It’s 6PM, several years ago. I’m cutting flowers in my summer garden. My house phone is ringing and I rush inside the kitchen to answer it. It’s Harry, the fellow my brother has been telling me has a crush on me. I’m breathing hard from the quick run from the yard.
Harry says, “Venus, what time does your mother go to bed?”
“Ah…what? My mother? What times does my mother go to bed? Eight? Eight-thirty? Why.”
“I’d like to go and see her ,” Harry says, “But, maybe it’s too late in the day.”
My mother is 87 and Harry is maybe 40. He thinks of my mother as his mother.
“Here”, I say, “I’ll give you her care taker’s number. She can tell you if Mom is still up.”
“No, no!” Harry shouts. “Don’t.”
“OK,” I say. “Goodnight then?”
“Thank you, Venus,” Harry says, “for running inside to answer the phone.”
Later, I laugh myself to sleep. This is one of the more novel excuses a man has used to phone me.
“What time does your mother go to bed?” !!? (more…)