I was in the local Eckerds this morning buying a heating pad to soothe my vicious, first day cramps. The little old lady in front of me is trying to explain to the little old lady at the register and the little old lady who is training next to her that the $5 coupon she clipped for this special toothbrush was right there on the counter. They spend a few minutes looking for it (it had fluttered between the shelves). The people behind me move to the other open line with those micromini sighs of impatience.

I am often known as the most impatient person in my area code, but I leafed through a copy of Vogue, my heating pad between my feet, my ovaries screaming in silent reds and greens. In the dyed red tuft of hair in front of me and in the huge round eyeglasses of the cashier, in their spidery hands and stooped shoulders, I was seeing shades of my own mother, who is in her sixties herself. While she usually has more of her faculties than the little old ladies that annoy me the most, they are close to her in age, appearance, dress, and manner. They must shop at the same stores or something.

My mother works as a food demonstrator at Sam's Club and hopes to retire, finally, in the next two years. She was in a bad car wreck before I was born so that she has, to me, always had steel plates in each arm; one is a few inches longer than the other. Her huge bosom stoops her shoulders but still retains the remnant of the bombshell figure she had back in the 50's. She has the sweet round face and soft wrinkles I hope to inherit. She irritates me much like these women in front of me do, and as with them, I can only allow myself to show minor impatience.

I am only now getting to this, to a point where it isn't so much an issue that my mother and I do not relate, or connect, but that she's my mother and that's that. You just have to accept things in life because they are and they're not changing.

But I still complain (to myself, with the windows rolled up) about little old lady drivers, because even my mother can't drive. Just ask my dad.

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