When I look at mom she sometimes reminds me of that MasterCard commercial where the announcer puts a price tag on the cost of items people buy to make themselves feel good. Take for example the ad where Olive Oil from the cartoon Popeye spends $40 on a Wonder-bra. She is still flat chested, but the fantasy of what the bra has done for bust-line has Olive Oil batting her eyes like a Hollywood femme fatale. In that same commercial is a scene of Fred Flintstone doing a ballet (something he did to improve his bowling average), followed by the tag line, “Being happy with yourself… priceless.”
That’s my mom. She can’t see. Anything. In fact, she’s blind and has had vision problems all of her life. But according to my aunties, in her day, mom was the envy of many women with her Coca Cola bottle shape. Mom blames her expanded waistline on giving birth to three kids.
Despite the vision problems, and losing her own mother when she was an infant, mom managed to get a college degree, raise three kids after leaving my father, put us through private school and see us graduate from college. When we were kids, she even worked as a police officer for a brief stint.
Her health problems grew over the years. Nowadays she has diabetes and high blood pressure to name a few illnesses. But there’s no apparent longing for the old days. Why should she? She doesn’t have to worry about as much nowadays. She leaves that to me. Like Fred Flintstone, she’s happy with herself.
Me? Well… I hope to achieve such nirvana someday.