My mom, at almost 93, doesn't need anything. Except consumables like Puffs and watermelon-flavored gum.
For Mother's Day, she wanted a day out shopping. Can you imagine a 93-year old hitting the mall? She wanted some lightweight sweaters. And a suit.
"A suit?" I asked her. "When do you wear a suit?"
"I never know when I'm going to go someplace nice," she replied. Olive Garden and church are the fanciest places Mom visits these days. Maybe she was longing for an invitation to a corporate board meeting. Or the theater. To which I don't think I'd wear a suit. But, I'm not Mom.
"It's always nice to have a suit," she stressed.
So, off we went to the mall. She scooted around Dillards on her walker, slowly fingering her way through the sales racks. I occasionally lost sight of her because she's a stooped over five-three high, tiny little thing. When she leaned over to inspect a garment, she briefly disappeared.
She tried on several cotton button-downs, which she favors, and some sweaters, which weren't long enough and didn't have pockets. After an hour, she decided there was nothing she really wanted at Dillards, and we meandered back to the car to head to Macy's.
At Macy's she found two perfect sweaters, a long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of cotton Capri's. She was pooped, but happy. The suit was forgotten.
We lunched at TooJays, which has yummy food and even better desserts. Mom got split pea soup, and I ordered a salad. She can't talk when she eats, because she has choking issues, so it was quiet while we ate. I watched her sip her green tea and nibble on her crackers and thought about the fact that this might be the last time we have a girlie afternoon together. At 93...you're on borrowed time.
On the way out of the restaurant, I spotted one of those photo booths where you get four little pictures for a quarter. Only now it's four 2x3s and 16 tiny copies of the 2x3s for five bucks. I suggested to Mom we hop in the booth and get some snapshots to commemorate the day.
She laughed and shook her head, this crazy daughter, but indulged me. I helped her into the booth, then secured and hid her purse on her walker, which had to sit outside the booth. She was nervous about having her purse two feet away.
The photo booth was more confusing than they use to be. I had to choose a theme, a style, a color, type in my Zodiac sign, my nickname, and other hoo-ha. I punched buttons until the automated voice started the countdown. It was clearly off our pose because the first picture looked like this.
I then suggested to Mom we look silly. This is her silly face.
It's very similar to her regular face.
I don't know what the heck I'm looking at.
I got the giggles while Mom held her pose.
She is one steady cookie. And she clearly found the camera before I did.
I laugh every time I look at these pictures. The photo booth keyboard was as complicated as a jet liner panel. I didn't know what we'd end up with, but I wanted whatever came out.
With a smile, Mom looked over the pictures and then said, "Is my purse still out there?"