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Dining with Mom

Dining with Mom

Ink drawing in 6×8 Strathmore sketchbook. Drawn at the airport waiting for the plane home.

I made a one-day trip to Santa Monica to visit my mom and sister today. She took us out to lunch (my L.A. sister and her son are across the table from my mom and I–that’s me with my hand on my head trying to get small and hide) at Izzy’s, a nice Jewish deli.

While we were looking at our menus, there was a fly buzzing around our table. Now those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know that my mom is a bit of a character–the sort who has lots of nerve (or chutzpah as it’s known in Yiddish) to demand extra this, special that, and then takes home most of the stuff on the table (or who, when hospitalized, demands a new mattress and a room with a better view…and gets it).

So we’re all sitting there, trying to decide what to order, when my mom starts waving her menu at the fly, trying to make it go away. It doesn’t. So she takes her hefty menu and swats the fly against the window and SPLAT! She kills the fly, leaving a nasty splotch on the window and the quite large and chunky, dead fly, stuck to the back of her menu.

My mom and I turn to each other and start laughing, realizing what she’s done and what a mistake it was. My sister and her son are totally grossed out, she being a vegan animal rights activist who would never kill a fly–she’d probably make a little nest in a box for it, and keep it with all the other rescued creatures in her apartment.

Just then the nice limited-English proficiency waiter arrives to take our order and reaches for Mom’s menu which she’s propped up against the window, fly side in, trying to hide the mess. I felt bad for the waiter and spoke up–“She killed a fly with the menu…see…it’s right there.” So, embrazened, she says, “Yes, and there’s a mess on the window that needs to get cleaned” and pointed to the splot on the window. He says “No problemo, I’ll clean it.” But I think he meant the menu. After he took our orders and the menus, that was the last we saw of him.

Our food was delivered by a grumpy waitress, only made more grumpy, I’m sure, by mother’s requests for extra slices of bread (to turn one sandwich into two), 3 takeout boxes, 2 bags and her paltry 10% tip.

We actually had a fun day together, walking on the beach, driving around looking at historic mansions in Santa Monica near Malibu, and doing a bit of organizing in her garage and closet. It was great seeing her feeling so much better and being realtively active again at 83.

7 replies on “Dining with Mom”

WHAT A HOOT, JANA!!!!! AND A GREAT COMMEMORATIVE SKETCH!! I’d love to meet your mom — she reminds me of someone I’d love instantly! Glad it was a good visit — and I know it’ll provide a ton of laughs for a long time. Every time you see a fly you’ll roll over in peels of laughter! LOL And now, cara, I will too — BIG HUGS!

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Lovely family drawing and description. My mum would do all those things too. I have to take her to the theatre soon – she will talk and want to wander round and go to the toilet during the show so she ‘beats the rush’ and probably sing along. I always want to wear a paper bag over my head 🙂 And thank you for visiting my blog too.

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