“Mama, do you still have a date tonight?" I asked as I fidgeted with my coffee cup." You know, the lady at the rest home, on my route, said that STDs are on the rise among senior citizens.”
“Yes honey, I still have a date tonight. What’s a STD?”
I lowered my voice." Mama, you know… a sexually transmitted disease."
“Well," Mama snorted;" I think you should mind your own business little lady."
“But Mama," I didn't mean it like that" I gulped." You haven't been on a date since 1956; things have changed."
“Well one thing hasn’t changed;” Mama bellowed," I know how to keep my bloomers on and my bloomers are none of your business.”
“Mama, call me tomorrow and let me know how it went. Okay?” I pleaded.
“I’ll think about it." Mama snipped as she hung up the phone.
As I went to bed that night, I slipped down to my knees and asked God to put a hedge of protection around my mother. I wonder how many times she had prayed the same prayer for me during my wayward teenage years. Mother never talked to me about sex, and if the issue came up she always blushed and changed the subject. Maybe if those conversations would have taken place, it wouldn't be so hard to talk about it now.
I got up from my knees, and called Mother's neighbor. I begged her to peek in on Mother tonight.
“Mama, why are you up so early?"
“Well you beat anything I ever saw. You told me to call you and tell you about my date."
“Oh.” I yawned into the phone.” How did it go?"
“You ain't going to believe this. James took me to that new fancy restaurant downtown. He told me to dress up so I wore the dress I wore at Ryan's wedding. You know that blue one that fits me just right, except I had to borrow Sally’s Spanx so I could get it zipped." She bubbled “I know I looked hot.”
I rolled my eyes. My mother was a cougar; James was 10 years her junior.
Mama cooed.”He looked so handsome. He swaggered in with his black tuxedo, smelling all good. He arrived early so I wasn’t finished dressing. When I came out of the bathroom; he had been sitting on the couch waiting for me. I guess he doesn't know what a fast dresser I am. When I walked into the den, a cloud of stink so thick, I almost gagged, hit me in the face. Sally calls them “fart clouds”. The dog even yelped and ran into the kitchen." Mama giggled like a 16-year-old. “James hopped off the couch, swept me into his arms, and laid the biggest kiss on me. He did grope me a little bit but I pretended not to notice.”
I closed my eyes and pretended not to hear.
Mother sounded like a carefree teenager as she chirped about the previous evening. I was so glad that my mother had something to look forward to but I still worried about her, as if she were my daughter.
Later that day, I got a report from Sally. She had peered in Mother's window, like I asked her to. She told me, when she saw James with his arms wrapped around Mama's waist, his hands plundering her Spanx, she almost passed out. As she stood there in shocked silence, she noticed, that James was carefully removing a strip of toilet paper from Mother's undergarments that trailed back down the hallway. He wadded it up and put it in his pocket. He glanced up and caught Sally’s eye and winked.
I hooted. All that groping had been to sneak the toilet paper from Mother’s underpants. My little mother would die if she knew about this. She saved his face while he was saving hers. Now that’s what I call the greatest generation.
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