“Just think of all those women on the Titanic who said, ‘No, thank you,' to dessert that night. And for what!” -Erma Bombeck
I’ve mentioned Ruth before. She rode a horse to college and didn’t see a car until she was 15. Her first boyfriend was a guy named Ben. They flew a kite together in a thunderstorm and discovered electricity.
Ruth’s one tough cookie. She was speed-walking down a hill last week when the brakes went out on her walker. No joke. Or maybe she didn’t squeeze the thing hard enough. Either way, she jackknifed and hit the pavement, breaking three ribs, one collarbone and one hip. Knocked her head, too. Poor thing. My stepmother watched the incident transpire in slow-mo and feels guilty as hell about it.
“I feel like I broke my Mom,” she said. She had been walking right behind Ruth at the time, and when she told me about it, she sounded as if she were going to cry, which is out of character. She’s tough, too. (Katharine, it ain’t your fault. If you can stop gravity, I have a couple other things for you to come take a look at.)
You must have seen that “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” chick on TV. She’s like 80 years old and stranded in the middle of her living room floor. I’m not trying to make light of her situation; I’m just saying-compared to Ruth, she’s a complete wuss. Ruth could kick LifeAlert chick’s ass with one hand tied behind her cracked ribs.
Now, seven days after the fall, despite the ribs, the collarbone, even the hip, Ruth is already walking around. She’s bored out her crystal-clear mind in the hospital room and doesn’t understand why the doctors won’t let her go home today. Actually, they probably will tomorrow-Christmas Day.
Ruth is my hero. She doesn’t make resolutions. She just plain is resolute.
“F#ck carpe diem,” she says. “I’m living for this instant.”
Kidding. She would never talk like that. (Sorry, Gran, couldn’t resist.) But, regardless of how she would describe it, when I see how Ruth reacts to a smile, a hug, a sunset, I can envision the man I want to become.
Resolutions are for old ladies who forgot to buy their emergency- button necklaces. If you were to ask Ruth, she’d tell you not to promise yourself to be a better person tomorrow. She’d tell you to go outside, smile at someone, share some love and improve your surroundings before the second hand hits the 12 again. Don’t wait, do it now! (Remember, this is Ruth talking. I’m still just sitting here, typing, trying to count how many Santa cookies I’ve eaten. I really need to start cutting down on desserts.)
Carpe momento, San Diego. Love you guys for making PacificSD what it is today-the city’s most popular magazine. I’m so happy to be with you as we enter our fifth year together.
And happy birthday, Gran. My gift to you-new brakes. Let’s resolve to sue whomever made that damn walker you’ve been rolling around on.
David Perloff, Editor-In-Chief
(Ardo, I can’t believe you read this crap. I swear, it’s just you and my mom.)