Cell reception here on the top of mountain (literally) is not so good. So, yesterday, we drove out to find somewhere that had more bars (reception, not beer) so that we could phone home and check in. No big news from the home front, sister Reggie and Jeff who are semi-nomadic like us left for NH, little Tucker the chihuahua has found a home and a red light district has sprung up near our house (Phil will know what this is code for). Karen and Estelle trekked to Uxbridge to visit an Army Corps of Engineers site that we hope to spend some time at next summer. I hope I got that right, because with this kind of reception, sometimes the conversation can be a bit garbled and prone to misunderstanding.
Even at home, the reception occasionally lets us down. For instance, I had an interesting conversation with my Mother. She wanted to fill me in on her “new experience”. She called on her landline which is sometimes not as easy to hear on as the cell. She led into the conversation by saying, “You’ll never guess where I’ve just come from.”
It’s Plymouth, NH, so there is not a whole lot of choice in answers to that question. She might have just come from her Bible Study, or a visit with a housebound friend or the weekly trek to the grocery store. Maybe she caught up with one of my own dear friends who visit with her, maybe Rosy or my sister-in-law, Reggie? Regardless of the destination, it could not be too outside of routine. This is a small NH town with not a lot happening that could be terrifically out of the ordinary. For the most part, life happens here with a certain comforting rhythm and predictability. And Mom is 88, so what kind of trouble could she really get into anyway? There is nothing that takes place in Plymouth that resembles the strip malls here in touristy Florida where one can find any sort of convenience, gambling, fetish or perversion know to mankind. Or, womankind for that matter. It’s all here, but it’s all not there in rural NH. Still, there was that telltale bit of excitement in her voice that got my attention.
I was totally stunned by her answer. The conversation went like this:
Mom: “You’ll never guess where I’ve just came from!”
Mom: “The POCO Gay Bar.”
Me: “What did you say?!!!
Mom: “The POCO Gay Bar.”
I drew my breath. A new Gay Bar in my little home town? My Mother went there? How did they get that by the selectmen? Where would they put it? In some abandoned restaurant that fell on hard times out on Tenny Mountain Highway? Why would they be open in the middle of the day? Are they filling in the off hours with Bingo? We all know Gram would never miss a new bingo hall in her hometown, so that’s a possible explanation? It’s funny how multiple thoughts can fly through your head when you encounter a situation like this that has you flummoxed. I just couldn’t think well enough to speak these questions out loud, so I went on with the conversation in as careful a manner as possible, keeping my growing list of queries to myself and trying to disguise my shock.
Me: “Really? How was it?”
Mom: “Oh, it was wonderful!”
Me: “Great!. Great. What did you like most about it?”
Mom: “ I felt wonderful. especially the massage.”
Well, the Bingo theory is now totally out the window. She surely wasn’t there playing Bingo. Not if the massage felt good!
I drew my breath again and cautiously continued.
ME: “Is this the first time you’ve been?”
Mom: “It’s been there awhile, but it’s the first time I’ve been. Now I can see why you and Judi like it so much and rave about going. When I come to Florida this winter, we will all have to go together.”
Now, my Mother wants to go to a Gay Bar with my decidedly straight friend, Judi? I cannot wait for Arnie to get home and share this with him. He thought he was cool taking her to a ballgame?
Me: “Mom, what’s the name of this place again?
Mom: “The POCO DAY SPA”, she said slowly and more clearly this time. Remember Reggie and Jeff gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure after I told them I’d never had one before?”
Me: Long Pause. “So you didn’t go to a Gay Bar? I thought you said POCO Gay Bar!”
By this time we were both dissolved in laughter over this conversation that lasted only a short time, but will now be something we revisit often to chuckle over how utterly screwed up phone conversations can get when the connection is poor.
Thanks to Reggie and Jeff’s lovely gift, Mom had her first pedicure and I had yet another laugh. Anyone know a good Gay Bar that Mom, Judi and I could visit this winter for a drink before Bingo?