Aack!!!….Cathy says goodbye
October 4, 2010

My Mother hated too much advice too....

A sense of nostalgia washed over me this morning, when on NBC’s Today Show, Cathy Guisewite announced that she had done her last Cathy comic strip. It’s done, over, finished…she wants more time to spend with her real parents in Florida and her 18-year-old daughter. You might think I’m a big Cathy reader, but I’m not. My late Mother, however, who read the newspaper cover to cover every single day…was a huge fan. I can’t tell you all the strips she dutifully cut out and mailed to me over the years, knowing that I would miss it otherwise, and thought it contained some witty wisdom that I could use. She would be so sad Cathy is going away.

The cartoon above she never sent, though she could have….like many aging parents, we adult children sometimes get in the habit of treating them like a to-do check list. “Have you made that doctor’s appointment, Mom?”, “Are you getting enough water? You should drink more water!”, “Are you taking your vitamins?”, ” You know you should be doing some exercises, Mother.”….and so on.

My Mom too, could not believe what I paid for things...

So I really, really tried not to have too many of those conversations, and speak of other things other than what she should be doing…politics(she loved politics), the weather(obsessed with bad weather-woe to you if you were flying in anything other than a sunny day), food(she loved good food to the end), and stories from the past(her true forte).

Bye-bye Cathy...you were a hoot...

So after 34 years of doing comic strips about dating, dieting, money, parents, love and life in general….Cathy…both of them, say goodbye. Thanks for all the chuckles you gave my Mother, Cathy….she was a big fan. And enjoy your real life family…there is life after Cathy.

Parent/child angst…..better call Mom!!
April 29, 2008

I’ve had some really interesting responses to my previous blog about “taciturn emails” from my son who lives in New York. And I can see that the issue isn’t just on the parental side, but also from kids…grown kids, of course….who feel at least some degree of angst and guilt that they HAVEN’T CALLED MOM/DAD IN WAY TOO LONG!

Oh, I’ll definitely call tomorrow, then tomorrow goes by and the next day until it’s been weeks. Or longer. And it is true, that when you don’t speak with people for some time, you have less to talk about when you do. Oh you may say “How can that be? If a lot of time has gone by you have tons to tell!” Yeah, but where do you start…you just can’t begin a litany of everything that has happened in your life, ’cause how boring is that, and now that I think about it, not all that much has happened, certainly nothing big or all that exciting, so maybe I just say, “Oh, not much same old, same old. Everyone is fine….” Blah, blah, blah.

But when you speak to someone on a daily, or weekly basis, you are so much more in tune with the minutia of someone’s life. Yes, I know, sometimes too much minutia. But really, isn’t that what life really is? Truly big things don’t happen all that much in life, and I might like to know something interesting you cooked for dinner, or how your garden is coming along, or about an interesting dream you had last night. Life is made up of little moments…lots and lot and lots of little moments. And if we keep them all to ourselves, then people don’t really know what our lives are about, because we don’t tell them.

I call my Mom every weekday morning on my way to work. She’s on my cellphone speed dial. And before you give me a gold star, let me say this has only started in the past few years. I used to call a couple of times a week, once a week when my Father was alive. But on that drive to work, it’s a time to connect a little, and just chat. Trust me, big things rarely happen from one day to the next, but I hear how she’s feeling, how she slept, how dinner was in the dining room last night, and sometimes we even venture into politics and other topics. But I know she really looks forward to my call, so I feel really bad if I forget one morning. And I know that one day, perhaps not too far away, she will not be receiving my calls anymore. So I redouble my efforts to stay in touch…about the little things.

Oh, and to Elaine….I have long ago learned the end run. If Jesse doesn’t answer me, Jen usually will.