After my optometrist appointment this morning, I met my mom and sister at the bank to sign some papers for Mom's safe deposit boxes.
It's a small bank. Only ten or so parking spots out front. Mom had backed in, and there was an open spot between her and the parking lot entrance. So I, too, backed in. I left room to open T-Hoe's gigantic door. It has two stop settings, you know: malnourished waif, and everybody else. I am forever trying to hoist myself in and out while holding onto that door so I don't slam somebody's car. It even hits the wall of the Mansion garage.
Sis, safe inside Mom's Chevy Blazer, gesticulated wildly. She held her hands apart like describing the fish that got away. I opened the door and climbed out. When she exited, she stomped around to the front of T-Hoe. "People are probably going to run into you when they turn in the parking lot. Huh. Your back tires are against the curb. So I guess you're far enough back. And you're just on the line there. You're not parked as bad as I thought."
"Well, you saw how close my door came to Mom's car. I always park like that. I don't care. I want room to open that door all the way. When I'm retired, I will have time to travel the county and criticize everybody else's parking skills."
Sis dismissed me with a wave, and headed for the bank door. She's a real take-charge person. A former kindergarten teacher. This is her first year of retirement. "We don't know what we're doing. But we're here to sign some papers." Mom added that she'd gotten a letter about her safe deposit boxes. We were directed to wait in the middle of the lobby while a desk woman finished a phone call. "We're probably on camera, you know." I suppose Sis thought that would make us behave.
The desk lady called us over. "I've been typing these up all morning." We looked at each other. It was now after 10:00. Was she a slow typer? Did Mom's business require such detail? Mom looked worried. I told her it was probably because a lot of people got those letters. Only two chairs were available at the desk. Sis relayed that she DID have a bum knee that swelled up on occasion. I motioned for Mom and Sis to take them. I'd been sitting all morning while various technicians peered deep into the windows of my soul, and shot an air cannon through them. Desk Lady pushed two papers over to Mom. "Read over these and make sure the information is correct."
Mom asked me if my name was spelled wrong. Like I picked it out myself upon emerging from her womb. "Yes. You can see it's wrong. There's no E in it." Desk Lady took it back for correction.
Sis looked at the other paper after Mom. She threw herself back in her chair. Rolled her eyes. Frowned at Desk Lady. "Do I LOOK seventy-eight years old? She leaned over and put her head against Mom's. We can be sisters. Can you tell us apart?"
"You can be Abby and Brittany," I said. Because I'm a sucker for a TLC reality show about two girls with one body. And besides, Mom and Sis both have red hair, so they match.
"I know! Mom asked me if I watched that. Only she said, 'I think it's called Abby and Abby.' So I had to tell her, 'They are two separate people! Only together. They can't have the same name!' "
Desk Lady emitted her own special sigh. She took back the second paper for a re-do, while Mom signed the first and passed it to me. "How am I supposed to sign there? You looped your Y and J all the way down past my line!" Desk Lady gave Mom the second updated paper. So much for a morning of work.
Sis grabbed the second one after Mom. "I'm going to sign before SHE gets it! I'd like to see her fit her name in now! Wait a minute! I need my reading glasses. I think I'm going to have to get real glasses. These Walmart ones don't work anymore. When I put them on, I see better FAR AWAY! That's not right, is it?"
"Let's not forget that you ARE seventy-eight years old. The eyes of the elderly change quite a bit. I'm really glad I let you have that chair. You and Mom had better link arms as you toddle out to the car. Wouldn't want one of you to break a hip."
Desk Lady looked at Sis. "Do you want me to get you a walker?"
I'm can't be sure. But I think the employees held a joyous celebration when we left the bank.