Mother had a long time friend by the name of Marge. You have read about her if you treated yourself to the story about the great Scrabble contests shared by Marge and mother. Now, Mother could not keep a friend for very long and had few long term relationships. It has always been puzzling that Marge hung in there for all those years. There had to be a reason and then I remembered the brown paper bags filled with nothing but the best: Mogen David wine. It is what Oprah likes to call an ‘Aha moment’.
Of course! They shared a love for special drinks that helped you blur reality. Their own lives being less than desirable, the wine clouded their perceptions about how sad and tragic their daily lives actually were.
Another clue that came to me was the longer they were together, the happier the two of them were. After a few hours, they were laughing, singing, and telling jokes. Now this was not Mother’s usual pattern of behavior. She seldom was happy when we, her children, were around. Mother also hated weekends because if we were hanging out, she had to keep her drinking to a minimum.
It all began to add up when I remembered the special brown bags that when I asked as to the contents was yelled at:
Never you mind little Miss Smarty! Keep your mitts off my stuff!
Now I never took kindly to threats, idle ones or not. I actually came to view threats as challenges. So, naturally I did peek in several times and always saw the big, cheap bottles of liquid refreshment. Honestly I could have cared less because I knew I was not going to drink it. I also thought that if that’s what it takes to get someone to put up with her, then it was fine by me.
Mother’s trips to Marge’s increased to be daily occurrences. They indulged in their guilty pleasures of drinking and drowning their sorrows in a marathon game of Scrabble. No doubt the words were misspelled but because they were “three sheets to the wind”, it didn’t matter. Hopefully they were able to correctly spell “drunk” and “disorderly.”