For decades, my mom has had a good friend whose name is Marjorie. “Margie” is what everyone calls her. Margie married a Frenchman named Andre. As he aged, he became slightly more round (as most of us do), and his hair and beard went bright white. Picture that . . . okay, good. Now understand this: my mom tends to notice things and act quickly before taking in the whole situation. Andre, or, to be specific, a gentleman who is not Andre, is a perfect example. You see, there is at least one other gentleman in town who looks fairly similar to Andre. At least from the corner of your eye. When you look straight at him, it’s completely obvious that he is not Andre. But by the time my mom gets a chance to look straight at him, it’s already far too late.
This is because as soon as she sees him out the corner of her eye, typically across the street or outside the window of a shop she happens to be in, my mom immediately begins to wave at him: “There’s Andre! Hi, Andre!” Then comes the actual observation, followed by a muted, “Oh, that’s not Andre,” and a called out, “Sorry! Thought you were someone else!”
It wouldn’t be so bad if Not-Andre was not always with a woman I presume to be his wife.
Yeah. Not good. This woman stares daggers back at my mom every time. Gee, I wonder why. (For the record, she looks nothing like Margie, so it begs the question why my mom didn’t wonder why “Andre” was out with some other woman.)
The last time I recall this happening, Not-Andre and his wife were passing outside the window of the restaurant where my mom, my wife, and I were having lunch. Same routine: as she notices, the arm begins to go up, her face brightens, and between the words “oh” and “look” she has already begun to wave. “There’s Andre!” Then she quickly averts her eyes, brings her arm down, pulls in her shoulders, and makes herself smaller. “Oh, that’s not Andre.” Then she sort of waves again through the window and mouthes “sorry!”
This time, we could see the fury on his wife’s face as she lightly struck him on the shoulder and I could clearly read her lips. “Who is that woman? How do you know her? What is going on?” He shrunk back from her blows and the verbal barrage, shrugging, hands raised, palms up–I could not see his lips, but his body language was obvious. He had no idea in the world who my mom is, nor why she kept waving at him. Poor Not-Andre. Getting accused of an affair and not actually getting the benefits of one.
It’s over now, though. The real Andre passed away last year. Margie is dealing with the loss as best she can. My mom is there for her, so that’s a plus.
I do hope, though, that Not-Andre was able to salvage his marriage.