It was over dinner at a little Vietnamese restaurant that I learned my mother has taken up rock climbing without any underwear.
Shall I set the scene for you, reader?
We were out for a special birthday celebration. The room was cheerful and cozy with red walls and clean white tile floors. My husband sat beside me and my mother was across the table from us. The restaurant was quiet with the occasional peal of laughter from the back of the kitchen.
“Guess what I’ve been doing?” she asked.
I should have known that the question was fully loaded by her wicked grin, as she waited for a response. Of course, she didn’t wait long sensing the cruelty in unanswered questions. There was no need to force her dinner companions to fill in the blanks of her life on a cold and rainy Tuesday night.
“I’ve been rock climbing without underpants,” she explained.
Our faces must have appeared shocked, as she laughed and said, “Don’t worry. Everyone does it. Plus, I had my spandex shorts on, so there weren’t any free looksies.”
Somehow, I had become a prude whose fine sensibilities had been offended and I just realized it in this moment of twirling of spicy egg noodles and listening to my mother’s tale of the weekend.
Forking a chunk of sweet potato from the mess of red curry and veggies from my husband’s plate, she exclaimed, “It’s the only way to climb.”
Popping the orange bite into her mouth, she continued with a tone of concern for my perceived lack of adventure, “You really should try it sometime.”
I left unsure if she was recommending the rock climbing or the underwear free rock climbing, but I do know which one my husband was hoping I would pick in the future.
Thanks for the dinner and great company, Rock Climber and Birthday Boy.
- Rock Climbing (mariakertel.wordpress.com)
- Learning to rock-climb is changing how I’ll teach math. (mathedconcepts.com)