Dinner at DeCarlos

Dinner at DeCarlos

A very experienced writer friend told me to set deadlines. And that is something I often leave out when I am writing. I do the work, but let it sit, sometimes for weeks, or worse. I think I could come back to it later and make it better. It could always be better. Who would have thought that I would turn out to be a perfectionist? I am so casual and easygoing about most things, never focusing on making things perfect around my house. That is partially because there are so many things wrong. If I tried to make things perfect, it would be an endless project.

I live with my one-hundred-year-old mother in her house in Washington, D.C., a house which I believe was built in approximately 1924. There is a great deal of upkeep. For instance, there are rotting window sills, falling trees, deer eating the roses, cracks in the pavement of the driveway, and peeling paint in out- of- the- way places. Everything can be fixed, except for the deer eating the roses. They are permanent. It is illegal to shoot them. Nothing scares them. Someday, this house will be bought by some very special person wanting a large piece of property in the city. Perhaps a big company, or an embassy, or an investment group will buy it. They can decide what to do.

In the meantime, I entertain my mother at meals and by bringing in friends and taking her out to eat at clubs or restaurants. She has a good life, but she is forgetful, now. She loves the fun of getting dressed up every day as if she were going somewhere very fancy. She always wears pastel colors and her jewelry matches her clothes. Often, she wears little fingerless gloves because she is so easily chilled, especially her fingers, toes, and her nose. (She even has a couple of nose warmers knit from pretty, colored yarn). These also match her outfit. She always carries a matching purse and a Pashmina of the same shade.

She often changes her clothes again before going out to dinner. She will wear a completely different color scheme if she does that. For instance, if she has been in what we call ?lipstick pink? (a bright fuchsia), she will change into something turquoise or perhaps chartreuse. Never does she ever wear black or gray or beige or brown. She glows with color. And her blond hair surrounds her pretty face like a halo. In a dark restaurant, she stands out. To prove my point, here is a little story about what happened at the end of the week.

Last Friday, my mother and I went out to dinner with two of my children to a local restaurant, DeCarlo?s on Yuma Street in Washington. We sat at a table for four

and enjoyed the companionship and the delicious food. The couple who had been having a meal at the table next to us got up to leave. The man came over to our table and said, looking directly at my mother, ?You are so pretty. You are just beautiful. I have been watching you, and I just wanted to tell you before I left how amazing you look.?

Mother blossomed under his words. She did not know him, but she blushed and smiled broadly and basically flirted with him with her eyes. He blew her some kisses and left with his patient wife.

My children and I laughed uproariously at the fact that the man had singled out my one- hundred- year- old Mother. But, it was not the first time that has happened. As my daughter said, ?Gramma is a ?guy magnet.??And she is. Men have always been drawn to her for her beauty and her sunny nature. She is sweet- tempered and it shows in her face. It was very thoughtful of that man to express his admiration for her. There are almost no contemporaries left to flatter her. She misses having a real beau and being complimented. And yet, she is still getting paid compliments that most women never receive. She is a lucky lady and so are we to have been able to witness that.

Writers, mostly all, are scared to write. At least all the writers I know seem to be. I am no different. But I promised myself that I would post something on my blog today. So, I am taking a leap of faith and doing it. I hope you enjoyed reading about my mother and her adventures at the age of one hundred.

?Bonnie B. Matheson 2018

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