Aunt Tooty was my mother’s sister. She lived too far away to take my mothers place but she never failed to show up for the important events my father tended to forget like birthdays or a choir presentation. She sent me cards for no reason. Sometimes they had two or three dollars in them. She called and asked me nosy questions about what I was doing with boys.
“Ida, did that boy, what’s his name, Eddie or Freddie ever ask you out?”
“No maam. He’s going steady with somebody else now.” I was sure she could hear my heart breaking over the phone.
“I don’t make cow eyes,” I whined instead of mooed. I still made cow eyes at any number of boys but I wouldn’t admit that to Aunt Tooty. They could have gotten the milk for free too if they’d only known. Boys are so stupid. Tooty was not.
“Don’t be in a rush. Boys will chew you up and spit you out if you let them.”
“I would just like to have a boyfriend so I won’t be a freak. I get tired of going places by myself.”
“You go to the movies by yourself?” Aunt Nosey wanted to know.
“No. Tina and I go together.”
“Do you have a good time?”
“Yeah?” Aunt Tooty wanted me to have manners, though god knows, where they were supposed to come from, I couldn’t say.
“You’re talking about them trying to touch you.”
“Yes, in your feminine areas, Ida.”
“Can we talk about something else, Aunt Tooty?”
“Only if you promise me you will stay strong when you get alone with Eddie or Freddie.”
“I told you, he doesn’t want me. He has a girlfriend.”
“Well, it’s his loss. You are a beautiful, fun, sweet girl. And you’re smart as a whip. Any boy would be lucky to be seen with you. Don’t worry your time will come.”
“You mean some day, my prince charming will come?” I seriously doubted this, but I liked it when Aunt Tooty tried to cheer me up. She did a good job mothering me over the telephone.
“Oh I’m sure you are going to have lots of Prince Charmings. You just wait and see.”
I did wait and see. But Tooty didn’t get it quiet right. Most of the men in my life turned out to be Prince Alarmings. You know what I mean. They were the kind of men you don’t take home to Mama.
Happy Mothers Day.