[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]

Phone call from younger son to mom. Son reads mom’s blog. (Most of the time.)

Son:  Hey mom. It’s July 23. Happy birthday!

Son’s mom:  Thank you, sweetheart.

Son:  Anything special on for today?

Son’s mom:  Well, your brother and the kids came down Saturday. Bill brought me a dozen yellow roses. We’re going out to dinner. (Pause.) Did you know my parents were married on July 23, too?

Son:  No I didn’t. Quite a coincidence.

Son’s mom:  Back when I was eleven, twelve, I used to say I was born on my parents’ wedding day. I thought it sounded risqué. A very pregnant bride being rushed to the hospital right after saying “I do!”

Son:  I guess it could happen. How many years earlier did they really get married?

Son’s mom:  Six. Then my mother wanted a baby. She got more than she bargained for. Thirty-six hours of labor. Husband out of a job in the middle of the depression.  I heard all about it. Especially the thirty-six hours of labor. She used to joke I didn’t want to come out. They had to pull me out with forceps. Lazy from the day I was born.

Son (tactfully):  Was that why they didn’t have another?

Son’s mom:  Maybe. But my mother also felt one was enough. When I was pregnant with you, she was not supportive. She asked what I needed another for.

Son (quickly changing subject):  Those little summer posts you’ve been doing lately: how does it feel to just crank one out and be done with it?

Son’s mom: Well, I don’t really just “crank.” It takes time to come up with a topic at least some people might be interested in. Bill says I could write about anything. I don’t know about that.

Son: Sure you can.

Son’s mom: You think? Suppose I wrote about being born on my parents’ wedding anniversary. How would readers feel when I criticize my mother to everyone?

Son: They’d be fine with it. It’s not as if you’re complaining about everything every day.


So son’s mom listened to son. Was son right?


[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]

It’s generally not a good idea to share details of one’s romantic and sexual history with one’s current partner. But when you’re getting old, it seems less imprudent. Thus Bill and I have indeed told each other such tales. I can then enjoy scolding him for bad behavior with some women he knew in days gone by, while he can enjoy cutting down with wry nicknames some of his predecessors and near-predecessors.

One such near-predecessor was a cyclist with thighs of phenomenal power: at the gym he cycled in black spandex shorts for two hours daily at 120 revolutions per minute while doing complicated higher mathematics in his head. (He was a software designer for an international Japanese company.) I know the speed because I used to cycle behind him, although not for two hours. They were truly thighs of steel.

Eventually we got into conversation after the cycling, which led to his asking if I liked to eat, which led to me unwisely exclaiming it was my second most favorite thing in the world, which led to an immediate dinner invitation, which led after the dinner to a long  passionate kiss in my living-room during which what was happening below his waist pressed hard against a responsive area below my own waist, which was certainly pleasing but led to my suggesting it was late and perhaps we could continue another time. My suggestion was not driven by false modesty but by the thought that he was no more than forty-five whereas I was sixty-nine and the alarming realization there was no way I could lie only on my back in the pitch dark once we reached the bedroom and shed our clothes.

We both became more sensible over the next few days; there was never “another time.” And soon afterwards I met age-appropriate Bill, who now always refers to this near-predecessor with the phenomenal thighs as “cock of steel.” (An assumption for which I was never able to make hands-on verification.) But that’s not his most creative nickname. There’s someone else he’s named “tongue like a drill.” I’m not telling you that story. You’ll have to imagine it for yourself.