By Don McAlvy: Columnist
“I, Ann Choate Smith (born in Clovis) had a date for lunch with my lady friends. Mae, a little old ‘blue haired’ lady, about 80 years old, came along with them.
“All in all it was a pleasant bunch,” said Ann. “When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Mae who said, ‘Ice cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate.’
“I wasn’t sure my ears heard right,” said Ann. “The others were aghast too. ‘Along with heated apple pie,’ Mae added, completely unabashed.
“We tried to act quite nonchalant,” said Ann, “as if people did this all the time.
“But when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy mine, I couldn’t take my eyes off Mae as her pie a la mode went down. The other
ladies showed dismay too. They ate their lunches silently and frowned.
“The next time I went out to eat, on Mother’s Day, I called and invited Mae. I lunched on white meat tuna. She ordered a parfait! I smiled. She asked if she amused me. I answered, ‘Yes, you do, but also you confuse me.’
“How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible in what I eat?”
She laughed and said, with wanton mirth, “I’m tasting all that’s possible. I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life’s so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good.
“This year I realized how old I was,” Mae grinned. “I haven’t been this old before. So, before I die, I’ve got to try those things that for years I had ignored. I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many books I haven’t read. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead. There are many malls I haven’t shopped.
“I’ve not laughed at all the jokes,” Mae continued. “I’ve missed a lot of Broadway hits and potato chips and Cokes. I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace.
“I want peanut butter every day, spread on my morning toast. I want untimed long distance calls to the folks I love the most. I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind in my hair. I want to fall in love again.
“So if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final chocolate mousse, before my life expired.”
“With that,” I called the waitress over,” said Ann. “I’ve changed my mind. I want what she is having, only add some more whipped cream!”