When my life as I knew it ended in December 2011 with the birth of my daughter Eva, I never thought I would see a mountain or ski slope ever again. It took me four years to get back to Colorado but get back I did in 2015. I spent a week in March in Vail with my parents, who by divine intervention could not find anyone else to share their timeshare. Enter last minute air miles flight purchase, ski pass and just a credit card between me, a fabulous holiday week, and an empty bank account. Mommy only lives once.
My last minute holiday plans took some getting used to, especially for Eva’s father who was informed that he would have to do all the drop-offs, pickups and lunch boxes for the six days I was gone. He had not done this since I went to a wedding in Greece when Eva was six months old and not yet on solid food. Mommy likes an adventure.
One day Eva will be old enough to come with me, maybe when I move to LA. J
As it turns out my globe trotting Sagittarius friend had just been in Vail and said she was going to leave me a package at the front desk of my hotel, but that she had not been able to because she had consumed all of it.
“What was the surprise?”
“What else do you come to Colorado for?”
“Skiing and? … Oh, Oh yes.”
“You have to try it.”
“No, I have to get my mom to try it.”
“I’ll send you a link to where we went.”
“I think I’ll tell her that I have planned a shopping trip for her.”
“She will certainly buy that.”
And buy it she did for a brief moment. I let my dad in on the cover story. We were going to get the doorman to drive us to Native Roots and tell her it was Colorado’s version of Gucci. My mother, although she has a loveable gullibility, also has a compensating controlling nature, which must be in charge of all minutia. The rest of us could not possibly cope without her mastery of our every move.
“Mom, I am going to organize the doorman to take us to the boutique.”
She whipped out her ipad.
“What is it called?” Her pointer finger hovering over the Google toolbar.
“Let me organize it.” I pleaded
“No, What is it called?”
“Native Roots.” I say tentatively the corners of my mouth curving up in the hint of a laugh.
My father shakes his head.
My mother hunts and pecks and presses enter.
She squints at the screen, puts on her reading glasses, squints again then flips the ipad in my direction.
“Is this it?”
“That is it.” I say with a big smile.
“It’s not a boutique, it looks like a marijuana farm! “
“It’s legal here mom, it will be like a rite of passage.”
“I am not smoking weed.”
“You don’t have to. You just have to buy weed, exercise your legal rights.”
“Whatever, if you insist.”
“I insist. It will be an adventure. ”
“I better not get arrested.”
“I told you its legal in Colorado, even for socialites.”
“The doorman of The Sebastian is NOT taking us to buy weed, I will find a driver.”
She flicks her hair, and flips open her address book from circa 1980, and turns the page to a well worn bookmark, never considering once the option of not going, but a firm commitment to find the right method of transportation.
“Shall I call High Mountain taxi, or Mountain High Car Service?”
My father and I burst out laughing. My mother seemed oblivious.
“I think I will try Mountain High, High Mountain did not call me back in 1986 and I almost missed the first Pepi’s Wedel week, Ill never forget.”
She dials, and in her best telephone voice, “Hello we are at the Sebastian in Vail, and we would like to go on a sight seeing tour to the marijuana farm.”
“Native Roots in Eagle Vail.” I say pedantically.
“If you could please pick us up at 4pm.”
“How long will it take to get there?”
“Approximate arrival time, 420pm, perfect.”
“420pm,” I echo, “Perfect.”
My mother hangs up the phone and announces,
“I am not buying any marijuana.”
“Mom, Ill buy it for you, because you are over age. “
“What do you mean?”
“When you are underage you get older friends to buy you beer, and when you are overage you get your daughter to buy you weed.”
“We will work something out,” she says giving me a side eye.
At 4pm we milled past the fur coats and leather carry alls that littered the lobby, and piled into our Mountain High chariot.
“Thank you for taking us,” my mother broke the ice, “It’s my daughter that wants the weed.” In another universe she could have been my pimp, running my life, getting me to buy her drugs, and speaking for me.
“It’s a marijuana factory we don’t want to buy any, just take the tour.”
I could see Mom was restraining her self from asking our driver if he was a regular.
“I haven’t smoked weed since 1969.” She said to the driver.
“That’s not actually true.” I said.
“Yes it is.”
“No its not.”
My father just shook his head and said nothing.
“You don’t remember because you were drunk.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Anna Laura’s ( my sister) twenty first birthday party.”
“The indecent proposal party.”
“Yes you made an indecent proposal.”
“Yes you went up to a young girl who was smoking weed, she was mortified convinced you were going to turn her in to the police or worse her parents, and instead you asked her if you could have a toke.”
“What’s a toke?”
“A puff mom.”
“Oh yes its all coming back to me now.”
“I don’t think it had any effect on me.”
“It had an effect on the young girl, she was shocked.”
“Do you remember what happened next?”
“ The next weekend, Giles ( my younger brother) was at the local bar and picked up a young girl, they were making out on the golf course and she told him about a raging party she had been at the weekend before when an old woman came up and asked to share her joint. “
“Oh yes I remember this,” my father said.
