GK: Hello?

SS (MIDWESTERN): Duane? It's me. Your mother. Remember?

GK: Mom?!?

SS (MIDWESTERN): Now don't get all alarmed. I didn't call you about Mother's Day tomorrow. I'm not expecting you, I know you won't come, and I am all right with that. I've worked through it. I only called to find out how you are. How are you?

GK: I'm fine. Mom. Thank you for asking. How are you?

SS (MIDWESTERN): I didn't call to talk about that. I called to ask about you. Have you found anyone yet?

GK: How do you mean?

SS (MIDWESTERN): You know how I mean.

GK: If you mean, do I have a girlfriend -- I'm seeing someone, yes.

SS (MIDWESTERN): You're seeing someone?
GK: Right.

SS: A girl?

GK: Yes, a girl.

SS: A girlfriend.

GK: You could say that, yes.

SS: Then I think I will. --Now I've been thinking about that book you wrote-- you know -- the book you've sent to 143 publishers and they all turned it down?

GK: 134, Mom.

SS: What was the title of that?

GK: Felicitous Compulsions. A novel.

SS: Felicitous Compulsions. Right. Listen, Duane-- if nobody will publish it, why not publish it yourself? Just get that book out there. And if you can't afford to do it, your dad and I would be thrilled to help out.

GK: I can't ask you to do that.

SS (MIDWESTERN): We want to do it.

GK: Well, I don't want you to.
SS (MIDWESTERN): I have the copy that you sent me.

GK: Mother, please--

SS (MIDWESTERN): I could print up a couple thousand copies and your dad and I could go door to door and sell them.

GK: Mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN): I'll just correct the misspellings and some of the grammatical mistakes in it and get it out there for people to read.

GK: Misspellings?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ): You keep getting there t-h-e-r-e and their t-h-e-i-r mixed up. T-h-e-i-r is a possessive pronoun. T-h-e-r-e is a place. Sometimes an adverb, sometimes a noun. And then there's t-h-e-y-apostrophe-r-e which you sometimes get mixed up with t-h-e-i-r.

GK: This was in my manuscript?!!??

SS (MIDWESTERN): I don't think it's why those 143 publishers turned it down, but yes--

GK: Well, let's just forget about it.

SS (MIDWESTERN): I think there were plenty of other reasons to turn it down, other than spelling and grammar.

GK: Let's just forget about it, okay?

SS: And you just forget about Mothers' Day this year. We're not going to that restaurant ever again. Not after what happened last year.

GK: You mean the food poisoning?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ): Seventeen hours hunched over the toilet, Duane. Seventeen hours, and so much pain and agony. It reminded me of your birth.

GK: Here we go.

SS (MIDWESTERN): At least when you're done giving birth you have something to show for it. Or you think you do.

GK: So no brunch this year?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ): We're having it at our place. We're going all out. A five-course catered meal with linen tablecloths and candles and waiters in tuxedoes serving mimosas and goat cheese omelets. And a harpist.

GK: At your house?

GK: Well, how many people are coming?

SS (MIDWESTERN): I have no idea. Whoever wants to.

GK: How many did you invite?

SS (MIDWESTERN): I didn't invite anybody. I'm tired of having to hear excuses for not coming. So-- it's just me and your dad and an empty place at the table for whoever wants to show up.

GK: Do you have placecards?

SS (MIDWESTERN): I intend to enjoy Mother's Day for all it is worth. I have to make my own bliss now. The clock is ticking down and I don't have many Mother's Days left and if I don't start enjoying it now, then when will I?

GK: Do you even want me to come?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ): I don't know how to answer that, Duane.

GK: How about yes or a no--

SS (MIDWESTERN, ): There is just so much pain -- such a history of rejection -- I frankly don't care if you come or not.

GK: I'm going to come.

SS (MIDWESTERN): I don't think you should.

GK: Then why bring it up?

SS (MIDWESTERN, ): I don't want you to come because you feel you ought to.

GK: Mom. Yes or no.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ): After 57 years, Duane, I am starting to learn to enjoy life without you. So it makes no difference to me.

GK: If you want me to come, I'll come.

SS (MIDWESTERN, ): If you're going to sit there sighing and rolling your eyes and picking at your omelet, then you can just stay home and write another novel.

GK: Mom, yes or no.

SS (MIDWESTERN): I think I'll just invite a homeless person to come.

GK: I'll be there, Mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Somebody who spent the night in a cardboard box, I'll bet they'd enjoy a gourmet meal with a couple of nice older people.

GK: I'm coming, Mom. It's all decided.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Maybe we'll see you on Memorial Day.

GK: Mom, come on.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Dad and I bought a gravestone. Did we tell you that?

GK: Mom, I'm coming.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Don't bother.

GK: I'll get dressed up. I'll be there.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Is that t-h-e-r-e or is that t-h-e-i-r the possessive.

GK: Both, Mom.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Whatever. Brunch is at l1.

GK: Okay, see you tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

SS (MIDWESTERN): Bye Duane, love you!

GK: Love you, Mom. Bye now.

SS: Bye now.