Most of the time when I go home, I run errands with my mother. I’m fine with it. The errands involve shopping, some sort of beauty salon visit, and food. Unlike Brooklyn, where I live, in order to accomplish all these things in Quincy Massachusetts, you have to get in the car, but hey, the possibility of new clothes, a blow-dry or manicure and an attempt to cure my insatiable appetite, yes, I’ll go along for the ride, where should I sit? This has been going on for as long as I can remember, my mother would take me and my sister out for the day in the car, listening to the radio, then eventually CDs, which narrowed down our music selections to Barbara Streisand, Anne Murray and the Mama Mia soundtrack. But everything sounds good when you’re singing into the TJ Maxx dressing room mirror knowing fully well those lip synching lips will be sinking into some sort of simply tasty not at all nutritious, early bird special and be back in bed before sundown.
Then came a new car. A new car with no cd player but an iPod outlet. My mother never really got into the whole iPod thing. Too much work. Pick songs, download, hook up to computer. Who has the time? The new car also came with Bluetooth. The Bluetooth for the car. Not only did my mother get it, but she got it. Like she knew how to use it. Now my mother could talk on the phone in the car and not get stopped by the cops.
When talking on the phone while driving became illegal in Mass, my mother felt like all her criminal tendencies had been realized. Even though the law hadn’t been in place the hundreds, probably thousands, of times she made call after call while cruising from one yard sale to another, she perceived herself as someone who had officially participated in illegal behavior in her life. But that was in the past. She had been living clean, until Bluetooth.
Blue tooth allowed my mother to pursue her quest to single handedly keep the routine phone call alive. Heading to the tailor to get some pants hemmed? You better tell someone. Going to meet Annie O’Halloran for a snack? That’s a 13-minute car ride, how many phone calls is that? We’ll find out. Stuck in the Burger King drive through? Wasn’t this a dance hall in the 60’s? Let’s see if someone can confirm this theory. “Siri, call anyone from my past whose phone number I have”
Don’t get me wrong; I love sitting shotgun and bearing witness to my mother in her glory. She makes me feel like I should pick up the phone and get in touch with people for an everyday update on minutia. My only complaint is the forced participation in the surround sound phone conversation. Sometimes my presence is announced right away “ Hi!! I’m in the car with Kendra” sometimes it’s me and my sister
“ Hi!! I m in the car with Kendra and Kristen, say hi, girls”
“HIIIII” we say in unison then sit back to listen. Our participation is periodically requested “Isn’t the dress an unusual peacock blue?” Then you gotta answer at an above conversational level “YES, IT’S A VERY UNUSUAL PEACOCK BLUE” I say loudly, not sure who we are talking to.
“AND IT FITS HER PERFECTLY” my sister adds. Neither one of us having any idea which dress we are talking about. At some point one of us lays down the law ,
“OK Mom, enough phone calls. Lets listen to the radio”
“OK OK Remember all the CDs I used to have? Shit that reminds me, I have to call………”
Everything reminds my mother of a phone call she needs to make.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.