My Mom’s Orthotic

After a smooth and relatively uneventful flight into Ohio, my daughter and I were greeted at the gate by my Mother.

“Oh hello!  Welcome!  How was your flight!  Cali, you’re so big!  April, have you gained weight? You look great! I’ll pull the car around.”

Immediately I’m suspicious.  I had to stop myself from pretending to be that nun in the Madeline books.  You know, the one who is always saying, “Something is NOT right.”  But I kept it to myself and gave the whole day the benefit of the doubt.

The car comes around, the bags are loaded and I settle into the back seat with Cali when I hear:

“You’re gonna kill me, but I’ve dropped my Orthotic out in the parking lot somewhere and I have to look for it.  I paid $4,000 for it and insurance wouldn’t cover it.  It was a special thing that I needed and I need to find it NOW, okay?”

Her “Orthotic” is actually a clear type of retainer for her bottom teeth.  She wears it so her face won’t hurt.  At any rate, after eating a banana, she stood to get out of the car and the thing dropped into the slush.  After fifteen minutes of watching her turn in circles like a Bloodhound with a gimpy nostril, I decided to offer my assistance.

“Get in the car.  I’ll look for it.”

So I’m out there, freezing my tush off…poking through the trash that’s been strewn all over the parking lot when an old man comes limping up to me.

“What you doin’ there, chile?”

“Looking for my mom’s teeth.”

“Oh.  Well, I sho hope she get you somethin’ good for Chrimsus…out here looking for her teef in the mud and thangs.  I ain’t seen ’em, though.”

After my face and fingers were sufficiently frozen, I gave up the search.

“It’s pointless, Ma…drive home.”

Halfway home she give me THE GLANCE in the rearview.  The glance that says she’s about to ask you for a favor that you have no choice but to do because she knows things about you that you’d like to keep quiet.

“Will you call Lost & Found for me?”

Oh sure.  Yes.  Let me do that.  Let me call Dayton Airport’s Lost & Found Department and ask if someone has turned in some abandoned teeth.

So.  I called.  After maneuvering through several recorded messages, I was finally able to speak to a live person.  Who, after hearing my request, informed me there was an emergency going on at the airport and he didn’t have the time to look for my mom’s teeth.  Told me to call back in 20 minutes.

I never called back.  I braced Mom for the harsh truth.

“Ma, you just flushed $4,000 down the toilet and you need to get your mind around it.”

Upon waking the next morning, I was greeted by a more cheerful, energetic Mother.

“Oh lookie, dear!  My Orthotic was right here in my purse the whole time!  I was eating that banana and just didn’t think about it so it must’ve fallen in there or I’d put it there on purpose and just forgot about it because I’ve been just pooped lately.  I think I might need to change to a different multi-vitamin.  Do you want some water?  I need some water.  My medication makes my mouth dry.”

I turned to my daughter and assured her:

“It’s okay, baby.  I’m adopted.”

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4 Responses

  1. your mother sounds like a hoot. I keep imagining her with an insole surrounding her teeth.

  2. Hilarious, though I’m imagining you may have been gritting your teeth during much of the “Search for the Orthotic.”

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