We had just asked for the check when a young man spotted Mother and scooted onto the booth beside her. “Is that your golf cart with a for sale sign on it?” he asked, pointing out the window.
“Un huh,” Mother said.
“Why are you selling it?”
“I want a new one.”
“A new one? Do you need a new one? What’s wrong with that one?” he asked.
“Nothing’s wrong with it. I just want a new golf cart.”
“Must be nice to be able to get a new golf cart just because you want one,” he said.
“Do you want a new golf cart?” Mother asked him.
“I’d love to have a new golf cart. Maybe if I had married well, I could get a new golf cart just because I want one. Or if I was blessed or if I had inherited a lot of money. Or if my spouse made big bucks, then I could get a new golf cart just because I want one.”
I honestly believe he thought he was being funny . . . bless his heart . . . but I do not share his sense of humor.
“Now wait just a cotton pickin’ minute,” I said. “My mother may, indeed, be blessed, but she can afford to buy a new golf cart because for decades, she lived beneath her means . . . which is to say she saved money. She did marry well, but you insult my mother when you say that her husband or her parents or her in-laws made the money that allows her to buy a new golf cart. My daddy was a good entrepreneurial provider. It was my mother who brought home the steady paycheck, who provided the health insurance, who built up a retirement nest egg. How dare you dismiss Mother, her abilities, her efforts, and her career. She may never have been paid what she’s worth, but my mother is buying a new golf cart with money she earned.”
He never saw it coming, and I’m not sure he gave it a second thought when he left. But my mother, who’d most likely never considered things from my perspective, sat up a little straighter and beamed.
And I’ll have you know, she sold the golf cart before we paid for our breakfast and bought the new one that very afternoon. She’s still driving it, too.