You know you will reach "that age" when you realize that you have morphed into your Mother. Most women discover this when they have children and surprisingly have the same words of their Mother popping out of their mouths. Since I don't have any children of my own, the revelation of becoming my Mother has taken a bit more time. But after some encounters on a recent trip, I can confirm with confidence, yes, I have become my Mother.
My Mom would talk to anyone in her path. In fact, the running joke was my Mom could talk to the wall and not even realize it wasn't talking back. As a young child, this used to annoy me. We'd be in the grocery and she'd strike up a conversation with another shopper and I'd be so embarrassed that I'd crawl on the bottom rack of the grocery cart. It was especially embarrassing when she'd tell stories on me. There was one encounter in a restroom at a restaurant that was quite hilarious. I wasn't with my Mom at the time but she recounted the story later. A woman was in there lamenting to her daughter about some behavioral issues and my Mom, ever the non-stop conversationalist, interjected with affirmation that she dealt with the same thing with me. The woman kindly responded, but interjected a few expletives unexpectedly. Not towards my Mom, but it took my Mom so off guard that she would say that in front of her very young child that I thought it would break her of talking to strangers. Um, not so much.
On a recent trip to visit friends in Virginia, I began to observe this characteristic in myself. Heaven help me, I've become my Mother! I'm single and find myself traversing through life solo quite a bit. I'll chalk up my bent to be like her on the fact that I need somebody to talk to along the way. I found myself making small talk with folks at the airport gate waiting to board. This is when I decided to pay attention to myself and figure out if I truly am my Mother. Here are just a few examples to confirm my findings...
As I left the hotel on day two, the front desk clerk said, "I feel like you've been here for weeks!" Hmm, just checked in yesterday. I told her I'd take that as a compliment, but I'd only been there for a day. She said, "But weren't you just here two weeks ago?" Actually, I was there about six months ago. She said, "Oh, well, it's hard to forget a friendly face." I told her I was glad I could make such an impression and it was good to know I had friendly faces that will remember me when I visit.
I went to see friends in a local community theater production of The Wizard of Oz. As we were waiting for the doors to open the second night of the performance, I struck up a conversation with the family in front of me. In the short time we were standing there, I discovered they had brought their granddaughter to the play, had seen The Miracle Worker at a local theater that afternoon, been rear-ended after that play, and decided to go ahead and come on to the evening production of the Wizard to have a good ending to the day. At intermission, we hooked back up again and discussed the performers and I gave her the background info I knew from my inside connections with the cast. I also found out the husband was native to the area and an alumni of the high school my friend's daughter attends. And, the wife is an Army Brat. After that encounter there was no denying how proud my Mom would be that I'm carrying on her tradition.
As I departed for home, I took my rental back to the airport and as I got out of the car and began to babble on to the rental agents, the very nice rental car jockey, who was an older gentlemen that spoke broken English, said, "Would you like ride to terminal?" I said, "Bless your heart, I'd love that!" The other option is dragging your bags on the rental bus back to the terminal, normally replete with a ga-zillion people with stacks and stacks of luggage in your face. I hopped in the passenger side of the car and off we went. Yes, even on the short ride to the terminal I made small talk. What a sweet man. I tipped him, though I wanted to give him a hug because of his kindness, but thought that was too much. Oh my word, I've not only become my Mother, but I'm going overboard.
Reflecting back on those encounters, and many others that I pay more attention to now, I am not at all embarrassed to say I've become my Mother. She was a precious lady who drizzled her bubbly-ness wherever she went. If I can provide a few drops of bubbly everywhere I go, I will be a happy girl.