At age 50 my mother did something transfixing in my 28 year old soul. I was quite sick with fever and cold while sitting through a restaurant meeting with aging white all male executives in San Antonio. I was the only woman. This was a time that appearances matter. Words are weighed. Gestures interpreted. Persuasion meant the difference between succeeding or failing. I was moving upward in corporate America. A million women would die to have this job says, "The Devil Wears Prada."
We were at a very distinguished white linen restaurant. Too weathered I did not order any food. Some time into this meeting, the waiter walks over to me and places a porcelain covered bowl in front of me. To my great surprise, I uncover a big bowl of chicken noodle soup with saltine crackers on the side. Trying not to break my stride in the conversation my mind starts spinning in circles. I thank him and he winks at me while gesturing toward the front of the restaurant. My eyes follow his.
I look around and out of the corner of my eye I see moma, who lived in San Antonio, standing at the front of the restaurant with the maitre dee. She mouths, "Don't be mad. Eat every bite!" She had made the soup at home and yes brought it into the restaurant. What else happened to get that soup to my table was between her and God. I never learned.
Looking around at these executives who were looking in puzzled disbelief at me then the soup at me then the soup..... I break this up by saying, "That's my moma. Don't you wish you had a cold this day?" I ate every bite.
Eldridge is right. When you become 50 we really don't care about what others think. Or maybe we begin to really think about the things we really care about.
Happy 50th birthday to me. I love you moma. RIP 1945-2000