I remember how my mom’s face would turn pink, then slightly red, then blood-red. I remember how her back would be wet and her arms clammy and damp.
I remember the little fans positioned all over the house. Some looked like they were from Japan, delicate and covered in paintings of birds. Others were mechanical, handheld with tiny little plastic blades that emitted a slightly annoying buzz. I even remember a couple of church fans on those big Popsicle sticks that had Jesus knocking on the door on one side and the name of a funeral home on the other.
Whichever fan my mother reached for, it would send my brother, sister and me into gales of laughter. We thought hot flashes were a hoot. My brother and his friends used to sit in the balcony at church and count the number of hot flashes mom had while in the choir loft. Because she was seated behind the partition, she would fan up her choir robe while my dad was delivering God’s word.
There were nights when we’d hear dad hit the floor as mom rolled him over trying to change the sheets. We all thought that was hilarious.
I remember mom, who has always laughed easily, not being amused. She would glare at us and say, “you just wait.”
Well, mom, my time has come. I get to feel the furnace turn on behind my face, spreading through my cheeks and down my neck. Now I’m the “hot” lady in the business meeting removing my jacket, despite my chicken arms, because I’m ready to spontaneously combust.
I’ve been too proud to buy official fans yet, so I tend to use things like the Bed Bath & Beyond 20% Off Coupon Cards. Recently I grabbed one of those and hit myself in the face almost scratching my cornea.
I guess it’s time to invest in fans. They will be positioned all over the house, right next to my magnifying glasses.
I’m also going to call my mother and apologize.