A Morning with My Mother in San Francisco

Dear Mom,

I am 45 years old. Let’s just put that out there up front.

I know how to set my alarm when I need to get up super early and on top of that when I’m going to an appointment in a building I haven’t been to before, I usually check out the address and make sure I have the cross streets down. This morning for example, I knew that from where we were in Russian Hill to where we needed to go at UCSF Mt. Zion would take about 10 minutes–15 tops. Your appointment was at 9 am. So now I’m drinking coffee which is decent coffee but not the coffee I’d have chosen–because you needed to arrive like a crazy person 90 minutes early. Who does that?!

You woke me up at 5:58 am to tell me my alarm set for 6:00 am hadn’t gone off yet. And then were concerned I wanted to stop for coffee.

By the way, I learned to drive when I was 15. Got my license at 17. And I lived in San Francisco and learned to drive a manual transmission here. I learned to drive stick on these fucking hills. That right there makes me some sort of god. Just saying. Also. San Francisco is a grid pattern with hills. It’s not that hard. Know that the pedestrians will never look both ways before they cross the street or even one way and allow for that. Know that double parking just happens. Know that in order to survive hills one needs to drive a little over the top of them rather than be back on the angle of the hill. Chill.

There’s nothing wrong with the way I’m dressed just because I don’t look like I live inside a Land’s End catalog. If you’d been raised by plain clothes lesbians in the 70s and were sent to Catholic school, you’d dress like me too. Also– nothing about you being a lesbian is shocking. It may have been shocking to you in the early 80s when you came out. But coming out is so 10 years ago. Nothing is shocking. No one cares. And besides—I’ve made out with way more girls than you.

20 Minutes is not too long to get ready in the am. I wasn’t being girly by putting on lipstick.

Let’s see. I’m 45. I actually know myself enough to know how much sleep I need and I know when my bedtime is.

We are in one of the culinary capitals of the world. We are not eating fucking hamburgers for lunch.

I’m currently wondering whether you realize that I actually have spent the last 30 years of my life on my own —and yet I survived anyhow.

There is nothing wrong with being an abstract thinker.

I didn’t take your glasses, your phone, misplace your purse, etc. Those things were all on the table where you left them.

But I do want to thank you. Because of you I have a rare gift of being able to deal with difficult people with irrational fears and requirements for friendship. I am the friend of people who have no friends. Thank you for this superpower.

Fuck. It’s not even 10 am.

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About margaretelysiagarcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia primarily writes fiction, essays and poetry from a remote corner of the Sierra Nevada. She's currently working on a non-fiction book about plus-sized modeling. She's also searching for a publisher for her new collection of stories? Mary of the Chance Encounters. Her short story collection Sad Girls & Other Stories out now on Solstice Literary Press. She blogs here and at Throwing Chanclas and Girl Body Pride. Is a contributor to Hip Mama Magazine. She writes the zine The Adventures of Sad Girl with her daughter, Paloma. She’s a three-time director of the national Listen to Your Mother Show in Plumas County (www.listentoyourmothershow.com). She has an alternative women’s music show Milkshake & Honey on Plumas Community Radio (www.kqny919.org).
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3 Responses to A Morning with My Mother in San Francisco

  1. Ann Imig says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this, and yet ARGH!!

  2. Gunslinger Poet says:

    Haha! You’re awesome. Thanks for being my friend.

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