Lifestyle & Retirement / Simply Southern Cappy

What Is The Point

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I was seated alone in my favorite café enjoying a quiet lunch when my tranquility was suddenly shattered. Two women dressed almost identically and chatting like magpies, parked themselves at the very next table. They didn’t notice me; I might as well have been invisible.

So I did not feel one iota of guilt as I listened in on their conversation. Most people who know me are aware that I make a habit of eavesdropping in restaurants. I’m a writer; it’s what I do; it’s how I get my best stories.

Linda, I don’t know what we’re going to do about Mama, said one of the women. She’s older than God but to hear her tell it, she’s in her prime. (Big sigh). She’s seventy-five and lives in that big house all by herself. We should have put her in an old folks home years ago.

Linda reached across the table to grasp her friend’s bejeweled hand. You poor thing. What does John think, Amanda? It’s his mother.

Amanda turbo sighed. Duh! John sees his mother through the eyes of a six-year-old. Ask him and he’ll say she could stop global warming.

A melodic sound erupted from her designer purse. She glanced down. It’s her. I’m surprised she remembers how to make a call. Last week she almost burned the house down.

Oh my Lord, Linda exclaimed. What happened?

Left the iron plugged in for I don’t know how long. If I hadn’t gone over there when I did? I shudder to think what might have happened.

Linda said, Why did she do that?

 She said the iron turns off automatically. But that’s not the point

Linda gulped her wine. This calls for more of the grape.

Amanda continued to whine. The iron was just the tip of the Titanic iceberg. Guess what else she did?

Linda said, I can’t imagine.

When she lost her reading glasses, she drove all the way over to that cheap Dollar Tree and bought twelve pairs. A whole dozen! I asked her why she bought so many and she said, ˜No big deal. I’ve got reading glasses all over the house now so I don’t worry about losing them. Wasn’t that clever of me?’ She actually thought she was clever.

Linda studied her worked up friend. Amanda? She kinda was.

Amanda glared. Kinda was what?

Clever. It was kinda clever what she did.

She forgets things, too, so it’s not only about losing her glasses. She doesn’t remember appointments or even special occasions. Would you believe she forgot my daughter’s birthday? Yes, she did. Her only granddaughter didn’t get a card to commemorate the day of her birth.

Linda laughed. I’m just as bad. Last month I forgot my son’s big day. He said he’d been trying to forget it, too.

That’s not the point, Linda. I tell you, Mama needs to be in an old folks home with professionals looking after her 24-7. I’m still steamed that she forgot Tammi’s birthday and what’s more, I’m sick of making excuses every time she screws up.

It was all I could do not to butt in and tell Amanda that she wasn’t the only one steamed. I felt like taking her by her Fashionista shoulders and shaking her till her porcelain teeth rattled. Other than ironing, I’d have liked to ask her how Mama spent her days. My guess was that she ran rings around Amanda. I was willing to bet that Mama had tried to be good to her daughter-in-law because that’s what mothers of sons do.

So Mama was a little forgetful. Big Whoop. Was that any reason for Amanda to bully her into sipping lamb chops through a straw at Twilight Acres for the rest of her life? I think not.

Memo to Amanda:

Seventy is the new fifty.

A seventy-something woman doesn’t sit in a rocking chair knitting all day; she plays tennis or bridge or volunteers at the local hospital. She does her own cooking when she’s not line dancing or holding fundraisers for her church or synagogue. A seventy-something woman maintains an active membership in the Dynamically Alive Club.

Some day, an old folk’s home might be the choice Mama makes, but it won’t be because she doesn’t unplug the iron or forgets to send a birthday card. It will be because this seventy-something woman, stoked with a lifetime of insights, will know when it is time for her to make that decision.

FYI, Amanda. That is the point.

_____________
Editor’s Note: Cappy Hall Rearick is a humor columnist for the Lowcountry Sun in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of seven published books. Visit her at www.simplysoutherncappy.com

“PUTTIN’ ON THE GRITZ”

Cappy Hall Rearick was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She was an English major at the University of South Carolina and later became a Flight Attendant for American Airlines. Some years later, she moved to Los Angeles and then to Pennsylvania. In 1994, she returned to her beloved South to settle in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia with her husband Bill.

Cappy, an award winning short story writer and syndicated columnist, is the author ofseveral successful columns, including:ALIVE AND WELL IN HOLLYWOOD, TIDINGS, SIMPLY SOUTHERN and PUTTIN’ ON THE GRITZ monthly in the Lowcountry Sun Newspaper in Charleston, SC. She also writes an e-column called SIMPLY SOMETHING.

Cappy is past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. Her recently published novel, THE ROAD TO HELL IS SELDOM SEEN, a 2012 nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year, is available at www.amazon.comin print and can be downloaded and enjoyed at Kindle, Nook and all the electronic readers. Get ready to read and do nothing else because it’s a page-turner!

She is writing her next book, BRIDGING THE GAP, a psychological novel of deception and suspense. The SIMPLY books (SIMPLY SOUTHERN; SIMPLY SOUTHERN EASE; SIMPLY CHRISTMAS) are bound to make you laugh and maybe even tear up a little bit, especially if you enjoy remembering the good old days. With every page you turn, however, Cappy Hall Rearick will bring the South alive for you.

Rearick holds membership in the Georgia Writers, South Carolina Writers, Atlanta Writers Club, Florida Writers, North Carolina Writers and she is a sitting Board member of the Southeastern Writers Association.

In addition to writing, Cappy is a popular public speaker and can breathe new life into those good old days for your conference attendees. She is a dynamic creative writing instructor and is available to teach classes in column writing, Southern fiction, humor, memoir and short story writing. She brings forth fresh ideas to match her imaginative ways of turning a phrase. Book her now … and breathe new life into your next writer’s conference. Attendees will learn a lot, laugh a lot and go away itching to write better than ever.

If you would like to receive a monthly column of SIMPLY SOMETHING via email, send your request along with your email address to Cappy at: cappyhall@comcast.net She will be delighted to add your name to the preferred column list.

Read Cappy’s BLOG at: simplycappy.blogspot.com

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