Turning into Mimi

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 19, 2004

From the Heart – Ronny Keller Michel

My husband, Michael, claims that the only thing that he understands about me is the fact that he will never understand me.

I disagree. There are several things that he very clearly understands about me. He understands that I don’t like to cook and will con my way out of cooking every time that I can. He understands that if Dillard’s advertises a shoe sale, I will be there just as soon as I can say, “Order a pizza for dinner.” And, he now understands that I am turning into my mother.

We first noticed the signs while vacationing. Every time we purchased something, I would check to see if I had the correct change. I had never before obsessed over the correct change. Normally, I hand over a few bills, then jam the change, coins and bills together, into the coin compartment of my wallet. The kids soon noticed that when the voice in the drive up box belted out our total, my first response was, “I wonder if I have the correct change.” Then I would dig frantically through my purse and quickly yell, “Does anyone have a nickel?” Or “Just three more cents and I’ll have it.”

It was weeks before the second sign emerged. It might have gone undetected had I not brought it to the family’s attention. The ice in my glass of tea had almost melted and I asked the waitress to bring out a glass of ice for me to add to my beverage. I then explained to my puzzled family, “I like lots of ice my drink. Mimi always orders extra ice and I never understood until tonight why she does that.” The family quickly exchanged glances to see which one of them would dare to be the first to comment. Silence. I have a very smart family.

Two days later, Michael was dishing out a serving of banana pudding and offered me a spoonful of his dessert. “Oh, no,” I said to the father of my five children. “I’m not eating off of your spoon.”

“I can’t believe you just said that,” he replied, “You’re turning into your mother.”

I pondered that statement for only a few seconds and then agreed with him. “Yes, you’re right. I’m becoming Mimi.”

Now, let me assure you that turning into my mother may just be the best thing that could ever happen to me. She’s calm, gentle and wise. But, I’m just not yet convinced that those are the qualities that I will inherit.

In the meantime, I’m not yet carrying an umbrella and a sweater everywhere that I go. On the other hand, those weathermen are often wrong. What if it rains and turns cool?