Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Sometimes Ya Gotta Do What'cha Gotta Do!"

This is a sketch I did this time last year while enjoying a SoCal Christmas...
But this Holiday Season, the sketch is not the story… Santa's baseball cap is. As it so often happens, the holidays create all kinds of personal deadlines, misinformation, confusion and panic! When it is not about me, but involves me, I can get a bit irritated.

For weeks, I knew my mother's Christmas bash at the senior center was on December 11th. That was then, and this is now and this is,

"Oh crap…that is, today?" This morning? What time?

"Okay," I say. "Let's find something festive that is, hopefully, in red and green!"

The day before we argued rather vehemently over my mom's insistence that she didn't need a bath. After cooling off, she went in hiding, and I had a glass of merlot to forgot about the argument... and, everything else pertaining to my mom. Then, Sonya, our CNA and old folks/farts psychologist and, part time bar tender, came by to smooth out the rough edges and bathed my mom. She is a definite godsend, in so many ways!

So, as I am clothing my mom quickly and rather haphazardly so we wouldn't be late, I'm thinking about a broach or pin or something I could attached to her that would make her feel more festive when she walked into the senior center.

You know how most women are, at any age… grand entrances and all.

Though I don't like rummaging through my wife's jewelry and such, to find something appropriate, I did. I promised myself that later I would put everything back to where it belonged. Going through my wife's stuff always bothers me and I try not to do it unless I really, really, really have to. It goes back to my childhood when I'd see my father occasionally rummage through my mother's purse looking for money to buy milk, bread or gas.

It's sacred ground to me. It's kinda like reading someone's diary without them knowing it. It's a violation of a person's space and it makes me always feel uncomfortable.

But, this was an emergency and so I dove in to scrounge anything I could find, but I couldn't. I could not find anything that was seasonal except a gold pendant of a reindeer that I purchased for my wife years ago. There was no way that I was gonna pin that on mom. I liked it too much, and I'd be really angry if my mom somehow lost it. I'd probably be more angry than my wife would be.

Then, all of a sudden, like Santa hit me in the head with a snowball, I remembered my Santa baseball cap. Yeh, that's the ticket! Most of the time, my family begs me to not wear it on Christmas day. I guess they are embarrassed by my attempt to be so festive! But, this is different, and so what, if it isn't very feminine. My mom always tells anyone, who is a captured audience, about her days pretending to be a boy and playing ball. Or, the time she showed a nun her athletic prowess and superiority by hitting a home run to "win the game."

Not just once, but twice, in the same time at bat.

The story is, as told by my mother, entertaining, and a classic bag of baloney because she's told it so many times that the story has taken on it's own life. C'est la vie!

In the end, it all worked out. I was able to just barely convince mom that the combination of Christmas and baseball was sure to be "a hit."I was able to remind her fleeting mind that she could use the combination to tell everyone all her childhood baseball stories. I even provided her a mirror so she could see herself with the cap on and make the necessary adjustments to her satisfaction. Fuzzy pom pom to the left, fuzzy pom pom to the right! She went for it, but all the way from Folsom to the Mandeville Community Center, which is about a twenty mile drive, she primped, hopefully assuring my assertions that she'd be the belle of the ball… base-ball, cap and all!

Well, not only was she the subject of many a paparazzi, but two "community section" newspaper photographers snapped away happily as my mom ham-ed it up. And, of course, she made sure that they spelled her complete name completely correct. That is, Mimi ( not Miriam ) Fortier Bensen!

See ya in the papers, y'all… and thanks, Santa!

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III 


  1. Just love this story , what a great son you are Ben

    1. Thanks Paula. I've got the newspaper's photo of her in the Santa's cap. Guess I should publish it as an addendum…ha!