*March 12th will mark the one year anniversary of my Mom's death. In an effort to avoid my usual "milestone approaching" behavior of hiding in bed and eating lots of carbs, I'm celebrating the 12 Days of Mom. As a part of my celebration, I will be writing one of my favorite memories about Mom here each day. These are random tidbits of all the awesome that was my Mom. I'll think you'll like reading more about her. If you're new to reading my blog, proceed with caution. You will find lots of casual writing fraught with grammatical errors. I serve as editor-in-chief around here, which would make any of my high school English teachers shudder.
Not all of my memories of Mom are tender. And I don't mean that I'm about share some grievances. I just mean that every good memory I have does not necessarily wrap up with a nice bow of sentimentality or spirituality. Mom was not perfect, and she would be the one who would want everyone to know that. She was a firm, firm believer in grace. What follows is one of the most hilarious nights I ever spent with my mom.
When I graduated college I lived at home for a few months while I worked at my home church as the interim youth minister. I lived at home because they did not pay me enough to live anywhere else! When that job wrapped up, it was time for me to get on with my adult life. So, I got a job and I got a teeny, tiny one bedroom apartment. My best friends from college had moved away, and Big Dan was in Washington D.C., working on Capitol Hill. It was a lonely time in my life, but I was doing my best to get going. I worked on some serious fear issues living alone. I may or may not have set booby traps all over my apartment, just in case.
One night, I was sitting on the couch when my phone rang. This would be an actual land line phone. Because cell phone minutes were reserved for very special occasions. On the other end was Mom. She said, "I need you to come over right now." Oh my. I'm going to be real here for just a minute and tell you that coming from my house, it could have been anything. Literally. So, I hopped in the car and drove over. When I walked in my front door there stood Mom at the top of the steps with BLONDE hair. Like, blonde, blonde. If you never met my mother, please refer to the photo from a couple of posts ago. Her hair was brown. Dark brown. I was completely stunned. The first words she said to me were, "My hair is blonde!" Um, yeah, I noticed that. I'm a person who tries to be supportive, especially in a situation like this. "Wow! What made you decide you wanted to do this??" I told her it looked good. Did she like it? I asked. She was in a complete state of panic.
She wanted to like it, I know she did. She wanted to be brassy and hold her head high and strut around with a shock of blonde hair. But she was freaking out. I told her to give it a while, she would get used to it. "Mom, it's just SO DIFFERENT that it will take some getting used to."
I hated it. Probably a large part of that is the need kids have for their parents to be the same. All the time. I just needed my Mom to have brown hair again. But, of course, I never would've told her that. (Don't worry, the truth eventually came out!) At some point in all the talk about the hair, one of us suggested we go see a movie. You know, to get the HAIR out of our minds for a bit. When we walked to the car, Mom caught a glimpse of herself in the window. She groaned. At the theater, she caught her reflection in the window-she jumped! It kept shocking her over and over. By this time we were doubled over we were laughing so hard. My mother had self dyed her hair bright blonde.
I have no idea why, but the movie we chose to see was "The Green Mile". I don't know if you've seen this movie, but it's not one that really leaves a person with a settled feeling. When the movie was over and the lights came up, Mom looked at me and said, "This has been the weirdest day of my life. Let's go home and fix my hair." I sighed a heavy sigh of relief...on the inside of course. And we did just that.
No one who knew Mom would ever accuse her of being boring. When an idea came to her head, it was a pretty sure bet she was going to try it out. She decided definitively that day that blondes DO NOT have more fun.