Monday, September 2, 2013

The Day I Did a Con Job on My Mother...

Almost exactly 22 years ago we moved into a new rental house that would give us the opportunity to buy our very own refrigerator.  At the time, we had an active 2-year-old running around who needed a place to keep the milk in his sippy cup cold.  But, of course, we were living on a shoestring budget.  My little conniving mind formulated a plan in short order.

I called my mother and said, “Can we have the 1970s gold refrigerator that is storing cokes in your laundry room?”  It seemed like an inexpensive solution to our immediate need.  But here is where I feel compelled to confess….I knew that my mother would view that classic 1970s gold appliance in her laundry room as an inferior solution.  Her grandson needed something that was new and dependable.  I will take my confession even one more step.  I knew that she would most likely offer to buy a refrigerator for us as we prepared to move to a nicer home. My hunch proved to correct.  She said, “Now suga (that is southern for ‘sugar’ by the way.) you go down and buy a quality refrigerator (she was big on buying quality). 

I evidently found a quality refrigerator because it worked great until this week. My mother passed away about three months after sending me a check for that refrigerator in 1991.  At the time of that conversation, I had no idea she was even sick.  I don’t think I need to be at home this week when they haul off the 1991 model refrigerator and replace it with one that has yet to prove whether it too is quality or not.

Here is the question: Did my mother know that I was pulling a con job on her when I asked about the gold symbol of the 1970s in her laundry room? Of course she knew…She was nobody’s fool.  But sweet southern belles don’t always point out that they are being conned.  Besides, there was no time to confront me. Her 2-year-old grandson needed a place to keep his food safe and edible.

In honor of my mother’s generosity so many years ago, I contacted that same grandson of hers and offered to buy him a planet ticket from Los Angeles to Dallas for Christmas this year.  She would be pleased. My mother was a very generous lady.  When the old refrigerator is loaded up to be taken to the appliance graveyard this week, I need to consider changing my conniving ways and become a generous parent like her.  Perhaps it will even spare me from being conned in the future….I feel better now. I have confessed to conning my sweet southern mother. 

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