Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day in the Rural Badlands, Amongst the Antiques

I spent much of the day with my mother. I love eating and shopping with her. Since we're both socially-cautious people, it's sort of delightful that we've managed to warm up in particular situations -- eating, driving, shopping, drinking -- sheerly through observation, empathy, and the same cautious approach you use when making friends with strange animals: extend the palm, let them smell you, don't lunge or grab, next time bring treats.

We went to Angie's Kitchen in St. Agatha. When I was very young we used to go there frequently, but that was thirty years ago, so all my memories are of dark woodsy corners and paper placemats with connect-the-dot swans. This Angie's Kitchen experience was a little different as we'd come during a traditionally hectic day, and we were inexplicably seated at a huge empty table in the middle of the room. It felt like I was at a conference, sitting beside my mother because the table was far too wide to sit facing each other at opposite sides.

Then we went shopping in Shakespeare, which over the years has become a flypaper-strip meant to catch tourists on the way to the Stratford Festival. It's baited with antique shops. I saw things there that I might actually buy, if I had a lot of money and I had more concern about my personal space. My mother liked the weatherbeaten stuff that looked slightly decayed, whereas I am unable to eat around such things without thinking of fingernail dirt and feces. The one item I decided to buy -- a sort of art deco yoga ornament which could be explained away as an "interpretive dancer made in China" -- ended up having a cracked leg, which wasn't my fault, honest.

(When you are prevented from buying something because it turns out to be broken, don't despair! You've saved money that you can spend on something else, like a belt or a down payment on shoes! You should be happy!)

Speaking of spending money, I decided to re-learn pumping gas. After two months of driving my car to such far-off locales as Paris, Wellesley, and Philipsburg I still had a quarter tank of gas left, but fuel-efficiency can only get you so far: it was time to finally brave the pumps. I was astonished to learn that my mother has been shelling out for full service all these years and has never pumped gas herself, so we combined our experience (and our ability to follow written instructions) and came out feeling empowered and fulfilled. The price for this experience? $50. Less than I'd expected.

Here's hoping you had a good mother's day, and that you both did something new, and that your breakfast sausage was ladled out by a cheerful buffet lady wearing a clean smock.


jj said...

Aww. Saw why don't you persuade your mom to start blogging? That way, everyone can try and impress her by asking how it feels to be the mother of a pin-up girl. :-)

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Mrs. St. Bernard's a pin-up girl too! I've got NOTHING on her.