Okay, I am sitting in our bedroom, happily chewing on my mom Cathy’s remaining wool hat. It’s kind of ugly (I chewed up all the cute ones) so she really needs to get rid of it. I am helping.
I hear muttering from the living room. Then I hear a crash. Uh oh. Time for me to take charge.
It seems Cathy is taking a break with a copy of the Oprah O magazine she found at the gym. She’s reading an article about how “older women” should dress to avoid looking old and dowdy.
“Look at this! No baggy sweats! What do I wear when it’s cold? And they’re so comfortable…oh no. This is NUTS No backpack?! Since when were backpacks for old people? I’ve been carrying a pack for…okay, many years. How can I haul around my laptop and my books? Ergonomically?
“And here’s a picture of a perfectly normal, wholesome woman wearing jeans and a nice turtleneck and sneakers. She looks happy and healthy. And this idiot says she should be wearing…heels? High heels? You gotta be kidding!
“And here’s the Big Lie. These days there’s no excuse, she says. Anyone can find comfortable high heels. Hah. My toes hurt just thinking about it.”
And that’s when a recent issue of O magazine goes crashing across the room.
I know just what to do. I go over to my mom and put my head in her lap. I look up beseechingly with The Look: “Mom, we have to go out. Now. Or there will be dire consequences.”
Mom falls for it. She puts on her best set of baggy sweats. She shoves her square-toed feet into comfy, broken-in Asics. She tosses bus fare into the pocket of her orange Nike jacket.
We head straight for the Belltown dog park, where my Mom enjoys talking to the regulars who come from diverse backgrounds: “Jail to Yale,” says Lindsay, the volunteer park steward. Nobody seems concerned about dressing to look young. For some of the regulars, looking alive and healthy is a major achievement, and one I’m happy to celebrate myself.
Twenty minutes later, Mom has forgotten all about the magazine. Now she’s muttering about why dogs have been banned from Macrina bakery so we can’t just pop in on the way home.