Getting off the elevator on the tenth floor of my mother's apartment building this evening, my nose was instantly greeted with the pleasant aroma of some truly wonderful cooking. My first thought was, supper is really going to be good tonight, but as I proceeded down the hall to my mother's apartment at the end of the building, the pleasant aroma faded. Rats! Someone else was going enjoy that delightful smelling meal. Then I opened my mother's door, I have my own key. Hmmm.......smell's pretty good in here too, I thought! I saw mom back in the kitchen, so I walked back there to say hello. She had her electric frying pan out, and she was frying up some beautiful plump and succulent looking chicken thighs!
My sister, niece and brother-in-law were out in the dinning room, and the table was already set. Sitting next to my usual place, were two colorful gift bags, and an envelope! Hurray! They didn't forget! I opened the card first. It was from my mother and as usual, a bit on the sappy side, telling me what a wonderful "son" I was. Mom....I'm afraid, will forever be in denial about who I am. I told her that I was trans years ago, but I have never forced the issue with her, and she has never pursued it. She has never seen me dressed, or even seen a picture of the real me. She will always see me as her son. Since she's three months shy of ninety years old, I'm content to leave it that way. Enclosed within her card, was a very nice little slip of paper, with my name, her signature and some lovely numbers on it! Thank you, mom!
Now it was time to examine the colorful bags. The first was from my niece. She's 42, but still a kid at heart, and apparently she wants me to be one too! There were two items in the bag, I pulled out the first. It was fireworks! A package of Roman Candles! I said, "Oh good! Now I can set the woods on fire!" Then I pulled out the second item. It was a kit containing 80 balloons, a balloon pump and an 80 page instruction manual, with over 175 step-by-step-photos, describing how to make balloon animals. For the past few days, I have had a big red zit incubating on the end of my nose. I said, "Perfect! I've already got the red nose! This is all I need to complete my clown act!" For the next 80 weeks, she is going to get a new balloon animal to take home with her each week, after Monday night supper.
The next colorful bag, was blue, tall and slender, with the words Happy Birthday inscribed in colorful contrasting letters. It was from my sister. There was an envelope protruding from the top. I picked it out, and opened it. It was a card with a cute little kitten, hanging out of a pocket. Unfortunately, I inadvertently left both cards at my mothers, so I can't precisely remember the exact caption, but it was something pretty close to, "I just have one question. How do you stay so adorable?" How very sweet! I just love my sister! I think she really gets it! Since I came out to her almost a year ago, she has taken times like these, to quietly acknowledge the real me. Last Christmas if you will recall, she gave me a very lovely feminine scarf to wear with my winter coat. She is such a dear!
There was a reason that the bag containing the gift she gave me, was tall and slender. It had to be, in order to accommodate the lovely bottle of Don Miguel Gascon Malbec she gave me. It comes from the high altitude vineyards of the Mendoza region, along the Cordillera of the Andes Mountains. I'm having a glass of it right now, and it's quite lovely!
Mom's chicken thighs were wonderful, and were accompanied by corn on the cob, baked acorn squash, sliced red ripe tomatoes, and cheese biscuits. For my UK readers, a biscuit here in the States usually refers to a small, typically round cake of bread, leavened with baking powder, baking soda, or sometimes yeast, not the sweetened shortbread cookie, you are probably used to. When every one was done with the main course, out came the chocolate birthday cake, and I was treated to a rousing rendition of the following song:
Happy Birthday to you!
You belong in a zoo!
You look like a monkey,
And you smell like one too!
Humiliating.........I know, but a cherished tradition in our weird little family. After an evening like that, 62 doesn't seem quite so bad.