"So, I have some news, Mom."
"Oh, is this bad news?"
"Isn't it always? No, actually, I..."
Mom grimaced. "My leg is numb. I can't feel it. You know that trainer I see at the gym? He just works me over! And now he gave me all these Christian music CDs. What am I supposed to do with these?"
"Pray that he doesn't give you any more."
"But he really worked me over today. We were doing a lot of upper body training. I just had sweat pouring down my face as I was on the bench press pumping iron and Dave was yelling FIVE MORE. JUST FIVE MORE, LINDA!! Like he was a marine sergeant!"
"Sounds terrible. Anyway--"
"But now he wants me to go to his mega-church. He has his own ministry, you know. He's a very spiritual man. And I like him, but I can't drive out there. It's too far. I mean, hello? And I can't afford to keep seeing him. My biceps are getting big. Do you want to feel them?"
"Not really. So anyway, I--"
"I told David you were an agnostic. I don't like to use the term atheist. You're... an agnostic?"
"Mom, why are you talking about--"
"He wants to give you a book. It might help you."
"Oh, God. Anyway, Mom, I wanted to tell you--"
"Ooh, my arm hurts. It hurts to sleep on my back, so I sleep on my side. But then my arm goes numb. Could it be I have too many muscles?"
"Mom, I'm dating someone!"
"Dating. Me. Someone."
"Yes. Her name is Rachel. She's a beer model. She gets me beer now whenever I want. It's totally awesome."
"Mm. Well, I hope you won't get hurt."
"I won't. Or I will. Whatevs."
"How many kids does she want?"
"Gee, at least three. One of each. I just met her, but we've been debating how many kids to have. Also, we got a plot at the cemetery. They only had one so we're going to get buried in the same one, with our skeletons creepily entwining for all eternity."
"What are you talking about? I just hope you're happy."
"I hope you're happy."
"Oh, who cares about me?"
"But I mean it. I just want you to be happy."
Mom made a face. "When you tell me you want me to be happy I just hear you want me out of your life, so I won't bother you anymore. So you won't have to deal with me."
"Your happiness is up to you, Mom. I can't do it for you."
"Yes, you can. And you have failed."
"I better get on that kid project. Meanwhile I suggest having a giant cocktail of margarita mix, Zoloft and horse tranquilizer. Wouldn't it be nice to be blissed out all the time?"
"No," Mom said.