The doorbell rang. I was in the 8th grade, I remember this because of what happened after I answered the door. "Is your mom here?" The Police Officer didn't look like he knew her. He certainly didn't look like he was there for a chat with a friend, he didn't look familiar to me at all. So, being afraid of him, I went and retrieved her from the back yard. She looked as shocked as I had when she opened the door. He first mentioned her name in a very official manner, but he ended the statement with the slightest upward twirl of his voice like it was a confirmation. She said "yes" that was her. What was said next amazed us both equally I was sure. "You are under arrest for the assault of a Police Officer." He twisted her around as on a dance floor, his handcuffs as a prop for the waltz.
I ran quickly to the bedroom. My dad as reading. "Dad, Mom is getting arrested!" Well, I have never seen that man move as he did when he heard my news. He looked almost supermanish as he ran while trying to tuck his shirt in. I was on his heels. "What is going on here?" He asked as my mom sat in the back of the cruiser. Our neighbors out in their yards watching the woman who they called more of a neighbor than a friend. I don't know why, but I started laughing. This is a habit I carried onto my adullt life when I became scared or in a place I would find myself standing that didn't give me comfort in any way. Nobody else found this amusing. Especially the woman sitting criminally in the backseat of a cruiser.
Apparently she had been in a feud with the traffic meter maid. My mom, while recounting the story about him would pronouce it as "meeter maayyd" It was in no way a term of endearment. He was giving her a ticket she felt was not deserved, the conversation heated up, so she winged back and slapped him silly. I don't quite know what she thought would come out of that, maybe that is what I found so humorous.
She went to court, she had to apologize and was fined. Somehow, because of who my Dad was to this town, she never was booked. What I wouldn't have given to have a mug shot of her. How handy that would have been when I was about to get in trouble. Not to be.
He passed away about three years later. She told me she needed a favor. That is parent talk for politely telling what a child will be doing. "Go to the flower shop, there is an order in my name. Please go and drop it off at the funeral home."
Those were the days in this town when you could just say "the flower shop, the funeral home"... Just one of everything kind of town. So long ago: Those were the days. Of course, back then, just to drive I would go and do any errand, just get me in the drivers seat. You all know how that feels. Off I went.
At the flower shop, a very large bouquet was presented. I looked behind me, to see who was getting this bad boy. I stood alone. "No, I said Mary."
"It's your mom's." She pushed it toward me, beckoning me to take it and go. "Hurry, the service is in less than an hour." She disappeard in the back before I had a chance to ask whose service?
In my bright red convertible Rambler, I had to open the card to see who this mystery death was. I was shocked when I read the name on the card. It was the Meter guy. On the card was the following. "RIP, you were a worthy adversary. I enjoyed it. You really were a good man. Mary."
I tear up now as I think about her style, her independance. The woman who would get the last word in. But a woman who would tip her imaginary hat to a good move. Even if it was not in her favor which was not often.
There I was, with the top down in my bright red car dropping off flowers to the man I thought she hated. I don't think she liked him, but having her arrested somehow gave her respect for him. Probably all he wanted in the first place.
Hey Mom, no hitting up there! You're going to give us a bad name. Kidding, I'm sure you have them rolling with laughter. I for one can't wait to hear it for myself. I love you, even if you had a record. Tootie