|Mom and I, Christmas morning, 2012|
First, please note that in the above photo that we appear to be about the same age. This is not due to any photo manipulation or anything along those lines. Despite having 20 years on her, my mom looks like she could pass for my sister. Indeed, occasionally I suspect she has tried to do that.
She looks that young because I suspect she's a supernatural being and just hasn't gotten around to telling me yet. Anyway, the above photo was shot on Christmas morning, 2012. You'll note that it was obviously shot in a cosmetics department. That's because mom's a cosmetician and she was working that morning.
Let us pause briefly, just for a moment, to contemplate what kind of greedy corporate assholes open their store on Christmas morning....all right, back to the awesomeness that is my mom.
So mom was working cosmetics on Christmas morning. When I found out about this I was pretty deeply pissed off. Aside from the fact the store was open on Christmas morning, I would have thought 30+ years of seniority would buy you Christmas morning off. I grumbled about this to mom a couple of times and she just shrugged it off.
Anyway, Christmas comes and I drive out to the store to see mom. I understand it's not exactly opening presents in the living room, but I wanted to spend some time with her. And once again I express by disgust that they have her working Christmas morning.
(By the way, there were people in the store. And more than one. To crib a Patton Oswalt line, it was like a Tom Waits song in that store.)
This is when she patiently had the following conversation with me:
Mom: Craig, I volunteered for this shift.
Me: What? Why?
Mom: Because a lot of the girls have young families at home and I didn't think they should have to give up their Christmas morning to come into work just because they didn't have seniority. You don't need me on Christmas morning, but it's nice for them to see their kids open their gifts. That's why.
And that's why my mom is awesome.
By the way, they'll be carting her out of that cosmetics department on a stretcher with a sheet covering her when she's 100. I'm only exaggerating a little. First, she loves her job. Loves it. She threw out her back a few weeks ago hefting a turkey, of all things, and kept going to work despite being in obvious discomfort and her staff telling her she should take some time off. Nope. Wouldn't do it. Said she'd just be bored at home.
Did I mention she has 300+ sick days?
She loves the women she works with. Loves her customers. Has more energy that me. She has more energy now than I did when I was 20. No idea where she gets it from. And everyone loves her. There are women that travel across town just to shop at her store because they trust her that much. TV news anchors in town buy their make-up from her. Danny Williams mom used to go there all the time. Only one she trusted, she used to say. Most of my friends love her more than they do me. (True, by the way. Awkward, but true.)
And she's apparently up for a National Lifetime Achievement Award. She told me about it in a deadpan sort of way.
"Well, apparently you qualify to win the award after you've been a cosmetician for 25 years. I guess they figure not too many last that long anyway..."
She's been at it for 34 years, by the way. I'll bet $100 she'll be celebrating her 50th anniversary as a cosmetician as well.
So here's to my mom. Happy Mother's Day.
(Did I mention she worked today? Of course she did...)
1. Putting up with the Joneses - Spirit of the West*
2. Court and spark - Norah Jones and Herbie Hancock
3. The lady and the tiger - They Might Be Giants
4. With arms outstretched - Rilo Kiley
5. The rocky road to Dublin - The Chieftains with the Rolling Stones