our mother, Jeanne, turned 78 last weekend. you will probably not be surprised to hear that the woman who once said during an argument, “It’s not my perspective, it’s how i see it” wanted to take in the Picasso show at the metropolitan museum of art. so along with bro, sis-in-law and niece Sassafras, we trouped into the met along with 10,o00 other tourists to soak up some culture. jeanne had her walker, though she did nearly give me a heart attack when she blithely abandoned it to go speak to my brother who was on line to buy tickets. “She’s loose!” i yelled to him. Sadly, he couldn’t hear over the din of overweight americans squeezing their mammoth behinds into the gift shop to buy 2010 calendars that were 50% off.
The show wasn’t any less crowded, except this time we were being pushed away from the art by skinny foreigners. in the midst of this was jeanne, leaning jauntily on her walker, casting a NJ-educated appraising eye at the art and making comments at a volume that would have been considered far too loud in normal circumstances, but was right in the mainstream of the surrounding babble. i elbowed aside 3 asian women who were glued to a painting of someone getting a blowjob in a spanish brothel. they were all taking pictures of the picture. “Well?” i said to jeanne. “What do you think?” “That Picasso,” she said with a knowing nod. “He thought he was Mr. Hot Stuff. from one woman to another!” then she giggled and re-oriented her walker. “At least that’s how i see it. Let’s go home.”