by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
September 27, 2007
A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Author's Note: Every so often, when I take a break from politics, I find myself writing about my 90-year-old mother in Florida. She is a dancer, and until she retired this year, she wrote, choreographed, directed and performed in yearly musical comedies at her retirement community. She was doing high kicks on stage well into her 80s, and she still teaches exercise classes.
But now that she is taking life a little slower, she has started to write. She just sent me her first piece, and I found it so charming that I thought her American Reporter fans would enjoy reading it. So here is "My Reasoning Ability," by Rose Kagan.
by Rose Kagan
I woke up one morning remembering I had to get a B-12 shot at the doctor's. Since that was the only thing I had to do for the day, I began to reason thusly: "I will shower and dress and go to the lab. But I will have the rest of the day free. So I might as well go to the mall afterwards to buy a blouse."
I got into my car and drove to the Medical Building. It must have been a very busy day, because there were no outdoor parking spaces available. So I went into the parking garage. That too was very crowded, and I had to drive to level three and then to level four. There I parked at the bottom of the level. I reasoned thusly: "This will force me to walk up the level and get some healthy exercise."
And so I did. When I reached the top of the level, I was very proud of myself - especially since I am a senior citizen and I was told that walking would prolong my life. I then proceeded to enter the building on level four and took the elevator to my doctor's office, which was on level two.
When I reached the lab they gave me my file, which was the heaviest in the whole office, since I have been going there for more than 30 years. Bravely carrying my file, I got to the proper office and got my shot. Then I trudged back to the desk carrying my file, and left. I reasoned thusly: "My mission is accomplished, and to go down the hill to my car will be child's play."
And so I walked down to the second level and found my car but the key would not fit into the lock. It wasn't my car, although it looked just like it. Bewildered, I began to reason again and realized I had been on the second level and my car was on the fourth. So I walked up the hill again and got into the elevator and out on the fourth floor. Then I walked down the hill again and found my car. "Well," I said to myself. "That was more exercise than I had bargained for." But I reasoned thusly: "The day is young and I will now go to the mall."
I drove to the mall and that, too, was crowded, so I had to park in the very last spot in the lot. Undaunted, I reasoned thusly: "I will buy my blouse, but since I parked near the food court, I will rest there, have my lunch, and then go home."
When I finally reached the mall, I realized that it was quite a long walk from the food court to the department store. But I reasoned thusly: "This is why I'm here, and I am determined to fulfill my mission."
So I walked all the way to the store and then around it, trying to find a blouse I didn't need in the first place. Well, I finally found a blouse, but I had no strength to try it on, so I bought it because it was on sale. Then I walked all the way back to the food court, stood on line, bought a sandwich and collapsed into the nearest chair to eat my lunch.
Then I gathered the pieces of myself together, grit my teeth and commenced to walk to my car. Since I live in Florida, it was only 92 degrees when I left my house in the morning, but when I walked out of the mall at 2:30 p.m., it was already 100-plus.
I reasoned thusly: "If I die of exhaustion in the parking lot in this heat, it will be very uncomfortable and inconvenient for my family. So I might as well make it."
And so I did, and got home, and collapsed on the nearest couch and lay there like a Sphinx for an hour and the only noise in the house was the racket that my heart was making.
A few hours later my daughter, Joyce, called to tell me she had misjudged a hill she was hiking on and had had difficulty climbing it.
I thought to myself, "Her reasoning was impaired, just like mine. She's a chip off the old block."
- Rose Kagan A collection of Joyce Marcel's columns, "A Thousand Words or Less," is available through joycemarcel.com. And write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.