I continued, “and then Giles said, Oh my god that was MY Mother! At about the same time as you drove up to the bar in a rage beeping your car horn, because he had missed his curfew. Giles left the young girl on the golf course, and sheepishly got into the back seat. I am not sure though who was in more trouble that night him or you.”
“Okay that’s enough no more story hour in front of the driver.”
“He has a name, it’s Doug.”
We pulled into Native Roots, in Eagle Vail at 4:19pm.
“One minute to spare.”
We posed for pictures outside. I got this particularly nice one of my parents “sightseeing” about to “tour the factory.”
When we arrived, I announced that we were tourists, and I handed over my passport. My mother slipped her passport under the Plexiglas divider, and the woman on the other side picked up the other end of the passport. My mother would not let the other end go, her grip tightened and she started to pull it back.
“What are you going to do with my passport, you better not report me.”
“Mom, it’s a formality, you aren’t being done for ten years in the Bangkok Hilton, relax! “
She let go.
“This woman needs some weed.”
The strung out cancer patient in the corner laughed and offered to take our picture, it becoming increasingly obvious to everyone in the establishment that we all had never been there before, had no idea what we were doing, and not smoked weed since at least 1996. Which was not quite as long ago as 1969.
The doors clinked open and the woman behind the Plexiglas motioned us forward, like the bellboy at the Ritz as far as my mother was concerned.
Mom sauntered in, “What now?” looking at me, expecting wait staff, a silver tray, or an opium den or all of the above.
“We stand in line,” I said assuming our spot.
We shuffled up to the boy behind the counter.
“My goodness, you look younger than my son!” My mother exclaimed.
“You have to be at least 21 to work here, it’s the law” the boy pointed to the sign.
“Your son is 32 years old, mom.”
She ignored me, “We would like something light. I haven’t smoked weed since 1969.”
“1996,” I countered. “Wine at lunch makes her dyslexic.”
“Nothing has over 10grams because we are regulated by government.” He said staring straight ahead but pointing to another sign as if he had done this thirty times that very day.
“Now what do you want?”
My mother looked down over the display cabinets moving her ringed pointer finger around, “I would like to see this one,” she said as if she was choosing an engagement ring from the millionaire’s club at Tiffany’s.
She sniffed lavender kind buds and held the Sour Kush strain up to the light before wafting it toward her nose. She discussed the merits of buddery like she was discussing the fine citrus notes of a glass of Chablis.
“Look they even have a Harlequin bud.”
Then something important distracted mom just as she was nearing a decision, after pulling everything out to the young man’s quiet annoyance. He was given away by the frustrated wiggle of his backwards baseball cap, and the eye rolling. She was taken in by the metallic glint of a rack of clothing. She finally felt at home in the drug den.
Pointing she said, “I would like to see that t-shirt in a women’s medium.” The young man walked so slowly into the back wardrobe, his pants almost fell off of his non existent butt. He returned with a Native Roots T-shirt in a plastic wrap.
“I am taking it out of the plastic wrap.” She announced to him. He shrugged.
She unfolded the t-shirt and put it up to her and to me and my father.
“It’s a women’s medium.” I said.
“Right you are, young man fetch me a large.”
He returned eventually with a large, she gave him a don’t even try to stop me look, and took the large out of package, made my father hold it up by the shoulder seams while she held up the medium to gauge the difference in size, fit and texture.
“Now let me see a men’s large.”
He disappeared and returned.
“Now a men’s medium”
When she had taken almost every t-shirt in every denomination out of its package and ummed and ahhed about size, color and who would get what for which birthday. She decided on five t-shirts, which she stuffed in her purse like she had just bought postcards in Tuscany.
“Do you take credit cards? “
“No, cash only.”
“Don’t you take gold credit cards?” She said waving hers around.
“No, marijuana is still illegal federally so the banks don’t want to have anything to do with us, it’s a cash business.”
“Someone should talk to them, credit is king! “
“We are a weed dispensary, would you like to purchase any weed or just the t-shirts?”
My mother gave him the side eye and adjusted her David Yurman.
“I want two lemon drops.”
“And a vapor stick.” I added.
“In vapor sticks we are selling two for the price of one.”
“Look mom they must have known we were coming, they are having a sale! “
“What flavor would you like?”
I remembered my friend’s advice and so I tried to sound like I knew what I was talking about. Like a truly almost middle aged mother, I said,
“I would like the Stevia flavor.” Assuming of course that it was flavored naturally with the calorie free sugar like herb.
“You mean SATIVA not Stevia.” He said smugly while reaching into the case.
“Yeah whatever that is.” I said mortified.
He took two vapor sticks out of the case and put them in front of me on the counter.
“One for mother, one for daughter.”
“I have a question.” My mother interjected. The young man had had enough of us by this point. Mother rattled her lemon drops.
“Can these be smelled by sniffer dogs?”
The young man’s annoyance abated into amusement.
“She will be 70 soon.” I added for effect.
“I don’t think anyone will find it if I hide it with my vitamins, no one will be the wiser. Can we take it to Bermuda?”
“YOU can do whatever YOU want, Mame.”
