad and I sat at our own table right next to the elevated bar table where my kids sat, which was pointed directly at the wall-mounted television. Problem solved. And, after a bit of idle chit chat, I finally told him I invited him to lunch with an ulterior motive and lowered the boom. And he didn’t flinch, progressive man that he is. (My mother is now officially rolling her eyes.) He asked a few questions about whether or not the implant would be placed above or beneath the muscle and about saline in general. He was actually approaching the whole thing from a scientific point of view. Why am I surprised? The Discovery Channel is like religion to him.
Friends(just a handful!) … Of course, I checked in with several other people in my life including my lady doctor (who also happens to be a neighbor and friend) and got a resounding “Good for you!” And weighing in with half a dozen other friends earned me a few quizzical looks here and there and, of course, offered several more occasions to expose my boobs. (Really, it’s been like Mardi Gras around here.) But, in the end, no one tried to talk me out of it. Some were surprised and some not. Some still have questions for which I’ll be seeking answers and covering in future installments. All were excited to be part of the process from the beginning. And the one word that several of them used to describe what I’m doing was “brave.”
It’s funny, you know. I wasn’t the least bit nervous about any of this business until someone characterized it as brave.