For decades Mom and I traveled from Anchorage to Seattle for Mother’s Day weekend. We had fun. We shopped, visited with her sister, played bingo. All things that made her happy.
Mom was an interesting shopper. She had her favorite clothing lines and they did cater to women of a certain age. She also had to have everything in moderation. She wouldn’t buy more than one pair of slacks in any one color. If she had a pair of black slacks in her closet, that was enough. She wouldn’t purchase a top if she didn’t have coordinating slacks to go with it. I am not saying she had a sparse closet. Quite the opposite. She loved coordinating outfits. Orange sherbet crop pants to go with the orange sherbet short sleeve t-shirt. That was Mom.
I loved watching her shop. Always so serious. She would check the fit. Bending, squatting, bouncing on her heels. She’d walk back and forth the tiny dressing room to see how it looked in the mirror. I was her runner. I would get a size smaller or bigger. I would scan the racks for things she may have missed that I thought she would like. I would scour the sale racks, ever mindful of her budget.
One year I found a lavender and white abstract coordinating outfit for her to try on. The outfit complimented her well. Dare I say she looked cute? The two pieces were new and not on sale so I bought them for her. The excited look on her face was all the thanks I needed.
Another of her charming quirks was she always laid out her clothes the night before. I would walk into her bedroom and on one half of her bed was her outfit for the next day. I would just smile when I saw this. Mom definitely did not pass this habit onto her daughter.
One day there were two outfits on her bed including the new lavender combo.
“Why do you have two outfits on your bed?” I asked.
“Oh, I am saving the lavender one for Thursday.”
I stared at her for a moment puzzled, wondering what was happening on Thursday. The only thing I could think of was she had a doctor’s appointment. Then it dawned on me.
“Mom, are you crushing on your doctor?” Even I have to admit he was easy on the eyes. She was so cute. I do think she blushed. At that moment she wasn’t just my mom, she was also a girl admitting to her crush.
It was a sad day when Mom told me that her doctor was moving his practice to Eagle River and she had to find a new doctor. However, she lucked out. Her dentist was good friends with the former doctor. She would come home from the dentist with stories detailing what her former doctor and his family were up to. The excitement in her voice and eyes always made me smile.