“In Colorado.” I added.
“What happens in Colorado stays in Colorado.”
“Can we get a printed receipt for customs in Bermuda?”
“One more thing, can you take the weed off of the receipt?”
Mom winked at him, the rest of us rolled our eyes.
When we finally got back to the hotel mom laid her stash out on the cocktail table, fixed herself a four finger vodka and contemplated her return to the world of drug use.
“What is it going to do to me?”
“Relax, you might like it better than booze.”
We both knew that was impossible.
Mom turns the lemon drops over in her hand, reading the label.
“There is too much sugar in this.”
“Mom, this is not the time to be health conscious. You are about to get high.”
“What is THC?”
“That’s the active ingredient.”
“Oh, Maybe I shouldn’t do this on an empty stomach.”
“You never have an empty stomach.”
She tried to open the child proof pinch and pull triggered lever to open the box and couldn’t.
“It’s geriatric proof.”
“No match for my heavy duty kitchen scissors.”
When she finally got it open she looked at the lemon drops as if she was about to take one.
“What happens if I go nutcase?”
“You already are a nutcase.” Dad said.
Dad was cooking steaks and the grill started to smoke up the hotel suite.
“Can one of you open the door, we don’t want to set off the alarm everyone will think it’s the drugs.”
Mom got up opened the door, and went to fetch the cordless phone, she put it next to me.
“Just in case, so you can call 911.”
“Mom, I am not a responsible adult, I am sucking on a vapor stick.”
“I know you aren’t a responsible, but you are capable of dialing for help.”
“Just take your lemon drop mom.”
She did, and then chased it with vodka.
“I should take one of these before I go down Riva Ridge.”
“But you won’t even go down Lodge Pole?” Dad said.
“That was before I discovered lemon drops.”
She cranked her lazy boy into a full recline and removed her fur lined snow boots, dressed still in head to toe David Yurman.
“Does it get into your system really fast because its got so much sugar? I feel mellow.”
“Maybe I should take one?” Dad said.
“You need at least two because you are bigger.”
“I am not that much bigger.”
“They look like cough sweets.”
Mom popped another one in her mouth, “If its legal can it still fuck you up like LSD?”
“Wait, you took LSD?”
“Do you get hangovers from this stuff.”
“I don’t think so, time will tell.” I said.
“Is it addictive?”
“I am going to take one of these before I get on Chair 4.”
“I am not sure if that’s a good idea,” I said imagining my mother with the giggles getting plowed over on the carpet by a series of young sober people.
Mom looked at the ingredients again.
“We got jipped, these only have five milligrams each. We should have gotten rookie cookies.”
“Mom take another lemon drop.”
“Pass me your vaporizer.”
I obeyed, and she took a deep inhale.
“What would be better is if they invented a ganja humidifier and then everyone could have some.”
“The lemon drops must be kicking in.”
“Pass me my ipad.”
“I am going to post something on Facebook.”
“Don’t say we are getting high.”
I realized at this moment that in college dorm rooms across the world people were getting high and surfing facebook, but there probably weren’t many 70 year old grannies, dripping in fur and David Yurman in a fancy hotel suite in Vail doing the exact same thing.
“Shit, I have done something to my facebook, can you fix it?”
She passed me her ipad. I took a look and erupted in a fit of vapour induced giggles.
“Mom, how on earth did you set your Facebook to Chinese.”
“I feel Chinese,” She giggled while squinting at me from her old age recliner.
I managed to switch the language back to her native tongue, giving me a translatable look at her Facebook profile.
“Mom it says you like Justin Bieber?”
“Who is Justin Bieber?”
“He is a juvenile.”
“I don’t know how that happened.”
“Blame the lemon drops.”
“Where is the stuff I am supposed to snort?”
“We don’t have anything that is snortable.”
“Thank god.” Dad said. He was still sober.
“When you are finished, you had better hide your paraphernalia from the maids.” She said to me waving her pointer finger.
“Mom we are in Colorado, and when you are done there will be nothing left, especially if you start snorting lemon drops.”
“I think they should open a Native Roots branch in Vail proper. I was looking for one last year.”
“I am going to put the rest of the lemon drops in my makeup bag, and take them home.”
“Mom you really can’t do that, ending up on the Bermuda drug list will be mortifying for a socialite. If there are any left just pack them in the crate and we can have them next year.”
She checked the label again, “Oh they don’t expire until 2018.”
“Hopefully we don’t either.” Dad said.
Mom packed what was left into the crate mumbling, “I am putting it away in the crate because no one will let me take it home.”
“We could send it to Henry and Judiann as a surprise, or give it to Malin.” I said
“I don’t think you should share your drugs with your ski instructor.” Dad said.
“I am feeling a bit hazy, I might have to lie down.” Mom started to stagger.
“It’s called a Purple Haze.”
Mom later fell asleep and started snoring in her recliner.
I said to Dad, “I bet she is dreaming of smoking weed with Justin Bieber.”
“She could be his grandmother.”
Mom survived without a hangover and lived to smoke/inhale a vapor stick, another day.
Xx Derelict Mom.