Mom’s Bowels


Do all mothers like to talk about bowels as much as mine does? I mean, what the fuck, Mom?

I’m sitting at lunch with my parents at one of my favorite restaurants in town—-the fact that the food is delicious doesn’t make it my fave as much as the fact that it’s across the street from my building and I can walk to it.

Anyway, so I’m sitting there enjoying my hamburger and arugula salad, when my dad says, “Did I tell you about my visit to the Memory Clinic?”

“You told me a little, but what did you find out?”

“I have age-related memory loss.”

He had told me that, by the way. A couple of times. But that’s the deal with age-related memory loss, isn’t it? We’re most likely all going to be there one day and I hope that if/when I am, that someone will let me tell them the same stories over and over and be patient and not get irritated.

Right then our server brings my diet soda refill. Not Coke Zero, which I love. Except that now it’s called Coke Zero Sugar, because apparently the average consumer is too stupid to realize that Coke Zero means Coke Zero Sugar. What the fuck did they think it meant?

I thank the server and she checks with all of us to make sure our food is good and then she walks away. This is when my dad says, “Did I tell you about my visit to the Memory Clinic?”

“Well, you told me a little, but tell me more.”

“I found out that we should stop eating red meat,” he says right as I’m taking a bite of my hamburger. I make a face and dad laughs. “We’re supposed to be eating a plant-based diet. That will slow the progression of memory loss.”

“What about fish?” I ask. “Can I eat fish?”

“Yes, fish is good,” my mom answers. “And fruit. We should be eating a lot more fruit. I’ve never been a big fruit eater, but I’ve added quite a bit of fruit to my diet and I can really tell a difference with my bowels.”

“Mom!” And I’m done with my lunch.

Oh god, I hope the people sitting at the table next to us didn’t hear that.

“Mom, please don’t talk about your bowels during lunch.”

“Ok,” she says. “I’m done. I’m done.”

Why does my mother feel it necessary to talk about her bowels? Does she do this with everyone in every conversation? “Marie, can you help out with the bake sale this weekend? We need 3 dozen cupcakes, you in? And have I told you that I added two prunes to my diet every night with dinner and it has drastically improved my bowels?”

“Did I tell you about my visit to the Memory Clinic?” my dad asks.

I wonder if I could slink out of my chair, surreptitiously approach the bar, have the bartender add three shots of Jameson to my non-Coke Zero Sugar, and slink back to my chair without my parents noticing?

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