17

Look on the Bright Side of Life

 
“My luck is getting worse and worse. Last night, for instance, I was mugged by a Quaker.” Woody Allen
 
My mother is a card-carrying pessimist and worrywart. 
 
She’s been that way as long as I can remember.  Her world view can be summed up as:  “If there isn’t anything to worry about, just wait.  There will be.” 
 
She doesn’t see the glass as half full or half empty.  She worries about who’s been using the glass before her and did they have a cold.
 
My Mother is particularly pessimistic about the marriages in our family. 
 
Both my brother and I have gone through divorces (two for him, just one for me.  At least I’ve got that going for me). 
 
She and my Dad, however, managed to stay married for almost 60 years.  Their marriage was a good one, from all appearances, but she came from an era where you were supposed to stay married no matter what.
 
I remember a couple that my parents were good friends with when I was growing up.  Even at the tender age of 10, I could tell these two loathed each other.  The wife was from the South.  She would smile that Scarlett O’Hara smile, dripping with honey, and say “Dear” to her husband, but only through tightly gritted teeth. 
 
If anybody should have gotten a divorce for the kids’ sake, it was them.  But, they stuck together to the bitter end.
 
My Mother never understood the reasons behind my divorce, or my brother’s.  She only knew that we’d “blown it” in some way.  (Her words.)
 
I’ve been happily married to my second husband for almost 35 years now, and my brother has been married (I assume happily) to his third wife for at least 25 years, so you would think my Mother would relax a bit.
 
Nope.
 
The other day when I went to take her grocery shopping, she said my brother had phoned her from his home in Colorado.  He said his wife had to go to California to be with her grown daughter from her first marriage. 
 
The daughter had been seriously ill with some mysterious illness and had been hospitalized.  My sister-in-law stayed in California for 38 days with her, but now she was back home.
 
I expressed concern about my brother’s stepdaughter and hoped that everything was going to be okay for her.  When I pressed my Mother about the details, she kind of brushed it off—partly because she can’t remember sh*t, but also because that wasn’t her biggest concern at the moment.
 
Out of the blue, she said “I hope they aren’t getting a divorce.”
 
For a moment I thought she was talking about someone else; maybe the kids across the street who ricochet back and forth in her esteem from a “lovely couple” to potential contestants on “Divorce Court.”
 
But, no.  She was referring to my brother and his wife–only because she was gone for 38 days–taking care of her desperately ill daughter. 
 
My Mother’s mind (much like the Lord) truly works in mysterious ways.
 
 
3

Caption This!

Since my last post was a bit of a downer, and since I don’t want to sound like a defeatist, pessimist, negativist or any other “ist” that has a curmudgeonly unpleasant attitude associated with it (wow, that was a tortured sentence) I’m hereby posting my current entry into The New Yorker’s cartoon caption contest for this week. 

My good friend Mary at Merrilymarylee’s Weblog had expressed interest in seeing how my mind (!) works when it comes to cooking up a cartoon caption.

So, for what it’s worth:

"That's the last time I buy a horse from an archeologist."