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I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

DoctorMama Mia, Part II

As DoctorMama headed off to the bathroom, I sat infused with midday light from two windows at a corner table in a nearly empty Mexican restaurant. I was actually sort of glad that DM had to pee, because it gave me a moment to be alone and regroup. I realized I was still a bit nervous, even though all the things I had to be nervous about (What will I wear? What if I'm late? What if she's late? How long will I wait? What if she's on time but has to drive around for an hour looking for parking due to the nearby street fair I neglected to take into account? What if the park is crowded and there are seventeen E. lookalikes to confuse her?) were now resolved. So I took a breath to dispel residual nervousness and began to look around me. Just as I was about to peruse the lengthy menu, I noticed not one, not two, but three fat flies dancing along the window and battering themselves against it. It didn't make for a pleasant nor appetizing mise en scene. I wished the flies would be gone, both because I didn't want their nasty, buzzy presence to be part of my lunch, and because I didn't want them to gross DoctorMama out.

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.)


Blogger Blue said...

I'd heard that DM had met up with readers inreallife, so it was fun to read your account of the event. how is it that you arranged it? just curious.

btw, fwiw i credit DM for my forray into running. it started me off. then i did the Cool Running couch to 5k (google it) training program after a few months of slow running DM's way. then i got insane and agreed to train for a 1/2 marathon. it's in 6 more weeks. i've been amazed that what used to seem like a BIG DEAL (three miles) is now, to me, an easy day. just take it slow and make yourself a sticker chart. you get to put a sticker on each day that you do your planned run. works for kids, and this big kid too. but my primary goal is to just enjoy the run. if i'm not, then there's no point. so take it slow or whatever makes it enjoyable. no rush. no stress. life's too short to fret your way through it!

~Blue ♥

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, but did she have a nice posterior? Did her arse look real?

11:12 AM  
Blogger Henny Penny said...


Hey, the IL Bureau of Tourism is putting on a blogger meet up in Springfield IL. They are offering a full day of family friendly activites and tours plus deep discounts on hotels if you need it. It's Sept 13, leave a comment at my blog or shoot me an email if you are interested in getting on the guest list.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Awesome tribute to a great writer and a hot mama. When you get your long awaited blogger meet up, you don't mess around! Henny Penny, I wish I could go--will you post about it?

6:46 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Yes, her arse was very nice. And seemed to be real, though I did not actually feel it. (I only feel free do that with Feral Mom.)

Henny Penny, I'd love to do the blogger meet-up in Sprinfield, IL, but I'm actually going to be in Wisconsin that weekend. Drat.

1:36 PM  

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