Last week ..
Katie and I are headed out to dinner, just the two of us. She’s been asking for ages for a Mama date and we’ve finally pulled it off. We’re in the car, crawling in traffic. Yeah, there’s a sushi place right around the corner from the house, but that one doesn’t have black sesame sorbet. And um, that’s kinda the whole point.
Although sitting in traffic ain’t my first choice after a long day of work and a longer drive home, we’re having fun.
Out of nowhere, Katie asks a question. “Mama? Do you think I’m a good actress?”
I think for a moment, though I don’t really have to. I just know that if I answer too quickly she’ll discount any objectivity in my response. “Don’t answer as my mom,” she’ll say. “Say for real.” So I wait a beat before saying, “Yeah, I really do.”
“Hmm,” she says. “So .. Ok … how about this? Do you think that if I went to a new school and I pretended to be really stupid that people would believe it?”
Um. Huh? There are so many things to address in that sentence, but I decide to stick to the surface for now.
“No, I don’t.”
“But you just said I’m a good actress. So why wouldn’t they believe it if I acted like I didn’t know anything?”
“Baby,” I say, “smart just comes through. People can see it. I just don’t think it’s something you can really hide.”
She accepts my answer with a “Harumph” and we continue to make our way down the road at a snail’s pace.
I think of something funny that happened during work that day and decide to share it with her. I had welcomed our new boss by sending him and our colleagues a picture of the Most Interesting Man in the World with his name on it – listing his accomplishments as per the ads. I think she’ll get a kick out of them, especially my favorite; He speaks Russian … in French.
But first I need to give her some background so that it will make sense. Cause, ya know, she’s not a big beer drinker.
“OK, so here’s what you need to know,” I say. “and then I’ll tell you the story.”
She’s listening intently.
“There’s a beer company called Dos Equis and they have a character in their commercials that they call the Most Interesting Man in the World ..”
She cuts me off with a question before I can say more.
“What’s a character?” she asks.
“Hmm, well, ya know, he’s like .. um … it’s a persona that they’ve invented to …”
“What’s a persona?”
“Oh, geez, it’s a … um .. well …”
She lets me off the hook.
“Mama?” she says, her sly grin devouring her face.
“I could so pull it off.”
I just hope she thanks her Mom when she wins the Oscar.