Conversations that Count — How do you know, Mom?

Zelda’s daughter asked her mother how to tell if he’s The One. The answer surprised her and instantly became her rule for knowing.  First in a series from Picture a Conversation™.    

Pablo Picasso

“I was getting ready for a date.  I really liked this guy and was kind of excited about going out with him again. Waiting for him to arrive, my mom was fiddling with the back waistband of my pants. Or maybe she was straightening my belt? I don’t  remember exactly, but she was sitting on my bed behind me and I was standing with my back to her.  She was talking to me with her cigarette dangling between her lips as usual.

‘How do you know, Mom?’ I asked.  ‘How do you know when you’ve met The One?  How did YOU know with dad?’  She stopped with the fiddling and backed away from me a bit.  I can still see her today.  She leaned onto one of her knees, took the cigarette out of of her mouth and exhaled a big cloud of smoke holding onto to it between her first two fingers.  She looked down at the floor for a bit then looked up at me.

‘You never know,’ she said. ‘It’s just a matter of what you’re willing to put up with.’ 

‘That’s it?’ I asked.

“That’s it,’ she said.

I was expecting a long answer filled with advice or maybe cautions. Or maybe to wait for some magical kind of feeling that transported me to I don’t know where, SOMETHING. But no. Just that one sentence.  It was so HER.  No BS, flowery words or magic. Just raw and straight the point.

I’ve kissed a lot of frogs in my time and even had a few close calls, I mean engagements.  About three years later I met my husband.  We dated for 7 years on and off before realizing that he was “my guy”.  We’ve been married now for eighteen years. My mom was right. It really IS ‘just a matter of what you’re willing to put up with.’ Magic and flowers don’t hurt either.”


(Craving the connection that only a face-to-face conversation can bring?  Head on over to our order page and give yourself the gift of conversation. Have a conversation that counted in your life? Email me — debra at pictureaconversation dot com)  


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6 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Linda Trammell says:

    Thanks Deborah, for a wonderful new format, authenticity and vulnerability. My moment of knowing was when I realized “he” was as good a man as my Dad. Though my mother never would have said, “find one like your Dad”and psychologists would probably suggest I had “Daddy issues”. “He” was much younger than I, but had the kindness, work ethic, and respect for me that my father showed. Visiting them now 25 years later, Mom at last confided in me how lucky she was to have found a quality man like Dad.

  2. Judy vine says:

    Hard to appreciate this as reflecting a loving relationship

    • I didn’t take it in the same vein that you did, although I can also understand your perspective. I remember the pure joy that you and George found in one another; you simply basked within one another’s light. I can’t imagine that “putting up with” was ever a part of your and George’s song. Loving relationships take all forms and are self-defined by those within it. Thank you, as always, for taking the time to read and comment.

    • Holly R says:

      It sounds like the two had a fun relationship and frank conversations.
      Smacks of playful sarcasm with gritty truth woven in.
      To me anyway ❤

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