Marianne Fons.

posted in: Day In The Life 28
The lady herself. Photo: Me, c. 2014?
The lady herself. Photo: Me, c. 2014.


Dear Mom:

By the time you read this, it’ll be tomorrow.

You’ll be home in Iowa with Mark and Scrabble. Your morning ritual will be done. You’ll have had your coffee. You’ll have put in an hour or more of work on your novel. Whether or not your morning ablutions are done, you’ll surely have your mental to-do list going; you’ll have a plan for the day.

By the time you read this, I’ll have done my own morning ritual, except that I drink tea and write nonfiction. That’s a huge difference — tea and nonfiction vs. coffee and fiction —  but is also sort of no difference at all, and I think it’s good for mothers and daughters to ride that line.

We covered both serious and frivolous ground in the 30 or so hours you were here in Chicago. We spoke of work, the future, creativity, family, fashion, sacrifice, choices, romance, time management, death (same as time management), taxes, and more. We talked quilts, of course. We talked about feminism because I’m studying the work of Miriam Schapiro and to talk about Miriam Schapiro is to talk about quilts and feminism.

I have so many questions about how making a quilt for the Bicentennial united so many women from different spots on the frenzied, polarized political spectrum of 1976. You were there, I wasn’t, yet. You were a stay-at-home mom, you took a quilting class, then you built this incredible business while raising up three girls all by yourself. My sisters and I go through life sort of continually shaking our heads in disbelief. Our family has certainly had its share of storms and shrieking eels, but the ship is sound: She tends to right herself.

Thanks for coming to Chicago, Mama. I miss being on TV with you. Judging by the (hundreds of!) people that came to see us today at the convention center, I’m not the only one. We’re a good team. But even if we never film another episode, we’ll always have those shows. We got to sew together and someone taped it! Way cool.

Lastly, thanks for buying me that dress. We went into Nordstrom Rack and my eyes laser-beamed on it immediately. It was smooshed into an overcrowded display, the only one of its kind. My size. On clearance. I knew it was perfect; you were dubious and made me try it on. When I came out of the dressing room, you took one look and threw up your hands and said, “Well, it’s perfect!”

And I felt so happy because I love being a person you like, a person that reliably makes you smile and shake your head because she can find the clearance-rack designer dress that fits perfectly and she can do it in 5 seconds flat.

It’s nice to be loved by my mom. It’s even nicer to know that I delight and amuse her. My sisters do that for you, too, and this makes me deeply, indelibly content. I speak for us all when I say we don’t take this particular contentment for granted.

See you next in Iowa, Mom, for the opening of the theater. Remind me to do an interview update with you and Rebecca this week or next week.