The right thing to do

“You know, I think it’s the right thing to do,” my mother said into the phone.

Across the room, my eyes bulged out of my head like a 1950s cartoon character. Did my mother, the woman with the arbitrary moral compass, utter those words aloud?

She was nodding her head up and down with her lips pressed together. She tried to interject a word or two, but the person on the other end seemed to be having none of that.

Finally, my mother sighed and said, “Okay then, Beth. Good luck with that all right? Yes. No, it’s all right, but my daughter is here.”

A few moments later, she was off the phone, but stood staring at it before turning to me.

“Mom, you didn’t have to end your call. We have all day. Who’s Beth?”

“She’s a lady I lived next to when I had that modular home across town.”

“Friend of yours?”

“Not really.”

As I looked at her, I could see the director’s “cut” chopping off the scene and imagined I could hear her say, “Next scene!” My mother has a knack for shutting conversations down.

“How do you feel about taking me to get my nails done,” she asked.

“Sure. Is your car working?”

“Yes, but I would prefer to be driven.”

“Okay, but I presume you’ll sit in the front seat, Miss Daisy.”

“Oh, stop. Can’t you treat your mother nice,” she asked with an edge in her eye.

“You, bet, Mom.”

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