Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!

Pleyendeckermothersday1977


Mother’s Day is sort of melancholy after your mother has passed away. I did dream about my mother last Saturday night; I think she and I were sharing a run-down shack, and I was trying to sort some music CDs, and she was looking on. (It’s nice that we usually get along in my dreams.  It’s a refreshing contrast to my relationship with her during her lifetime.)


 

So I was downtown on Sunday afternoon, taking my usual promenade – bookstores, cafes – and I took my cafe latte from the nice fresh-faced Borders clerk who usually dispenses it. “Thank you,” I said politely.

 

 

“Thank you,” the little scamp said, with a perfectly straight face. “Happy Mother’s Day.”


 

Bemused, I went to a table, drank my coffee, did my crossword puzzle, read a few dozen pages of “A Voyage to Arcturus,” and decided to go home. When I got to Kennedy Plaza, where the buses all congregate, I was hailed by a tall handsome bearded black man wearing sunglasses and a windbreaker. “Has the Number 78 left yet?” he asked.


 

“Not yet,” I said.


 

We waited together in companionable silence; once in a while he’d address a general comment to me about the weather. The Number 78 finally arrived, and we got on together, and rode up the hill to Providence’s East Side. I rang the bell at Wayland Square, and as I got up to leave, my new friend nodded in a friendly way to me. “Happy Mother’s Day,” he said.


 

Twice in one day?

 

 

(Oh, wait, I forgot. Partner’s sister called the day before. After the phone conversation, he said, “Oh, and she said to wish you a happy Mother’s Day.” So I guess it’s three times.)

 

 

In “Modern Family” this week, the gay couple, Mitchell and Cam, were spatting over “mother” and “father” identities in their family unit. Cam, who is physically much bigger than Mitchell (“I could snap you like a twig!” he hisses at one point), is everyone’s choice for Designated Mom, and it irks him. Somehow, however, it also makes perfect sense. (It’s even better if you know that Eric Stonestreet, the very funny actor playing Cam, is straight in real life.)


 

So what is it about people like Cam and me? I have a beard, for God’s sake. I was not wearing anything outrageous on Sunday. (Okay, a Hawaiian shirt, but not a very flashy one.) Is it our facial expressions? Our body language?


 

I guess we both look tender and understanding and willing to listen.

 

 

(Please don’t volunteer your theories about this, especially if they contradict mine. I don’t want to hear them.)

 

 

And a happy belated Mother’s Day to all of you!

 


 

 

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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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