Frugal May 2019
When my dad died in 1991, I had many concerns for my mother who had been married to him for almost 50 years. After thinking about it, and remembering that she was an art major in college, it occurred to me that she had never had the opportunity to travel outside of the United States. She studied art history in college but then married her just-returned-from-the-war pilot who she had known since junior high school. As a dedicated Marine Corps wife, her job in her own mind was taking care of dad and we, their five children. Though the primary job of caring for the kids was finished by 1970 and for dad on his passing, she still thought of herself as Mom.
At that time, mom and her brother owned three mini warehouse in Dallas, Texas. These were little 1,500 to 2,000 square-foot business spaces, each with a single tenant, and produced a modest income to help with their pensions. I really wanted mom to experience the art world at a new level.
So I called her one day and said, “Mom, you’ve never been to Europe. You haven’t been to the Uffizi Art Gallery in Florence to see Filippino Lippi’s Adoration. You haven’t gone to the Louvre in Paris to see the Mona Lisa. I think you should do that. It’s OK for you to indulge yourself a little bit. Why don’t you sell one of the warehouses?”
She replied, “Now honey, I just want to leave something for you and your brother. I don’t need to go to Europe.”
I said, “Mom we really don’t need that, and I think you would get such a pleasure from experiencing the master artists that you studied all those years ago.” It got real quiet on the other end of the call. Then I knew I had better drop the subject.
Two weeks later I called mom and she said, “Honey you were right; I’m going to indulge myself.”
I said, “GREAT, when are you leaving?”
Mom said, “In 15 minutes.”
I exclaimed, “In 15 minutes! You’re going to Europe in 15 minutes?”
Mom said, “No honey, I’m going down to Betty‘s to get my hair done. You were right. I have decided to go to the beauty parlor TWICE a month, instead of just once a month.”
That was Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day