Just thought I should empty the contents of my brain from the last 2 days before I forget them.
My mother flew down to Long Beach (or rather I flew her down) 2 days ago. We went out for a fish lunch, then got our hair cut and colored (her grays covered, my shine restored). During our salon appointment, she was sitting two chairs away from me, and I could observe her from a distance chatting with the stylist. One thing that impressed me was that she was responding to the young woman using facial expressions that I would usually associate with my father. More masculine, less motherly, than I remember. Then I thought to myself, I wonder if this is what living with a partner does to you over 36 years! They become your mirror, and you become more like them by virtue of seeing them so often. It’s probably why couples start to “look alike” after a while.
She was so excited when she called me from the Portland airport after her first flight. It was truly worth the whole trip to hear her sound 20 years younger, for her 60th birthday.
Mom is a chatterbox, and that increases with stress, until she just starts singing. When she’s singing, it’s a form of self-soothing. So, I’m learning her cues better and will try to nip her stress in the bud at the super talkative phase tomorrow. The whole “Just Relax” thing doesn’t work on my bf, and it doesn’t work on her! Sigh.
It’s interesting to study her and to see where some of my traits come from. She is very inquisitive, and quite generous with theories and ideas, good or bad. That seems familiar.
I had to learn to be patient with her nervousness today, since she isn’t familiar with a lot of customs, she gets nervous and asks a lot of questions or tries to solve problems that don’t exist, rather than being able to relax and enjoy the moment.
Dad didn’t answer the phone this morning when she called multiple times, so that made her pretty stressed out today, although she put on a brave face most of the time. She later learned he had an earlier appointment than she thought he had, so all was well.
The people at the hotel are nice and fun to talk to. I had a nice conversation with the innkeeper’s daughter today about working for wealthy people, and what the Hamptons culture is like for the nouveau-riche vs. old money.
I had the best roast beef sandwich of my life at the local bagel shop. And of course I had a mini-bagel which was also fantastic.
We started the day by getting our rental car and driving to the beach to watch the 10-12 foot waves crash in with the storm. That was pretty awesome. Then, we went on a mission to find the country’s oldest Presbyterian church and go thrift store shopping (which turned out to be a bust). We ended up at a nice little museum and my mom and the gift shop keeper (from Missouri) traded stories for some time while I found some amazing lavender hand lotion.
The roads were a bit flooded but nothing too hairy.
We ate half our lunches and saved the rest for our dinners.
Finally, I went alone to a movie tonight: The Martian, with Matt Damon. It was kind of cool that a movie about Mars would name its missions “Aries” 1, 2, 3, etc. (Mars being ruled by Aries). It was a decent movie, and cool to think about how one might use science as a survival skill.
Tomorrow, we explore NYC :-) That will be pretty cool. Hope mom enjoys…