DoctorMama Mia, Part II
I decided to take matters into my own hands. Acting quickly, I took aim at the flies, one by one, managing to kill all three with a few deft whacks. (The menu I was using as my fly swatter was huge, and that helped.) But then, of course, there were macerated fly carcasses smeared on the plate glass window next to our table. That was actually more disgusting than the live flies. So I unfurled the large napkin swaddling my cutlery, gave the window a firm and broad sweep, folded the fly guts into the center of the napkin, and strode to a nearby bus tub, chucking the napkin into it. Then I wiped my hands with a wet wipe from my purse stash and threw that away. Finally, I grabbed an intact napkin/silverware bundle from a nearby table and returned to my chair. Throughout all of this, I was sure DoctorMama was going to reappear at any moment, and I wasn't certain what I was going to say if she did. ("What am I doing? Oh, just killing flies and/or disposing of fly carcasses and/or hastily wiping any microscopic traces of fly guts off my hands. Let's eat!") Luckily, though, she came back to our table only after all the stages of my insecticide were complete.
Lunch was fun. I soon found out that DoctorMama loves avocados and cilantro. As she scoured the menu for a dish heavy on both, I felt a glow of shared proclivity. (I'm not sure why I get excited when someone I like is passionate about the same foods as me, but I do. I always feel broken up in some small, crazy way when I discover that a friend isn't that into chocolate. Or, less disheartening but still a wee drag, that they prefer milk chocolate to dark.) We easily filled the time between ordering and eating with a steady flow of entertaining conversation, DoctorMama filling me in on some of the astonishing habits and notions of her bad in-laws that haven't yet made her blog. One surprising thing about lunch was that we didn't talk about our blogs at all, nor really anything to do with blogging. (That came later.)
As we left the restaurant and walked to DoctorMama's car, I was struck by how petite she is. Her blog voice is bold and she doles out advice with great confidence, and somehow this led me unconsciously to expect her to be a larger physical presence. It then occurred to me that DoctorMama herself is not intimidating in the way I expected her to be. It dawned on me that some of my nervousness about this meet-up was occasioned by my perception of DoctorMama as supremely confident and in command (of herself and consenting others). This was a little exciting (I think I had the notion that at some point DM would set me straight on some essential point of living or thought), but also a bit scary. In person, however, DoctorMama is quite approachable and unassuming. She is recognizable as the author of her blog, certainly, a level-headed person with a clear self-perception and firm opinions, who is witty and articulate. But for all that, she's not the least intimidating. And thus, she is an excellent companion.
Though I found that she was not looking to advise or correct in a general sense, I did experience a DoctorMama moment when the topic of running came up. (Of course!) I mentioned that I was thinking of taking up running again, and described my history of running, which basically consists of a couple of brief spells of running, ending in one injury and then another. "You were running too fast," she said, with decision and a hint of constructive admonition. I felt an electric thrill run up my spine.
There's not a whole lot more to tell that's anecdote-worthy. We drove to a nearby state park and took a long walk, and talked and talked. I found DoctorMama unfailingly interesting and easy to converse with. She also proved herself exceptionally gracious by lending me her sunhat when mine kept blowing off. Hers had a chinstrap, which mine lacked, and my extreme paleness must have cried out for aid.
It was telling that when we ran into a snarl of construction-related traffic on the drive home and were stuck at a crawl for thirty minutes, we never ran out of things to say, even though we'd been talking for about four hours. I enjoyed hanging out with DoctorMama, liked her abundantly, and was not disappointed in any way by our meet-up.
And, let me add, she looked great. Her look was colorful, hip, and fun, but not fussy or overdone. She likely just threw on the first thing she saw in her closet. I know I did. (And I was very gratified to learn that she really likes the color orange, since the favorite tee-shirt I just happened to put on - without giving it any thought at all - happened to be a lovely shade of pumpkin.)