I am the idiom for admonish. I am put in my place.
Just before the meeting was casually called to order, I chatted with a City Planner who knew my Mom years ago when she chaired the County’s Planning Commission. He told a tale, true to fact and true to form, of my Mom’s rebuke and reprimand of Him at a public meeting.
Is every Daughter in a perpetual motion machine of see-saw slicing the umbilicus, or is it just me?
“My Mom and I have similar energies, except Hers leans more negative. She could be tough.” My reply to his story was a boundary drawn between who was “Me” and who was “She.”
Tough like meat that no one wants to eat.
Not sweet like me, who will rot your teeth.
There he leaned in a chair designed for an Executive Board Room but banished to live out its days in the Aging Restraint of City Hall. He is the rare city employee who smells rebel but looks Brooks Brothers. Still in a lean, He said to me, “She had to be.”
Me: “She could be tough.”
He: “She had to be.”
How was something so lost on me so clear to someone who hadn’t seen her in decades? As if her whole life was summed up in those four words;
She. Had. To. Be.
Because she’d been. . .
Yet the Planner knew none of this. He only knew she existed as a Woman in a World of Men.
Tough as nails that hold a home together.
Not weak like me, who will yield under heat.
After the meeting, I ran into an old colleague whose appearance was unchanged; a jolly waterfall of flesh on a sturdy frame, and a mess of grey curls and beard on a patient face. We embraced and he called me “kiddo.” After talking too loudly in the hallway, we went into the key-card-only labyrinth of cubicles to catch up. He told me of His Wife and Their recreational pastime of feeding Raccoons who lumber onto the deck to feast on a dog food buffet.
“No shit,” I said, “Mom does the same thing, and I tease Her relentlessly about it!”
Tim asked what brand of dog food She preferred. I shook my head, more loving now than critical, and explained, “She feeds them angel food cakes, pans of turkey tetrazzini and fried rice.”
“Yea they’ll eat anything.” Tim the Unfazed. Yet another person to understand Her better than me.
We hugged goodbye and I commented how glad I was He recognized me.
“I didn’t at first. You’re grey now.” The soft smirk of His words caressed the edges of a statement that may make another woman go mad. But it was fact, and that’s how it was intended.
My hollow follicles give my age away but my age has yet to give me the Insight of a person who can see others through the eye of a Dragonfly.
Photo by Mom
Insightful life of others observation about wishing to be an insightful life of others person.