My Mother is my Wing-Woman

The Dynamic Duo of Diane & Kathleen

My mother and I make one notorious team. We’re legendary actually. We’re kind of big deals. Ask anyone in any department at Neiman Marcus or Whole Foods or Agata & Valentina or NikeTown. We’re a sort of the Hilary and Chelsea in the great world of unsung heroes. Imagine a  little Lucy and Ethyl mashed with Keri Walsh and Misty-Mae Trainer. There’s a 40-year spread between us, but you wouldn’t know it to listen to us.

We’re power-players with big ideas, big plans, and a knack for getting things done… and for getting in to trouble. What, drive 3,000 miles in 3 days to avoid taking an airplane? No problem. But we’re also a walking comedy act.  Get us together in an awkward situation, and everyone goes home giggling.

She’s a master at the big picture and too brilliant  for her own good. I’m Miss Detail and a quick study who knows how to make ideas into material things. She has experience and smarts, I have the boundless energy of youth. We’re both quick to point out the absurd and even quicker to make a wisecrack. She raised me on Farragamos, Tanqueray, and the Beatles. I introduced her to Tory Burch, Cosmopolitans, and Madonna.  She taught me everything I know about most things, but I taught her about Kirchner and Sargent. She’s my best wingwoman. When I’m out on the town with her, I never go home without a phone number.

We’d make an awesome duo in a reality show. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sneak-peak:

We're good at making biker-buddies

Scene: Kathleen and Diane are sitting in the living room.

Kathleen: Do you want to see Bob Dylan in concert?

Diane: Sure. When is he coming to New York?

Kathleen: Actually, I was thinking we’d go seem him in Cleveland. It’s about a 500 mile drive.

Diane: Okay. Did you want to rent some motorcycles too?

(Kathleen and Diane drive to Cleveland and meet up with some vintage Hell’s Angels… no joke)


Scene: Kathleen and Diane are standing in the elevator of a medical building. A tall, dark, handsome resident wearing a Columbia signet ring walks in and smiles at Kathleen, who is also wearing a Columbia signet ring. On the next floor he’s gone. Diane smacks Kathleen on the back of the head.

Diane: How many times do I have to tell you! When you see a good looking man in an elevator, talk to him. As long as he doesn’t look like an axe-murder, good things may come of it.  I met your father in an elevator. I asked him if he was Dutch, because, as I told him, he had a very Dutch-looking nose. 48 years later, I’m reminding him to trim his nose-hairs.

Scene: Kathleen is getting dressed for an interview. She has poison-ivy on her feet and ankles and is in crisis mode because she can’t wear her designated “interview” dress. She hollars for Diane. Diane comes up the stairs and finds Kathleen standing on the landing in high-waisted Katherine Hepburnesque pants, 3-inch Farragamo pumps, and a magenta bra:

Diane: That looks good. Why can’t you wear that?

Kathleen: Because I’m interviewing to work at an auction house, not auditioning to be one of Madonna’s backup dancers.

My Mother: the Matchmaker?

My mother claims to be a matchmaker.

Apparently, she’s responsible for 3 successful marriages (each couple has been together for 15 years or more). Maybe it’s the Irish in her. But despite her excellent track record, I always tell her it’s a wasted skill.  In the 25 years she’s been my mother, she’s failed to match me with anyone. Like most mothers, she’s good at telling me she doesn’t like the guy I’m seeing (but unlike most mothers, usually she’s right, he’s a dud), yet so far, she hasn’t offered up any viable alternatives. I blame it on the fact that she waited too long to have me. All her friends’ good looking sons were already married by the time I was old enough to be “matched.” Oh! And she then had the nerve to retire from banking when I was a freshman in high school —  she couldn’t hang in long enough to be able set me up with any of her summer college interns, new hires, or the eligible sons of her co-workers. Pretty inconsiderate, if you ask me.

But today, she tried to make up for her failures as my mother, the matchmaker.

She had an appointment with her orthopedic surgeon — it was time for her two-year post-hip-replacement check-up. Her surgeon is not some run-of-the-mill doctor. He’s a pretty big deal — head of surgery for a renowned New York hospital, hip-refurbisher of the famous, patron of the arts, general all around good guy — you mention his name, and other doctors bow. Did I mention he has a good-looking son? Who’s getting his medical degree from a certain Ivy-League University that gave me two degrees? Who has a BA in art history from another Ivy-League college, where he was also an athlete?  Who is a “young collector?” No, I didn’t?

Sounds perfect, doesn’t he? My mother thought so too.

In fact, my mother was so sure this son was destined to be her future son-in-law, that she forgot the main purpose of her office visit (her hurting hip). And so, the matchmaker in her reportedly kicked in. She ignored the fact that this Glory Boy has a girlfriend (who the parents don’t like!), and droned on to the poor doctor about me — apparently, I’m an Irish Catholic who writes on German Impressionists (it’s Expressionists, mom, and when was the last time I went to service?). Eventually, she caught the Doc’s interest.

“How old is she?”


“Perfect. Is she dating anyone?”

“Not seriously. She has a lot of boy friends” (read: she’s totally single, completely available)

“You know, he works here.”

“I’ll bring her next time.”

“They’re going to have to have coffee.”

Success? Hmm, of a sort.

“Now, get up and walk for me.”

“What? We’re not done?”


Caught. That’s right. My mother acts as if she was finally finding me my match. But really, talk of me was just a distraction tactic — get to the end of the session before the doctor has a chance to see me lurch around the room, that’s what she was really thinking. I know I was just a means to an end: an extra-large prescription of vicodin.

Thanks, mom. Glad I could help you out. Guess you’re not my Patti Stanger just yet…