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The base is brown, and the shaft is pink.

June 11, 2014

Spoiler Alert

This post contains information regarding Breaking Bad seasons three and four.

My husband and I binge-watched the entire Breaking Bad series over the fall. I initially disliked the Marie Schrader role. But after her husband Hank’s near-paralysis during a shoot-out in a shopping center parking lot, I grew to empathize with Marie on behalf of my mother. During his recovery, Hank becomes ornery and unloving, and as a coping mechanism Marie’s chronic kleptomania problem reemerges. She poses as a potential home buyer at open houses, pilfering the property owners’ possessions and claiming to be married to men with careers that have nothing to do with Hank’s position at the DEA. I understood Marie’s search for an escape.

I wonder how my mother mentally liberates herself from a marriage to the man she was supposed to grow old with but isn’t the person she wed in 1971. Time indeed begets change, but Alzheimer’s strips its victims of their selfhood.

When I visited home this weekend Mother beckoned me to the computer room. She had pulled up the Google Chrome homepage, which displayed a grid with the browser’s most frequently visited sites:,, and

“All your daddy does is eat, poop, and watch porn,” Mother half-chuckled.

“Isn’t that what all men do?” I answered.

In response to a recent spike in her stress levels, Mother purchased a couple pairs of cowboy boots: one to pack away for Christmas and another to wear in the summer.

“You’re never too old to wear cowboy boots,” Mother said. “You should see the adorable pair I’m getting in the mail any day now. The base is brown, and the shaft is pink.”

“Wow!” I widely smiled, wondering if Mother realized that when taken out of context, her description of the boots also could apply to a two-toned penis.

I sanction whatever is necessary for my mother to get by. At least she paid for the boots, unlike Marie Schrader.

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