Colombians are prone to embellishment, to taking a story and making it even grander. It was Gabriel Marquez, the famed Colombian novelist, who proclaimed, “To Colombians, life is a stage.”
My mother has entered a delightful stage of dementia. Delightful in the sense that her already Colombian tales of life have become even more entrancing. We pick her up on the weekends, and she spends the day at our house, where my three boys and I spread her favorite blanket across her lap, much like a ceremonious draping of an ermine wrap across a queen’s shoulders.
We settle her in with Mexican cocoa — hot chocolate with a pinch of cayenne — which she sips slowly, blowing softly across the steam, and when she leans forward to set her mug down, we know we are about to hear, The Theatre of The Colombian, Part Six; where she will pick up where she left off, when she was here last.
“You know,” we all turn to see what she will floor us with today. “I had to say no when Fidel Castro asked me to marry him. Yes, he acted one way in front of our government, but I knew… he was not going to grow into a nice man. And look, I was right.” My mother reaches for her hot cocoa, blows and sips, sets it down, and begins again.
“Even with The Hope Diamond that he offered to me, I said, I couldn’t. And that was the right thing to do, because Elizabeth Taylor was the only one for that ring. So it is always for the better, as life teaches us.”
She begins again, “The candlebra he always has on his piano, that is from me. It makes me happy to see that he always has it with him.”
At this point, I had to break into her Live! For One Night Only! but I needed to tell her. She was getting her loves mixed up. “Mama,” I wait for her to look up, “Mama, I think you mean Liberace. He’s the one with the candlebra.”
Without even a few seconds of pause in bewilderment, she clarifies. “No. Liberace. Liberace I remember very well. He, too, wanted to marry me. I had to be the one to tell him he played for the other team.” Looking up at only me, she leans over, “Poor man. He hoped that my beauty could convince him otherwise. That’s why he had that diamond made. He was the first one to have it.”
“What, mama? What diamond?”
“The Hope Diamond, mija. My daughter, that’s why he called it that. He hoped it would convince him.”
Alexandra is an overanalyzing, oversensitive mother of three boys who somehow found herself named as BlogHer ’11′s Voice of The Year for Humor. She has been a mother since 1994, which means she hasn’t been right about anything since. She blogs of the sweet and the funny while trying to go unnoticed in her small town. You can find her at Good Day, Regular People. Did we mention socially awkward? We should, which is why the internet was made for her.