True ConversationAugust 15th, 2005
I had quite a busy weekend—my first ever dinner at a yacht club on Friday night (and I was the only one NOT in Lilly Pulitzer…I wore my ABS halter dress. Oh, and Lilly Pulitzer flip flops. But still) and my first ever Key West pool party on Saturday (yeah, I wore a Lilly sundress AND a Lilly bikini AND Lilly flip flops. What do you expect, it was a POOL PARTY), followed by a Sunday spent the way Sundays were meant to be spent, eating sugar free chocolate chip cookies and watching Trailer Fabulous on MTV, plus shows about plastic surgery.
But I still found time to call my mom, because it was her birthday.
Mom was born on Friday the 13th, which is why a large portion of her family call her Jinx, a nickname I co-opted for a character I have in a book coming out in 2007, titled JINX. My book JINX, however, is about teen witches, and therefore not even remotely based on my mom, who is not a teen, or a witch. That we know of.
Anyway, Jinx, aka my mom, was having a fun birthday because she was visiting my brother and his wife and my two nieces, Princesses Madison and Riley, who are still too young to be aware of their royal birthright, but not too young to already be suffering from such Cabot family legacies as prickly heat and other sudden, unexplainable skin rashes.
In addition to visiting with her grandchildren, my mom was also visiting with her parents and siblings, who live in the same area as my brother.
As many of you know, my mother inspired THE PRINCESS DIARIES series when she, without my permission, began a romantic relationship with one of my teachers after my father died. Contrary to a popular misconception, the teacher was not my Algebra instructor from high school, but a painting professor I had in college.
It's still just as gross, however.
Anyway, every summer my mom travels with her boyfriend (no, they didn't get married like Mia's mom and Mr. G, since they would lose their dead spouses' social security if they did, which would represent a significant loss of income for the two of them. The government could do something to prevent people from being financially penalized in this way if they marry, but they haven't yet. Way to go on promoting family values, US Government!) to his summer house in Maine.
So to get to my brother's house in Colorado, my mom had to take an airplane from Maine to Newark, then a plane from Newark to Colorado, since I guess there were no direct flights (although I would have found one, as finding direct flights to places—generally for exorbitant amounts of money–is one of my many talents).
Anyway, after I wished Mom a happy birthday, I asked her how her flight was, because she is not a fan of flying. And she launches into this story about the fun she had getting to Colorado, because she missed her connecting flight from Newark and spent the night in the airport.
This is the part in the conversation where my brain stalled like my prom date's car and wouldn't start up again.
Me: “What? You WHAT?”
Mom: “I spent the night in the airport. Because you know they don't give you a free hotel room anymore if you miss your connecting flight, unless it's a mechanical problem and the fault of the airline.”
Me: “Mom. You could have paid for a hotel room.”
Mom: “But it would have been so much trouble. It was already six pm, and the next flight out was at seven twenty am.”
Me: “That was thirteen hours later.”
Mom: “Oh, no, because you have to be at the airport two hours before your flight. Besides, then I would have had to catch a cab to the hotel and just come back again.”
Me: “Airport hotels offer free shuttle service.”
Mom: “But it was perfectly nice at the airport. They had TVs with CNN playing on them. And I found a nice quiet corner and made a bed out of my suitcases. And I got to see the airport cleaning staff come in and vacuum all the floors.”
Me: “You could have slept in a real bed and watched HBO instead of the cleaning staff in a hotel room.”
Mom: “Well, yes. But I really felt safer at the airport. Because you know everyone in there had to pass through security screening.”
She's right, of course. In fact, we should all just live at the airport. Because we would be totally safer there.
Here is the only conclusion that can be drawn from this: My mom LIKES roughing it, bless her little I-Missed-Woodstock-Because-I-Was-Home-With-A-Baby-But-I-Had-Vegetables-Thrown-At-Me-By-Angry-Republicans-When-I-Was-Standing-On-The-Severn-Bridge-Protesting-The-War-In-Iraq-Last-Year-And-Ever-Since-Then-I-Know-I-Am-Invincible hippy heart. She actually LIKED making a bed of her suitcases.
I think I am just going to have to face the obvious fact:
I am adopted.